There aren’t enough purple watches in the world. Don’t believe me? Just ask Brandon, Fratello’s purple-obsessed Copy Editor. He’ll make a compelling argument or two in favor of this underused and rather regal shade. No doubt, then, that he will be thrilled to see this release from perhaps my most beloved brand of all, Czapek. The Faubourg de Cracovie Purple Panda Chronograph is a unique beast that is sure to find its feet with the brand’s ever-expanding base of faithful fans.

What do a Purple Panda and the Red Panda have in common? Just like the Red Panda, there is nothing quite like this vivid purple chronograph in the Czapek catalog or, really, anywhere else. Yes, purple dials do exist. But there aren’t enough of them, and rarely do we see them taking center stage in Haute Horlogerie pieces like this one.

On this model, the Résonance guilloché motif is, thanks to modern metal-coloring techniques, a vibrant shade of purple. Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO of Czapek says, “Most of our clients associate Czapek with unexpected vivid colors and have invited us to make incursions in directions that are not so common in Haute Horlogerie as if Czapek also had an Haute Couture dimension. The tone of the Purple Panda was born from these exchanges… and its name from our low-key, humorous culture.”


Purpa durp durp

Just like the contemporaneously released Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie California Blue, the Purple Panda features the high-frequency proprietary caliber, the Czapek SXH3. The SXH3 is made for the brand by Vaucher and has custom finishes, including sandblasting and snailing.

This beast of a movement calls a 41.5mm stainless steel case its cage. Water-resistant to 50 meters, the Faubourg de Cracovie Purple Panda’s 65-hour power reserve makes it a fine candidate for weekly business attire. Its unmissable color, however, may make this beauty seem more at home at the funfair than in the boardroom.


Colorful characters

Yet, Czapek’s modern watches have an excellent ability to walk this line. Xavier de Roquemaurel talks openly about the brand’s unusually close relationship with wild colors and how such daring shades are too often alien to serious horology that otherwise concerns itself with everyday watches (such as the Nautilus, the Royal Oak, the Overseas, or the brand’s very own Antarctique).


As luxurious as these products are and as mad as it would be to see them as “basic” items, they all perform a simple function. Their timeless styling means they can be considered, for the lucky few, as everyday items. The big hitters from Patek, Audemars, or Vacheron tend to veer on the side of caution, preferring muted colors over arresting hues. Czapek, on the other hand, has taken the plunge.

There is no way back now, and nor should the brand consider it. Color has become a calling card of this charming and successful outfit. If you’d like to add a Purple Panda to your wardrobe, you can do so right away. This watch, limited to just 18 pieces worldwide, is available via the Czapek online store and authorized dealers around the globe and will cost €28,300. Learn more about the brand here.