Without much fanfare, Concord introduced this new C2 Chronograph last week at Baselworld. The C2 is an entirely new collection for Concord, and I am very excited and glad to see Concord moving more towards the mainstream watch consumer with this new series. I’ve always found the Concord C1 watches to be a bit too brash and bulky, and so while the new C2 maintains some of the C1 DNA, it is sleeker and more appealing. Price-wise, the new Concord C2 is also more accessible than its C1 brothers, but at $6,500 in black PVD (show below) and just under six-thousand in stainless steel, the price is a bit way too proud. Overall, though, a nice new offering from Concord, and I look forward to seeing more watches in its new C2 Collection.
Concord C2 Chronograph
43mm black PVD-treated stainless steel, ETA 2894-2 automatic mechanical movement, red-accented black vulcanized rubber strap with folding clasp in black PVD-treated stainless steel
From a more nuanced perspective, really like the lug-free/pin-free design — by screwing the strap directly on to the case you have a much more secure system that with traditional watch pins.
Another barely tolerable piece unique…
Wow. Flamboyant? Yes. Over the top? Yes. Impressive? Maybe, but how to get past the flamboyance! Would a man actually wear this 48.5mm chunk of gold and diamonds? That’s all I can think of at the moment. I need a return to simplicity! Here’s the new Concord C1 EternalGravity:
48.5mm white gold case, mechanical hand-wound movement, flyback chronograph, tourbillon, power-reserve, 18.5mm thick
403 gems totalling 25.31 carats — black diamonds, white diamonds, carnelians
After reinventing itself over the past few years under former President Vincent Perriard (now running TechnoMarine) and others, the distinct look of Concord’s C1 collection is what I identify the brand with. While I’ve never been a fan of the case shape/design (purely a matter of personal preference), I did admire Concord’s pushing of the proverbial envelope with its concept watches such as the C1 QuantumGravity. So what will Concord deliver in 2010 under the new leadership of Alexander Grinberg? To be seen! But for now here is one new watch that the brand will be showing at Baselworld 2010, the C1 Code Chronograph. My comments/thoughts below the pics.
Key specs: Case Black PVD steel, 44 mm diameter, 3.3 mm sapphire crystal, anti-reflective on both sides, mathematical formulae engraved in the crystal, PVD steel and black rubber crown, Water-resistant to 200 m, Black carbon fibre dial
Maybe it is because I am not a mathematician, but I don’t get the appeal of this “code”. While the engraving of an algebraic formula/cryptic mathematical equation directly into the crystal of the watch is novel, it seems to make the (already busy) dial hard to read and I wonder what is the real allure of this for a potential buyer? I see none. Sure it might look cool up close and in person, but I can see this novelty wearing off rather quickly. It seems to be a bit gimmicky without any real meaning. What say you?
Do you remember the Concord C1 QuantumGravity? Of course you do! With a watch as bold and daring as this one, it is kinda hard to forget. Well, looks like the watch is finally making its way into the hands of customers. Concord recently produced this short video of the C1 QuantumGravity watch being assembled for final delivery to the customer. This particular watch happens to be the first watch that was delivered to the customer, and only 10 pieces of this watch will ever be produced. All 10 should be complete and delivered by the first half of 2010, Concord says, which is impressive and reflects highly on the brand, in my view, because this is such a complex watch and sometimes watches such as these can get delayed for years. Some more discussion on the intense reaction caused by the introduction of this watch, after the jump:
You may recall that the initial introduction of the C1 QuantumGravity was met with some very mixed reactions from the watch community. Not only is it a very complex and technically sophisticated watch, its design is very bold, and let’s face it – this watch is a beast on the wrist – absolutely huge! With such a watch, you know that some will love it, some will hate it, and the C1 QuantumGravity was no exception. Feelings towards this watch were intense across the spectrum!
As I discussed in a couple articles over at Fratello Watches blog, I was skeptical of this watch at first because “pre-launch” Concord really hyped the watch in its press materials – using a lot of marketing-speak mumbo jumbo, etc. But then I saw some live pics of the watch and some video, and I warmed up to it a bit. Still, there are some really strong opinions about this watch and most comments and discussions I had online were at the extremes of either loving or hating the watch. You can see lots of pics and several videos (including some from those who filmed the watch in person) of the watch on the Perpetuelle.com Baselworld 2009 thread for Concord, here.
The good thing is that this watch was very bold, it did inspire a lot of passion on both sides of the aisle, and it did generate a lot of publicity for Concord. Sure, sure it is a bit of a “concept watch” that is more of a conversation piece than anything, but as a brand it comes down to getting watch enthusiasts talking about your brand and your watches, and in this respect Concord succeeded in a big way.
So I guess that “love it” or “hate it”, the C1 QuantumGravity is officially here and will soon be “gracing” the wrists of a few lucky and deep-pocketed collectors around the world. Will be interesting to see if any of these watches get spotted “in the wild” in 2010, but most likely they will not go too far from the home of their respective owners.
Looking ahead for Concord, with Alex Grinberg now at the helm (after Vincent Perriard’s departure), I am quite interested to see what direction Concord goes in 2010 with its new watches.
Concord, in partnership with the French born NBA player Ronny Turiaf, has announced the production of a limited edition piece in their popular C1 line, named the “C1 Heart2Heart”. Update: Here is a short video from Concord of the launch party – in addition to the watch, you will see Ronny Turiaf and fellow NBA stars, Tony Parker, and Concord President Alex Grinberg (among others):
Proceeds from the watch sales will benefit Turiaf’s “Heart to Heart Foundation” which he established in 2008 after his successful open heart surgery and subsequent return to the NBA. The foundation’s goal is to provide treatment and electrocardiogram [ECG] testing for underprivileged patients suffering from heart disease, with a particular focus on children. Turiaf was only 22 years old at the time of his open heart surgery, and returned to play in the NBA after only 6 months of recovery. He is currently playing for the NBA’s Golden State Warrior’s and is a member of the French national team.
Peeking out from underneath a 3.3mm sapphire crystal of the C1 Heart2Heart chronograph watch will be blood red accents highlighting the rotating seconds disc, the central seconds hand, and the saddle stitching on the rubber coated alligator strap which is attached directly to the bulky case rather than using a traditional lug system. In homage to man behind the foundation the number “21” [which is Turiaf’s jersey number] was singled out on the date wheel and will also be in this same red color. The case-back will house a sapphire crystal to view the ETA Valgranges based COSC movement with its black rotor with vertically applied Côtes de Genève. The Heart to Heart Foundation’s logo and Ronny Turiaf’s signature will also adorn the underside of the boldly designed case.
Concord has stated that the limited production run will yield only 25 Heart2Heart pieces.
by Kyle Stults on June 11, 2009
In a surprising development, Business Montres reports that Concord CEO Vincent Perriard has tendered his resignation as CEO of Concord. Mr Perriard, who oversaw creation of the C1 collection and the development of the much hyped C1 QuantumGravity concept watch, will be joining TechnoMarine.
by Kyle Stults on May 11, 2009
As part of our “Post-Baselworld Interview Series”, Perpetuelle.com recently conducted an interview with Mr. Vincent Perriard, President of Concord. We are pleased to share this interview with you below in which we ask Mr. Perriard’s for his insights into Baselworld 2009, Concord’s 2009 collection, the rise of online media and more.
The Concord Exhibit at BASELWORLD 2009
Concord President Mr. Vincent Perriard
Perpetuelle: How was BASELWORLD 2009 different for Concord compared to prior years?
Mr. Perriard: In 2007 we have presented the first C1 designs and we finally started to deliver the pieces in early 2008 (14 months ago), so when we attended the BASELWORLD 08, we were just starting to have our first sales at the retail level. 2008 was a massive success with all watches sold in just 2 days. The market was hot, as we all know. Furthermore, we introduced the C1 Gravity, which became in November 08 the best design 2008 with the award from the Grand Prix de Genève.
So 2009 has been a good year because we have reconfirmed 95% of our backorders (the one that we were not able to deliver in 2008). The reason of this good Fair is also simply because we are re-starting the brand and we are opening in 2009 new markets (UK, Germany, Austria, …) so we can balance the bad economy in some countries with the opening of new accounts.
Perpetuelle: Please tell us about the philosophy behind the new 2009 releases from Concord.
Mr. Perriard: We have introduced a second project, from the so-called “C LAB SERIES” department. After the huge success of the C1 Gravity (75 units sold), we wanted to bring another level of creativity and we certainly wanted to surprise the market. The QuantumGravity is the answer to this objective. With 10 units produced, we have sold already 14… So we will need to say “no” to some of our clients.
The Concord C1 QuantumGravity
Perpetuelle: Would you please highlight a couple of your favorite new models for us?
Mr. Perriard: The QuantumGravity is the first watch in the industry to feature a Double-Axe Tourbillon which is externalized from the watch case. Also, this is the first watch ever created with a vertical Power Reserve, which – in addition – is filled with a fluorescent liquid (nano particles)…. The Tourbillon is hold by a series of cables that enable the Double Axe to work outside of the case…
The QuantumGravity’s Caseback and Nanoparticle Power Reserve meter
As you can see, we are here talking about pure innovation and know-how. This has been developed in joint-venture with BNB Concepts and the C LAB SERIES team at Concord.
I also love the line extensions that we are bringing with the C1 Chronograph on leather straps. The strap is covered by a thin layer of rubber that gives a twist to the watch itself.
Perpetuelle: What do you now view as the core strengths (and/or defining elements) of Concord?
Mr. Perriard: A clear message thanks to the C1 design and shape. Immediately recognizable. A strap attachment system unique in the industry: we have removed the logs that you find on every watch to hold the strap. With the C1, you have a very masculine and big watch on your wrist. But this one fits perfectly your wrist, regardless if you have a small or big wrist. That’s totally unique.
Perpetuelle: What are you wearing now?
Mr. Perriard: Right now, I am wearing the C1 Chronograph BLACK version (black case, black rubber) that we will launch this Fall world-wide.
Concord C1 Chronograph BLACK
Perpetuelle: Are there any areas that Concord will be focusing on for 2010 and/or beyond (for example, a focus on certain types of watches / complications / movements)?
Mr. Perriard: We will continue to surprise the industry with very complex and innovative watches (the C LAB SERIES) and we will come with a sub-line of the C1… the C1s… If you want to follow-up and enter in our mind… have a look at www.clabseries.ch.
Perpetuelle: Please tell us about the distribution strategy and geographical availability of Concord timepieces.
Mr. Perriard: We are expanding our distribution in every part of the globe. We still have a lot of work to do since Concord was not present in many countries. For example, we will open HARRODS in June in London with an exclusive partnership in the city.
We are also pushing a lot in the Latin American market since the demand on Concord C1 is really high today.
Perpetuelle: Can you tell us which, if any, geographies you believe will play in important role in the future growth of Concord?
Mr. Perriard: We are working hard to make sure that the business will be balanced 25% in each important part of the globe (Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia). Today, in this tough economic situation, Concord is rocking in Mexico and in key Latin American countries. We are doing really well in Italy and we will open in June Northern Europe cities. I believe with a strong design such as the C1, we expect to have a balanced business in all these key countries, including – of course – the Russian market (which remains strong for the high complicated watches such as the C1 Gravity or the C1 QuantumGravity).
Perpetuelle: What role do you see for online media (such as Perpetuelle.com, for example) and Concord? How do you see this role changing/evolving in the future?
Mr. Perriard: We are totally and completely sure that the web is now entering in a second phase for the watch industry. We are one of the few brands that have decided to massively invest time and energy to showcase the brand, to communicate with the watch community and to spread the news throughout the web. So, you will see us more and more. Check out GOOGLE to realize how present we are… after only 14 months of presence in the market place.
Perpetuelle: Thanks you for sharing your time and insights with Perpetuelle.com’s audience of luxury watch owners, collectors & enthusiasts. We wish you and everyone at Concord all the best in 2009 and beyond.
by Kyle Stults on March 28, 2009
Here’s something you won’t see on ANY other watch forum. If you did not know, Perpetuelle.com is the first and only online watch forum to bring you a fully integrated video experience – right in the forums!
Yes, yes, I know – Perpetuelle.com and all the other watch “forums” out there have plenty of pictures and images. But what you won’t find on those other watch forums is video. Well, you can find it here on Perpetuelle.com!
And don’t miss other Baselworld 2009 watch videos from Tag Heuer, Concord, Maitre du Temps, Hublot, Glashütte Original and more!
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