In January 2011 the small Swiss watchmaker will start selling its new Concord C1 Radar automatic chronometer watch. As usual for their timepieces, the new version of the C1 model sports a deliberately rugged, in-your-face design that may be just right for sports stars and other people who can afford to buy an eccentric wristwatch every now and then, but have already grown tired of blingy timekeepers crafted from all available alloys of gold and -optionally- covered with hundreds of diamonds.
As I noted back in April 2009, I do not really like Concord‘s design language. It is original and bold, but it grates on the ear (or, in this case, on the eye) as well. I am telling you this because I feel sort of biased (in a negative way) when it comes to this particular line of timekeepers, so please forgive me if some epithets used in this brief review may sound a bit harsh.
However, trying to look at the watch as objectively as practically possible, I must say that the new Concord C1 Radar model may be of some interest to those looking for an aggressive-looking, luxury watch with a sporty aura around it.
Although, unlike some timekeepers from other premium brands that were designed from scratch to be used as sports watches (JLC’s iconic Reverso model is the first one that comes to mind, but there are, of course, similarly robust models made by, for example, Richard Mille,) this model definitely is not supposed to be used as such, I would say that it would still look great with something as casual as a pair of jeans and a polo. Its bezel with eight rubber “crenellations” not only effectively protects a 3.30 millimeter thick sapphire crystal from occasional bumps and scratches, but also suddenly strikes a very melodic chord when combined with cantilevered hour indexes on the dial with its black PVD treatment and perlage on the inner part of the circle.
The open-worked hour and minute hands, as well as a stylized subsidiary seconds hand at 6 o’clock look surprisingly congruent to the overall aggressive styling of the watch.
Although the Kaki technofiber strap with its strange brownish color looks absolutely out of place here, one can always change it for something more appropriate. Like a black rubber strap, for example, although your choice of accessories is limited to the ones manufactured by Concord Watches themselves: I doubt that there are any third-party straps or bracelets compatible with the system used by the watchmaker.
What I like the most here is the legibility of its dial.
The green SuperLuminova looks extremely contrast to the black PVD-coated face of the watch and will certainly provide superb legibility in any lighting conditions.
The watch is powered by a well-known La Joux-Perret Caliber 3532 automatic movement.
Based on the ubiquitous ETA Caliber 2892 with a seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a big date window at 12 o’clock, the movement is a COSC-certified chronometer, and is not only very accurate, but is also quite robust.
The Swiss watch maker plans to present the Concord C1 Radar in the beginning of the next year at Baselworld 2011 international show.
Its MSRP is predicted to be around $8900.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
See also: Concord C1 Biretrograde
Concord C1 Radar chronometer watch specification
Price: $8900 (MSRP)
Movement: La Joux-Perret Calibre 3532, automatic, based on ETA 2892, 26 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock, big date
Power reserve: 44 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, black PVD-treated
Bezel material: Stainless steel, black PVD-treated with rubber crenellations
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 12.95 mm
Dial: Black, engine-turned
Hands: Steel, openworked, luminous
Water resistance: 200 meters
Strap: Kaki technofiber strap with black PVD-treated stainless steel Concord deployment buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on both sides
Case back: Sapphire