INTRODUCING: The Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Aventurine is a Hubble telescope on the wristFergus Nash
Aventurine has never quite taken off in the same way that bronze cases or green dials have in the past few years, for a variety of reasons. Given their niche appeal and stylistically inflexible appearance, aventurine dials are often at risk of looking cheesy or forced. For it to work, the whole watch needs to come together as a whole ensemble of intrigue and class. For Czapek, however, the starry addition to their Faubourg de Cracovie line of chronographs is an absolute gold standard for aventurine watches and how to do it right.
The Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie itself is already a gorgeous model, retaining elements of sportiness and dressiness without falling into the tropes of either. The case follows a very subtle curvature, with the pushers and crown guards following one smooth line that helps balance the asymmetric nature quite nicely. The width of the bezel and the thickness of the lugs helps to give an impression of sturdiness, but doesn’t detract from the watch’s sophistication in the slightest. The width may seem a little on the big side for a classic watch styled like this at 41.5mm, but the lugs are quite short and wearable around 47mm. The dial would be mesmerising even without the aventurine, with elegant arrow hands, trapezoid markers, and large, legible subdials for the chronograph counters and running seconds hands.
With the dial, there’s a lot more that goes into the manufacturing process than just throwing in a disc of the material. Aventurine dials we see on watch faces shouldn’t be confused with the naturally occurring quartz formation of the same name, as those stones are more often green. As we know it, this form is actually a glass technique where mineral oxides are sprinkled into glass, giving it that sparkly and multicoloured quality. Although this process sounds simple enough, refining it is fraught with issues. It’s incredibly delicate and prone to cracking, so each manipulation comes with risk of loss. The Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie features two large cutouts for the main chronograph subdials, which are then filled with smaller aventurine disks so you can get the height difference. They also have to drill small holes all around the perimeter in order to fit the applied indices, requiring even more careful attention.
The movement is just as impressive in both looks and performance, as the Calibre SXH3 can be watched from the sapphire display caseback. You can see the slender automatic rotor, the balance wheel, and the column wheel all nearly arranged in this haute movement which features large, grey struts as a sort of component cage. It beats at 36,000 vibrations per hour, firmly placing it in a high-beat category for its whole 65 hours of power reserve. Although you won’t see it bragged about on the dial, the calibre is also COSC-certified for an accuracy within +6/-4 seconds per day.
The Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Aventurine pricing and availability:
The Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie is available to pre-order from Czapek’s website here, and it will be produced in a limited edition of 50 pieces. Price: $36,000 USD
|Model||Faubourg de Cracovie|
|Case Dimensions||41.5mm x 47mm (lug-to-lug)|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Availability||Available for pre-order, estimated wait time between 6-9 months. Limited to 50 pieces.|