Czapek & Cie. is a manufacturer of fine Swiss watches founded in 1845, in Geneva. It is most noted for its bespoke timepieces manufactured for the European Nobility in the 19th century.
The company was founded by Franciszek Czapek in Geneva, Switzerland in May 1832 and initially called FrançoisCzapek after his gallicized name. Then in 1834, he partnered with local Swiss watchmaker Moreau, from Versoix to create the firm Czapek & Moreau.
A few years later, in 1839, François Czapek established a six-year partnership with Antoni Patek under the name of Patek, Czapek & Cie. This partnership would produce some of the most exceptional watches in the world and will be a part of the important horological collections including the King Farouk Collection and the Patek Philippe Museum. During this partnership, Czapek was head of watchmaking (“Finisseur”) while Patek led the sales, and the Company producing approximately 200 watches yearly.
After the dissolution of this partnership, Czapek founded Czapek & Cie. with a new partner, Juliusz Gruzewski - a close friend of French Emperor Napoleon III, sealing the brand's association with the nobility. He became watchmaker to the court of the Emperor ('Fournisseur de la cour - Purveyors to the Imperial Court") in 1855, supplying many of the watches that served as diplomatic gifts.
The company supposedly changed hands around 1869, for unknown reasons, possibly due to the illness or death of Czapek, and not much was known about the business during this period. However, some watches created at the time indicate that the business continued for some period after Czapek's departure.
In 2011, Xavier de Roquemaurel, Harry Guhl, and Sébastien Follonier came together to revive Czapek. The company was re-established and the first model - a design study Czapek Chronograph - was created. To remain as faithful as possible to the brands' original spirit and style, they based the design on Czapek pocket watch No. 3430 dating back to the 1850s and adopted the ‘face’ design to modern standards, ultimately using a proprietary caliber, SXH1, which was inspired by the original movement of the pocket watch. The architecture of the movement with its double open ratchets and double spring barrels is a modern interpretation of the original movement of the 1850s pocket watch, delivering the same 7-day power reserve. As a further homage to the history of Czapek & Cie, they named this first collection, ‘Quai des Bergues’, which was the address on the Rhone banks of the brand's first Atelier in Geneva.