From The Community: Monochrome Announces Their Second Montre de Souscription Watch With Czapek
This collaboration between independent watchmaker Czapek and online watch publication Monochrome feels very personal.
Here is what’s great about brand collaborations: They help both parties diversify their designs, reach new audiences, and dig a little deeper into their objectives.
The Monochrome Montre de Souscription 2 Czapek Antarctique “Monochrome White” Edition timepiece is one of those partnerships that gets it right. That is because it connects two independent voices – high-end manufacture Czapek and beloved watch blog Monochrome – to create something that is highly personal.
This new model is the second watch in Monochrome’s Montre de Souscription series (the first was with Austrian manufacture Habring2). The idea behind this series is that all 33 pieces are sold via subscription.
Thus, starting on December 16th, Monochrome will take pre-orders for the Czapek Antarctique “Monochrome White.” Once the process of pre-orders is closed, Czapek will begin production of the 33 pieces. the first deliveries are scheduled for February 2022 and the entire run delivered before the end of March.
This distribution method is a boon to all parties – including collectors – because it cuts out the gatekeepers. You want it? Well, as long as you are among the 33 subscribers, you’ve got it.
Collaborations are catnip to collectors, especially when they feel like a natural fit between brands. And Monochrome has always been a champion of independent watchmakers like Czapek.
Czapek, for its part, is a brand with a very romantic back story: Its namesake Franciszek Czapek was born in 1811 in Semonice, Bohemia (the modern-day Czech Republic). He emigrated to Poland with his family in his youth, retaining Czech and Polish citizenship before fleeing to Switzerland in 1832 following the failure of the November Uprising.
Then, just four years later, Czapek’s first watchmaking enterprise was with fellow Polish émigré Antoine Norbert de Patek in 1836 (yes, that Patek). While the countrymen eventually parted company, both stayed in the horology business, with Czapek founding Czapek & Cie on May 1st, 1845.
Czapek soon supplied watches the Bonapartes as Watchmaker of His Imperial Highness, Prince Napoleon, and in its heyday, the company had boutiques in Geneva, Warsaw, and Paris. Then, the manufacture mysteriously closed shop in 1869.
Flash forward to 2012, and three entrepreneurs set out to revive the brand to create watches that, if Czapek traveled through time, would sit at the bench to design himself.
And it is these kinds of stories that fuel Monochrome’s love of haute horology.
“What I love so much about independent watchmaking has to do with discretion and a certain degree of selfishness,” said Monochrome’s founder Frank Geelen in a press release. “It’s all about real, discreet luxury. It’s something that flies under the radar, that doesn’t scream its pedigree, its price, or its origin. Instead, it offers unabashed high-end watchmaking pleasure for those in the know, and above all, for the wearer of the watch.”
But good watch collaborations have to be more than a natural fit between brands; they also have to mesh with enthusiasts’ needs. With that in mind, the Montre de Souscription 2 is a riff on Czapek’s signature Antarctique – a luxury sports watch with a barrel-shaped flat surface surrounding a round, sloped polished bezel. The Antarctique also features a brushed finish on the 40.5mm diameter case – a versatile size that suits most wrist sizes. And with a height of 10.6mm, it is discreet enough to slip easily under a cuff.
What makes this marriage between Czapek and Monochrome work is the color scheme. Instead of slapping on an extra logo or two, the watch’s white dial and monochromatic color scheme project the essence of Monochrome as a blog while evoking the frozen landscape of the actual Antarctic.
Meanwhile, the integrated stainless steel bracelet fits seamlessly with the metallic case. It is even equipped with a new micro-adjustment, so the bracelet “stretches” when the wrist requires it. Additionally, the bracelet is fitted with an Easy Release system letting you change the bracelet out for a black or white rubber strap.
The caseback is just as elegant, revealing the self-winding Calibre SXH5, the first movement developed and produced in-house by Czapek. It’s a fine testament to the technological and artisanal abilities of the house, and the sapphire case back allows the enthusiast to admire its architecture.
Pricing & Availability
The Monochrome Montre de Souscription 2 Czapek Antarctique “Monochrome White” Edition subscription campaign will start on Thursday, December 16th, 2021, at 9:00 am EST (15:00 CET). The price is 17,200 Euros and includes free insured international shipping and a 3-year warranty from Czapek. Finally, to place an order for the watch, Monochrome will require a non-refundable deposit of 5,200 Euros.