Czapek & Cie presents the latest addition to the Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph collection, inspired by the very first modern watch of the brand. The California Dreamin’ features a California style dial with a grené finish and it’s powered by the 5Hz COSC-certified Czapek SXH3 caliber. Only 18 pieces will be produced.
Back to the origins. This time, not directly to Francois Czapek, but to the co-founders of the modern Czapek & Cie who re-established the company on December 12, 2012. The three entrepreneurs created the Czapek Design Study Chronograph, a manual wind chronograph powered by a historic caliber from the 1970s with a California dial.
The initial purpose was to secure the legal re-establishment of the brand, yet this watch rapidly became a test of the market and a source of early-stage funding before the crowdfunding equity financing took place. This watch was in fact sold to a small circle of friends, allowing them to finance further research into the design and development of a high-quality, proprietary caliber, the SHX1, that powers the Quai des Bergues – the official launch collection unveiled in 2015.
Today, the Czapek Design Study Chronograph serves as an inspiration for the Faubourg de Cracovie California Dreamin’, a steel chronograph featuring a 41.5mm case and an anthracite electroplated brass California dial: the Super-LumiNova coated hour markers are in Roman numerals from X to II and Arabic from 4 to 8.
The California dial is an unusual choice for a modern timepiece, whose origins are part of the mysteries of watchmaking: nobody really knows why these types of dials are named after the West Coast state. Some theories state that it’s called this because that particular design was exceedingly popular in the state of California in the ’30s and ’40s. Others speculate that it’s because of a famous Los Angeles-based dial finisher, Kirk Rich, who made some popular dials with the design in the 1970s; however, nothing is definitive.
“The initial design of this watch was that of a rough, sporty and vintage chronograph. We know it has its fans, but we have been keeping it a secret so far… It is now time to pay tribute to our modest yet very unique origins,” says Xavier de Roquemaurel, co-founder and CEO of Czapek & Cie. “We started with nothing else than our courage, our intuition, our flair, and 15,000 dollars. Of course, we relied on friends to advise us and support the company by purchasing this watch. It was time to give the opportunity to more watch lovers to own a part of our history.”
The Faubourg de Cracovie California Dreamin’ is powered by the SXH3 Caliber, a COSC-certified automatic integrated chronograph movement delivering 65 hours power reserve from a single barrel that drives the balance wheel at 36,000 vph.