In a world where time is seemingly ubiquitous—always glowing from our phone screens or spoken by smart home devices—it’s easy to overlook the sheer artistry and engineering wonder of a finely crafted timepiece. Enter Czapek’s latest marvel, the Place Vendôme Complicité—a horological achievement that not only tells time but reveals the intricacies of how that time is measured.
Czapek’s Complicité takes a concept rare in wristwatches—the double escapement regulator—and elevates it to kinetic art. Utilizing two balance wheels operating independently, yet sourced from a single barrel and regulated by a differential at 12 o’clock, the Complicité offers a masterclass in precision and aesthetic innovation. Any variations in rate, whether triggered by gravity or daily wear, are skillfully neutralized, ensuring unparalleled timekeeping accuracy.
The goal was ambitious: respect the original Place Vendôme model’s iconic dial layout while introducing the complex double escapement. Xavier de Roquemaurel, Czapek’a CEO, explained his vision: “The real beauty of the idea lies in this way of expressing the double escapement, with the differential at 12 o’clock as a central element. By bringing the mechanism to the dial side and open-working everything, we would also have a beautiful kinetic sculpture.”
The Complicité is a celebration of artisan craftsmanship. Encased in a 41.8 mm x 12.4 mm body, water-resistant to 30 meters, the watch features Czapek’s new in-house Calibre 8. Operating at 21,600 vibrations per hour, this manually wound movement offers a 72-hour power reserve, displayed elegantly on the dial between the two balance wheels. Two sapphire bridges on the dial side showcase the gear train, protected by box-style sapphire crystal glass.
For the discerning collector, the Place Vendôme Complicité comes in two variations: white gold with a grey dial, named the “Stardust,” and rose gold with sapphire blue, named the “Harmony Blue.” The hands are sword-shaped and open-worked, their design carefully orchestrated to reveal rather than obscure the timepiece’s inner workings. All these are plated in gold to harmonize with the case, and tipped with luminescent coating to ensure legibility in low light conditions.
Every aspect of this watch, down to the satin-brushing of the flange and the matte grainé surface of the baseplate, speaks to Czapek’s commitment to haute horlogerie standards. Not to be outdone, the movement’s reverse side reveals 18 hand-beveled inward angles—a finishing touch that speaks to the brand’s meticulous craftsmanship.
With each variant limited to 50 pieces and a retail price of CHF 85,000, the Place Vendôme Complicité is an exclusive masterwork for those who appreciate the sublime union of art and engineering.