Czapek & Arab Watch Club
In hard times, being resilient and forging collaborations to become stronger and to help out those in need is key. This belief is strongly instilled in the mindset of Czapek & Cie as the Geneva-based independent brand of haute horlogerie is well-known for its collaborative spirit, as reinforced by its motto “We Collect Rare People”. Relaunched via crowdfunding, Czapek has always promoted the names of its manufacturing partners and involved them, along with its shareholders and collectors throughout every creative process. It also sustains a range of good causes, such as Only Watch or the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, by donating its timepieces to help raise funds. Now, Czapek has teamed up with one of the most prominent group of collectors in the Arab region, the Arab Watch Club, to support Emirates Foundation. To help raise funds for the volunteer organisation, Czapek has crafted a unique piece for the Place Vendome collection, the most exclusive collection within its portfolio. Named “Al Kanz”, or
“The Treasure”, in Arabic, the unique piece will be auctioned by Christie’s.
The Place Vendôme “Al Kanz” 43.5mm titanium Grade 5 case hosts Czapek’s proprietary, manually wound SXH2 movement beating at 21,600 vph (3 Hz). The single barrel spring delivers a solid 60 hours of power. The movement finish includes satin-brushed bridges and open worked ratchet. Czapek’s signature subdials at 7:30 and 4:30 carry a one-minute suspended tourbillon and a second time zone indication. The tourbillon and GMT rings are made of steel and covered with a green nanometrical layer. This process, originally invented for the medical industry, is a variant of the chemical vapor deposit, called ALD. It is executed by Positive Coating, in La-Chaux-de-Fonds. The ring displaying hours and minutes at 12 o’clock is made of Zoïsite, a very special green semiprecious stone with an irregular dark grey speckling, a world’s first in watchmaking.
“With our partner GT Cadrans, in Lonay, we were looking for something green, but most of the options had already been extensively used. When I saw the Zoïsite, it was literally love at first sight!” explained Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO of Czapek & Cie. “So far, only the center ruby part of this stone has been utilized for dials, while the green part was overlooked and considered too fragile. Instead, we decided to have a sustainable approach to dial making and reveal one of the unknown treasures on Earth. This is the reason behind the timepiece’s name ‘Al Kanz, The Treasure’.” All the details in the Al Kanz have been object of a meticulous research. The small center dial is engraved with an Arabic pattern reinterpreted by Czapek’s head designer Adrian Buchmann, inspired by the beautiful motifs of the Arabic Mosques and other legendary regional buildings. The engraving has been made by hand by Le Locle-based Michèle Rothen-Rebetez, one of the most famous and talented Swiss hand-engravers. The very rare “aubergine” hue has been achieved by electroplating by Comblemine, in Saint-Sulpice, renown for collaborating with a number of Swiss fine watchmaking firms.
The Place Vendôme “Al Kanz” by Czapek & Cie and Arab Watch Club was exhibited in Dubai at Christie’s premises (Gate Village, Trade Centre DIFC) from 19th to 25th October and in the future at the Four Seasons Hotel de Bergues in Geneva on 7th and 8th November, as part of Christie’s Luxury Week. Christie’s will offer this spectacular piece in the “Watches Online: Geneva Edit” sale which will take place from 5th to 19th November, 2020. All the proceedings from the Al Kanz sale will be donated to the Emirates Foundation.
Emirates Foundation is an independent organization set up by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to facilitate public-private funded initiatives to improve the welfare of youth across the UAE and encourage them to embrace the concept of volunteerism.