Czapek’s New Promenade Watches Already Feel Like Modern Classics
The former partner of Patek is creating classic timepieces for the collector of modern watches.
BY Allen Farmelo  |  April 25, 2024
3 Minute Read

Images courtesy of Czapek

Sometimes a watch release just feels right—timeless, inevitable, like a gracefully tossed bullseye. The new Promenade references from Switzerland’s Czapek, which were released on Monday, meet that description, and they emit the presence of a modern classic.

The lineup retains the 100 metres of water resistance of the watchmaker’s sportier models but offers up a more elegant, dressy option in a slender 38 mm case. Czapek has given us an array of excellent watches over the past few years, but these new Promenade models showcase the house’s incredible capabilities in dial-making, as well as its history as a major Swiss brand of yesteryear.

Czapek Ivory Soleil Guilloché.
Image courtesy of Czapek

The Ivory Soleil Guilloché and Blue Nuit Guilloché models offer up a striking Art-Deco visage that radiates from the sub-seconds dial at 4:30. This elegant design is just enough—not an iota too much—of what Czapek is known for: dial layouts that you’ve never seen but which feel as if they’ve been there all along. In other words, modern classics.

Czapek Blue Nuit Guilloché.
Image courtesy of Czapek

While those guilloché dials are striking, it is the Goutte d’Eau—French for “water droplet”—that truly showcases Czapek’s capabilities. Czapek turned to its partner in other enamel masterworks, Donzé Cadrans, to create this stunning grand feu dial that radiates from the sub-seconds, shimmering like ripples on a still body of deep water. As one moves the watch, the ripples will actually shimmer in three dimensions. Visual attributes like that are all too rarely used to such great narrative effect, and the Goutte d’Eau seems destined to be heralded by future collectors as a fine expression of what the brand was doing best during the 2020s.

Image courtesy of Czapek

The Calibre SXH5 has been around since 2020, and here it has been modified to relocate the seconds hand at 4:30. This redesign hasn’t hurt the view from the backside of the watch, however, and the micro-rotor is made from 100 per cent recycled platinum. With a beat rate of 4Hz (28,000 vph), this movement delivers 60 hours of power on a full wind. The beautifully laid out gear train and fully beveled plates throughout the movement have made the SXH5 highly desirable for collectors of modern watches.

Image courtesy of Czapek

Offered at the aforementioned 38 mm diameter and with just under 10 mm in height, these stainless steel pieces should round out Czapek’s catalogue with what many enthusiasts will call “a very wearable watch.” But we think this last one with the rippling enamel dial could be destined not for wrists, but for a few safety deposit boxes belonging to savvy collectors who know a modern classic when they see it.

There’s just something about watches that contain everything a brand does well and nothing more. Picture a spotlight falling on Taylor Swift: It’s just her and the guitar and she is a little out of breath—or don’t picture that if you’re not a Swifty, but do insert your favourite singer taking it down a few notches and getting intimate with their audience. That’s the vibe we’re getting here. And it puts the lineup in select company, alongside a short list of mesmerising pieces. Think Grand Seiko’s Snowflake (Ref. SBGA211G), Moser’s Streamliner Chronograph and Laurent Ferrier’s brand new Classic Moon.

The Promenade watches are available for pre-order on Czapek’s website. The Ivory Soleil Guilloché and Blue Nuit Guilloché models are priced at US$19,900 (HK$155,815) and the Goutte d’Eau at $20,600 (HK$161,295).