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In 2020 Geneva based independent watch brand Czapek & Cie is celebrating their 175th Anniversary. The brand that has been revived in 2011 by Xavier de Roquemaurel, Harry Guhl and Sébastien Follonier through an equity campaign that brought together more than 100 watch enthusiasts who raised more than 2 million CHF. This funding allowed Czapek to start production of their first series produced timepiece. Their Quai des Bergues, which became an instant hit.
In order to commemorate the 175th anniversary, Czapek decided to create a unique timepiece based on their first collection. The Quai des Bergues Sursum Corda is based on a motto that has been with Xavier de Roquemaurel since his twenties. It translates to “Lift up your hearts”.
This motto also supported him during the challenging founding of todays Czapek & Cie. Therefore, the motto can be found on the dial in its original latin language: the three spoken languages in Switzerland, which are French, German and Italian, and English. The five languages and the cloisonné enamel world map in the center of the dial, furthermore, underline the passion of watch enthusiasts all over the world who made it possible to revive the brand.
In a sense this watch is also a big thank you to the Czapek communitySimeon Kremzow-Tennie
In addition to the connection of watch enthusiasts, the timepiece also connects some of the most significant arts in Haute Horology, such as the hand engraving and enamel painting.
The design and development of the watch took over a year and involved many great artisans from the brand itself. Master engraver Michele Rothen executed the engraving, which followed a design of Adrian Buchmann. With more than 40 hours of work going into the engraving of the dial alone, you can see that not only the planning, but also the final production is a very time-consuming process by very passionate people.
Since this unique piece belongs to the Quai des Bergues Collection, it is powered by the proprietary manually wound SXH movement, that indicates the hours, minutes and small seconds. The usually on the Quai des Bergues indicated 7 day power reserve, has been left out in order to simplify the indications of the piece, but also leave room for the text that encircles the cloisonné enamel world map.
Lift up our hearts to get over this crisis together
If you ask me, the brand could not have created a better timepiece to commemorate the 175th Anniversary of Czapek & Cie. Based on the first serial production timepiece of the revived brand and combining a significant amount of arts into one unique piece, the watch is a worthy celebration of its own.
With the release during these difficult times, Czapek fully broadens the spirit of “Sursum Corda” and reminds us to lift up our hearts to get over this crisis together.
Czapek & Cie crystallises the brand’s message and uniqueness with a new communication campaign whose tagline “We Collect Rare People”, combines various important elements of the Geneva-based maison. Notably, the ideas of sharing passion and community with ‘rarity’ and ‘identity’.
“We Collect Rare People”, is a play on words, a sort of oxymoron, making people ask themselves about who is collecting, what, why and whether they would like to join the Czapek club.
Czapek collects rare people in many ways. First-of-all, Czapek collects rare supplying partners that provide the brand with rare savoir-faire, proud to be a piece of this exciting project. Czapek also collects clients with a rare obsession for quality, on the quest for a unique product.
In another sense, they also become partners. Last but not least, Czapek collects shareholders, fine watch lovers that have always dreamt of not only being customers, but owners of an haute horology venture, and their dream became true thanks to the crowdfunding equity campaign that made the revival of Czapek possible.