Czapek & Cie has introduced the Faubourg de Cracovie California Dreamin', a vintage style chronograph inspired by the manual-winding “test watch” made before the brand was revived in 2012. The new limited edition timepiece is the sportiest version of the Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph and comes with a dark grey grainy “California dial” and a tachymeter.
Czapek & Cie was established in Geneva in 1845 by Franciszek Czapek, a Polish immigrant, who set up the company after Patek, Czapek & Cie., the firm he founded with fellow immigrant Antoni Patek, was disbanded after a six-year-partnership. The latter famously founded Patek Philippe & Cie with French watchmaker Adrien Philippe. Czapek & Cie eventually went out of production but was revived in 2012 by a trio that realized the potential in re-establishing this brand, the industry has seen many long forgotten names being brought back to life by watch enthusiasts or collectors – think Bovet, Arnold & Son, Carly Suchy and so on.
To clear the legal and financial path to the brand’s return, the soon-to-be-resurrected Czapek & Cie’s co-founders created a chronograph with a California dial as something to gauge the reaction of the market and raise early stage funding before the advent of crowdfunding equity financing. The capital raised from the sale of this watch to a small circle of friends, allowed them to develop the Caliber SHX1 that powered the Quai des Bergues, the first official watch of the resurrected brand in 2015.
The Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph line has this far featured a more classical-style guilloche dial. The California Dreamin' edition has the same case dimensions of the Faubourg de Cracovie family. The watch uses a 41.5 mm stainless steel case with a vintage-style sapphire crystal glass box. The dark grey electroplated brass dial sports a grainy texture and the distinct California-style numerals, a reference to the fact that the hours are represented by both Arabic and Roman numerals. The SuperLuminova coated hour markers are in Roman numerals from X to II and Arabic from 4 to 8.
The watch is powered by the in-house chronometer-grade Calibre SXH3, an integrated high-beat column wheel chronograph movement with a vertical clutch and a power reserve of 65 hours. The bridges of the movement have a diamond-blasted anthracite coating and is visible through the transparent case back. The watch is paired with either an alligator or rubber strap with a steel deploying buckle. This is a limited edition of just 18 pieces and is priced at CHF28,000.