The Swiss brand has issued a “king of bling” member of its C1 Chronograph collection. Animated by an average self-winding caliber, the Concord C1 Chronograph Amethyst (ref. 0320100) is adorned with 217 amethysts totaling stunning (and quite taxing on your bank account) 13.8 carats.
There is not a square millimeter of surface that was not adorned with a baguette-cut amethyst.
Well, okay, speaking literally, there are some places that were not paved with the precious purple-colored stones, but those are functional areas including all three sub-dials and a place reserved for the brand’s logo. All the rest was devoted to the shiny stuff.
There are 64 stones on the bezel, 2 more stones on each of eight decorative “crenellation” tabs on the bezel ring (those are normally used as “bumpers” to protect the fragile sapphire crystal that protects the dial, but I suppose that you don’t want to use them as such wearing this particular version.)
There are 16 more amethysts on the 18-karat white gold setting crown (it is that rare instance when a daringly oversized crown actually makes at least someone’s life easier by allowing paving it with amethysts of the same cut as those on the bezel,) and yet another batch of 8 stones on each of the two chronograph push-pieces.
Too, crafted from 18-karat white gold as the rest of the body, the pushers are as oversized as the watch itself supposedly making it more comfortable to operate.
However, I am not sure that it will be as comfortable to wear thanks to the parts being so huge. I am reasonably certain that a person who would dare to wear one of these ultra-expensive trinkets will get a lot of chronograph’s false starts during a single evening.
Even the dial is paved with 32 baguette-cut amethysts!
Frankly, I have nothing personal against the use of precious stones in watchmaking. However, as was the case with the infamous Hublot Black Caviar million-dollar timekeeper, there is something incredibly vulgar, a kind of “from rags to riches,” about this kind of trinket. Like a gold-plated Bentley or a platinum pissoir.
According to Concord, the C1 Chronograph Amethyst will be sold in a 44 mm white gold case that will house an unspecified Valgranges (probably ETA A07.211 since they used the same movement in their “plain” C1 Chronograph model in steel*) COSC-certified chronometer movement.
Decorated in-house, the movement will feature a snailed and branded winding rotor with Geneva stripes decoration.
See also: Concord C1 Biretrograde (ref. 0320045)
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
* UPDATE ON MOVEMENT: Okay, the wristwatch in fact uses a Valgranges A07.211 made by ETA. While not particularly revolutionary or even especially advanced, this is still a good mechanism that features an Etachron regulator system that makes the watch better at keeping time, as well as a stop-seconds device that makes it easier to set the correct time if you are one of those persons who set their watches (twice a day) to signal broadcasted from an atomic clock near you.
Concord C1 Chronograph Amethyst 0320100 specification
Price: €275,000 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Valgranges A07.211, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Snailed rotor, Cotes de Geneve motif, C1 logo engraved in the center
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 48 hours
Case: White gold
Size: 44.00 mm
Dial: Paved with amethysts
Hands: White gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Purple alligator leather strap with 18-carat white gold folding clasp set with 11 baguette-cut amethysts
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Sapphire, antireflective, screw-down