Independent luxury watchmakers are proving far more resilient through this year’s covid crisis than many analysts anticipated.
Small, highly motivated and nimble teams might have anything from a dozen to a thousand watches to sell, and this year they have been determined to track down customers for every piece they produce.
Czapek & Cie is the latest brand to report stellar sales with its 99-piece run of Antarctique Terre Adélie watches selling out inside two weeks at the end of May — the height of the pandemic in many countries.
It is better to spend $20,000 on a watch that will last 30 years, it seems, than the same amount that would have been splurged on holidays that haven’t happened because of travel restrictions.
Czapek is hoping to repeat that success with a new Antarctique Passage de Drake collection, which is bang on trend with a sporty styling and steel on steel 40.5mm case and integrated bracelet.
Both the Terre Adélie and Passage de Drake use a new in house movement, the automatic Calibre SXH5, which can be viewed through a sapphire crystal case back.
A platinum micro rotor provides up to 60 hours of power reserve.
“The creation of these timepieces has not only been a technical adventure but a human one. Czapek & Cie is grateful for all the watch connoisseurs who have chosen to purchase a timepiece, selecting something different from the mainstream. When it comes to collecting, Czapek collects rare people who have become part of the journey, every step of the way,” the company says.
Passage de Drake dials have a three-dimensional stamped trapezoids surface that creates a play of shadows across the dial.
“This unique dial design is called the ‘Stairway to Eternity’ and was actually our initial concept dial for the [original] Antarctique, as we were looking for a signature dial design that would be very different from anything else, but it was such a lengthy process to perfect that we launched with another dial, based on a forgotten workmanship technique, the combed ‘lamé’ dials,” shares Czapek & Cie. CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel.
“We finally discovered the perfect motif when our designer accidentally enlarged the trapezoids by 50% without realizing it, and it looked amazing. That’s the beauty of mistakes,” he adds.
Passage de Drake launches this week in the United States for $20,600 plus tax.
They come in white, black, blue and gray dial versions.