One of the success stories of modern independent watchmaking, at the end of 2015 the name Czapek came back to life with the elegant and well-thought-out Quai des Berghes, inspired by the pocket watch from the mid-19th.Th century Quai des Bergues GPHG was acclaimed with the Public Prize in 2016, one of the most (if not the most) meaningful industry award ceremonies, which is no small achievement. During the Geneva Watch Days, the brand presents new versions of the model with an upgraded movement. Meet Czapek Quai des Bergues Emerald Green L and Sapphire Blue L.
At first glance, the new Quai des Bergues variants look familiar. Both models are presented in an initial 42.5mm case in stainless steel. The Flink dials feature the signature Czapek ricochet guilloche pattern in two intensive enamelled colors – aptly named sapphire blue and emerald green. A complex, repeating motif relies on a double focal point to create finely textured, attractive and distinctive wave interferences. Elongated Roman numerals are paired with distinctive rhodium-plated fleur de lys hands.
“The spirit of the watch remains untouched,” Czapek CEO Javier de Roquemaurel says, “But we took a second look at the movement and identified what you might call evolutionary inflection points.”
The main innovation is not actually about the housing, but about the mechanics. Indeed, the exhibition caseback reveals an updated version of the caliber SXH1. This proprietary engine was developed and manufactured by movement specialist Chronode. The most noticeable change is the openwork bridges, which are clearly derived from the brand’s first in-house movement, the Antarctic Caliber SHX5. There’s also this little triangular cut-out under the barrels. Caliber SHX1 decoration has been upgraded with more refined angles. Rubies are now available My-Glace (This is a standard for the Hallmark of Geneva, for example). They now have a rounded surface that improves smoothness. They also provide movement that captures light rays beautifully.
The oscillator has also been upgraded. The balance wheel has weights for variable inertia and the hairspring has a Breguet terminal curve. This new balance is a major technical change – the twin barrel hand-wound movement still runs at a frequency of 3Hz, but stores a 7-day power reserve when fully wound. – This will eventually allow you to track the days of the week as the springs unwind.
The updated Czapek Quai des Bergues Emerald Green L and Sapphire Blue L are worn on an alligator leather strap with a steel pin buckle. The price is fixed CHF 18,000. For more information, please visit www.czapek.com.