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First Impression: Czapek Promenade Goutte D’eau

Czapek Promenade Goutte d'eau

It’s impossible not to be impressed by the Czapek Promenade Goutte D’eau when you first lay eyes on it. The dial alone is enough to capture the attention of everyone in the room and it’s housed in a case that’s both classical and modern. We got up close with this stunner at Watches & Wonders to discover more.

Promenade is a brand new collection from Czapek that’s debuting with just three references. There’s the Goutte D’eau (meaning drops of water) with a Grand Feu enamel dial and two guilloché models. That should give you a hint to what this collection is all about – it’s Czapek’s new outlet for artistic creativity and metiers d’art. It’s an evolution of their Quai de Berges range from 2015, which was dedicated to the brand’s 19th century founder, François Czapek.

Czapek Promenade Goutte d'eau

Obviously the highlight of the Czapek Promenade Goutte D’eau is the Grand Feu enamel dial so let’s jump right to it. It features a radial pattern of shifting shades of blue in concentric circles that emanate from the small seconds indicator at 4:30. The colours are blended beautifully in such a manner that the flat dial looks three-dimensional. The illusion has been achieved by taking what is actually a 3D patterned base and then adding enamel layers until it becomes flat, creating incredible depth.

Czapek Promenade Goutte d'eau

It’s a seriously captivating display that warrants close inspection. Up close you can really admire the surface of the Grand Feu enamel. Grand Feu is a very difficult material to work with, prone to breaking during the intense firing process. The delicacy and precision showcased here demonstrates true mastery of the technique. It was produced for Czapek by Donzé Cadrans, a small atelier who are owned by and produce enamel dials for Ulysse Nardin.

Czapek Promenade Goutte d'eau

Moving from the dial to the case, it measures 38mm in diameter and is produced in stainless steel. It’s very understated with a round shape, smooth bezel, gently curving lugs and a thin crown. It borders on having the same issue as the Christopher Ward Moonphase, where the case is too sporty for the delicacy of the dial. However, I think the fact the Czapek Promenade Goutte D’eau is only 38mm helps to prevent that as it’s a more traditional dress watch size, sitting fairly small on the wrist.

Czapek Promenade Goutte d'eau

In order to accommodate the small dimensions of the case, the watch contains Czapek’s micro-rotor movement, the SXH5.1. It has a 60-hour power reserve and operates at a frequency of 4 Hz. When you turn the watch over, you can see it through the exhibition caseback, where the micro-rotor means you have an amazing view right into the heart of the calibre.

Czapek Promenade Goutte d'eau

You can really fall in love with this watch in a short time. Although if you want to own one you’ll have to act quickly because at CHF 18,000 (approx. £17,750) in a limited edition of 100 pieces, it’s going to sell fast. In fact, at time of writing there are only 17 pieces left on their website. All that remains to say is I’m looking forward to seeing what other metiers d’art they’ll explore with the Promenade in future.

Price and Specs:

Model: Czapek Promenade Goutte d'eau
Case: 38mm diameter x 10.8mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Grand feu enamel with optical illusion of water ripples
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Czapek calibre SXH5.1, automatic, in-house, 26 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Dark blue nubuck leather or stainless steel bracelet
Price: £10,500, limited to 100 pieces

More details at Czapek.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.