Here is a watch that has embraced the full power of the dark side. Equal parts rock ‘n’ roll and rebellion, the Place Vendôme Tourbillon: Dark Matter is the touted “bad boy” of the Place Vendôme Collection – the black sheep of the family, who doesn’t care what time mom and dad said curfew is. The Place Vendôme Tourbillon: Dark Matter is named for a substance that is far more unknown than it is known – a mystery in many ways. What we do know is that this is an iteration of an existing Place Vendôme Tourbillon design using sportier materials such as titanium, and ADLC coating. As far as the name goes, you would be far better off asking HODINKEE Editor-in-Chief Jack Forster about the complexities of dark matter than I, so for now, we will just stick to the watch.
The Czapek name has some horological history behind it. Czapek was a foundational partner – some 200 years ago – of the brand that would eventually become known as Patek Philippe. The name Czapek went defunct for years before being revived, in its current form, in 2012. Since then, the new Czapek & Cie has made a name for itself, relying heavily on collaboration with artisans at all levels of watchmaking, and delivering serious haute horology timepieces through those partnerships.
The Place Vendôme Tourbillon: Dark Matter is cased in grade-five titanium, with a black ADLC coating. This same coating was used on Czapek’s Faubourg de Cracovie “Courage Every Second” chronograph for “Only Watch” in 2019. The case size for this new release remains 43.5mm. While this watch is quite similar to its forebearers in many ways (see our Hands-On with the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu ‘Ici Et Ailleurs’ here), the brand is calling the Dark Matter “the rebellious brother in the Place Vendôme collection.”
In terms of functionality, this is a dual-time watch with a tourbillon, day/night indicator, and power-reserve meter. The dial configuration is consistent with – if not identical to – other variants in Place Vendôme collection, with five points of interest. The essential time-telling function is found at the top of the dial, with a power-reserve indicator just beneath it. The righthand section of the dial houses the second time-zone indicator with a grey arrow on the bridge, and the lefthand section houses the tourbillon. The day/night indicator resides at the bottom of the dial. Overall, the dial is finished in black enamel, with polished steel bridges with PVD coating, and an anthracite sand-blasted plate. The arrow handset on the uppermost central dial (indicating the time) is made of white gold and filled with Super-LumiNova, and the tourbillon features a lone blue screw.
Both the Sapphire crystal for the dial and the caseback are treated with anti-reflective material on both sides. That open caseback gives way to the Calibre SXH2. This is a proprietary mechanical hand-wound movement developed by both Chronode and Czapek & Cie.
As referenced earlier, the watch is being touted by the brand as something of a “black sheep” or “bad boy” in the Place Vendôme line due to its sporty nature and the materials chosen for its execution. The overall look of this piece certainly separates it from its more luxury-leaning predecessors, as there is a marked difference – in both look and feel – between platinum and ADLC-coated titanium.
The Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Tourbillon: Dark Matter will be limited to only 10 pieces and priced at CHF 90,000. If you are looking to pick up one of these “bad boys,” they will be available only at the brand’s official retailers or on the Czapek website.
Brand: Czapek & Cie
Model: Place Vendôme Tourbillon: Dark Matter
Case Material: Titanium grade five with ADLC coating
Dial Color: Black
Indexes: Arabic, and applied markers
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Alligator strap with titanium buckle
Caliber: Calibre SXH2
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, dual-time, tourbillon
Diameter: 34.8 mm
Thickness: 9.8 mm
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Winding: Mechanical hand-wound
Frequency: 3 Hz
Pricing & Availability
Price: CHF 90,000
Limited Edition: Yes, 10 pieces
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