Czapek Promenade amps up the style factor

April 2024

 Czapek Promenade amps up the style factor

With creative audacity, the independent brand has developed its own codes, culminating in a new line that embodies its evolution and maturity. The collection’s complexity lies in its simplicity: a chic, contemporary watch appealing to those with style and an appreciation for mechanical sophistication.


implicity, style, substance, and joy - these are the four principles eloquently expressed in Promenade, the new collection introduced by Czapek & Cie.

In 2015, Czapek paid powerful tribute to the creator of the original, historic Maison, capturing in a wristwatch the essence of François Czapek’s 19th-century genius. This collection, Quai des Bergues, embodied all the elegance and watchmaking savoir-faire of that period, translated for the 21st century, and established one of main aesthetic pillars.

Since then, by exploring other creative territories, and through other collections such as Faubourg de Cracovie, Antarctique and Place Vendôme, the Maison has forged a strong aesthetic identity – a unique signature. Its creative audacity has enabled it not only to project the original and historical essence into the contemporary world, but also to build its own codes. These skills and experiences sparked the desire to create a line that would embody this evolution, this maturity. The real complexity of this collection lies in its simplicity: a chic, contemporary watch that appeals to those with a certain sense of style and an appreciation of mechanical sophistication.

 Czapek Promenade amps up the style factor

The aim of Promenade was to express a truly modern idea of elegance: chic, relaxed and very easy to wear. The case should be slim, which called for a micro-rotor movement. Thus, it was a natural decision to translate the strengths of Czapek’s in-house calibre SXH5 – originally developed for the sporting Antarctique collection – into this new identity.

The style of Promenade gives a subtle nod to the calibre’s sporting origins but is deliberately not a sports watch. “The sports watch is a modern classic and will always be with us – but we feel that the genre is very close to reaching the limit of creativity,” says de Roquemaurel. “We love to play with colour, techniques and materials, so Promenade is not just a timekeeping instrument but also a canvas for creative expression.”

“With watches as with people, the dial – or face – reveals so much of the character on first encounter,” says de Roquemaurel, “And our choice of the watch we wear reveals a little of our soul.”

Strongly anchored by the substance of watchmaking tradition and craftsmanship, the Promenade collection speaks of a relaxed approach to life, an easygoing and quietly confident sophistication, injected with a sense of playfulness and joie de vivre.

Czapek’s deep respect for the rules of traditional watchmaking allows it to bend its own design rules – and so the signature of the Promenade dial is asymmetry: the designs all radiate from the small seconds dial placed at 4:30, producing a sense of dynamic tension and flowing movement. Driven, as always, by Czapek’s twin imperatives of colour and detail – with the emphasis on creating an intriguing play of light and shade as the wearer’s wrist moves – two classical dial decoration techniques – guillochage and enamel – are used in new ways.

 Czapek Promenade amps up the style factor

‘Goutte d’Eau’ (drops of water) harnesses the beauty of grand feu enamel to mesmerising effect: as the watch moves, an optical illusion is created – as when a raindrop falls on the still surface of a pond, ripples appear to radiate out from the seconds sub-dial. Czapek’s partner in creating the Goutte d’Eau dial is Donzé Cadrans. Goutte d’eau is presented in Sapphire Blue.

Guilloché ‘Soleil’ (sun) reinvents guillochage with a sharply modern approach: the seconds sub-dial represents the sun and the finely cut guilloché sunrays radiate from it. To develop the new guillochage technique, Czapek collaborated with its long-time partner, Metalem. The hand guilloché dials are offered in two colours: Ivoire and Bleu Nuit.

Allowing the beauty of the dial decoration to take centre stage, all other elements are reduced to a minimum. The fine, arrow-shaped hands are semi-skeletonised and the applied indexes are trapezoidal ingots with diamond-cut angles to reflect the light. By working in the établissage tradition, which governed all Swiss watchmaking before the modern era of vertical production, Czapek draws on the skills of highly specialised producers to bring such rare dials to life. “We are on a continuous quest for Beauty through reinventing received ideas about classicism and the traditional métiers d’art,” explains Xavier de Roquemaurel. “Our creative development is a process of continuous iteration, generating many ideas and tests, enabling us to exclude those that are not entirely excellent. Our collaborative approach – the blending of different minds, different talents, different skills and different experiences – is a great strength that does so much to fuel this process.”

Remaining true to the spirit of elegance, the Promenade case pays homage to Czapek’s icon – the original Quai des Bergues model. The result is a modern evolution, rather than a revolution, recognisable as part of the family thanks to the recessed and sand-blasted case sides, the signature curved crown protection, and a slim, rounded bezel that fully opens the dial to view. A key criterion was that the 38mm case should be as slim as the calibre would allow – below the threshold of 10 millimetres.

Since its introduction in May 2020, the automatic Calibre SXH5 has continually evolved. For Promenade, Czapek and its engineers played with its architecture purely for the sake of the dial aesthetics – another example of the Maison’s “Beauty above all” approach, positioning the small seconds mechanism now directly beneath, and on the same axis as the dial display.

 Czapek Promenade amps up the style factor

Immediately recognisable by the seven skeletonised bridges that hold the gear train in place – inspired by the 19th-century pocket watches of François Czapek – the movement plates and bridges feature fine haute horlogerie finishes, including bevelling, straight-grained sides and hand-chamfered inward angles. Beating at 4Hz (28,800 vph) and wound by a micro rotor with a mass of 100% recycled platinum, SXH5 offers 60 hours of power reserve. The Promenade collection will be available at the Maison’s official retailers worldwide, the Czapek boutique in Geneva, Switzerland, and at Czapek.com. Deliveries will start in the second quarter of 2025.

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