The new Concord Saratoga Alarm Chronograph (Ref. 0320219) wristwatch makes somewhat dubious impression. It certainly does look expensive and very advanced in terms of industrial design, but -although from this brand one could expect nothing less than a high-tech mechanical caliber- is powered by a quartz movement that may put off a great number of potential customers, especially those looking for a relatively affordable Swiss watch that they would be able to pass to their grandchildren: even despite the fact that the mechanism is touted as “repairable” and the alarm function is quite useful, it still will become a collection of metal parts and useless electronic components by the time your grandkid goes to college.
Presented last week during the Baselworld 2013 trade show, the new Concord Saratoga Alarm Chronograph is delivered in a slightly oversized body, which is fashioned from high-grade stainless steel with matt black PVD finish. Measuring 42 millimeters in diameter and less than 11 millimeters thick, while also sporting a set of relatively short lugs, the sporty watch will look good on basically any wrist even on a person who happens to have relatively narrow bones.
The setting crown and chronograph push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock are clearly not as easy to manipulate as those made of rubber, but they, too, contribute greatly to the gadget’s stately posture.
If you have ever seen a watch powered by Ronda 5130.B quartz movement, you will immediately notice that the dial of the timekeeper features the usual layout with a large date indicator at 12 hours, an alarm display at 6 o’clock, a chronograph counter with hour and minute hands at 9 o’clock and the usual small seconds sub-dial at 3 hours.
While the layout clearly lacks even a trace of originality, Concord somehow managed to make the dial of the piece look very attractive thanks to the chosen color scheme with silver hands, Roman numerals and applied hour markers looking very contrast and, again, very expensive on the matt black background of the face.
The setup is protected from the elements with a thick sapphire crystal that even features an antireflective coating. For technical reasons, the case back cover of the Saratoga Alarm Chronograph is crafted from stainless steel, which is embossed with silhouettes of horses. The reason for the choice of a beast is rather obvious: the watch was created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Saratoga Race Course, a sports facility in Saratoga Springs, New York, United States.
As far as I understand, Concord doesn’t plan to make the Saratoga Alarm Chronograph a limited edition model, so, if the street price of approximately $2800 USD (it will depend on your local taxes and import duties) seems a bit too steep for a piece animated by a mass-produced quartz movement, there is a good chance that there will soon be plenty of these chronographs in mint condition at 60-70 percent of MSRP.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
See also: Saint Honore Trocadero Chronograph
Concord Saratoga Alarm Chronograph (Ref. 0320219) watch specification
Price: Approx. $2800
Movement: Quartz, Ronda 5130.B, repairable, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 13
Movement frequency: No data
Power reserve: 48 months (4 years)
Movement decoration: Gold-plated
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, alarm, date
Case material: Stainless steel, black PVD
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 10.90 mm
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Roman, silver
Hour markers: Silver
Water resistance: 50 meters
Strap: Black PVD-treated stainless steel bracelet with polished steel inserts on a stainless steel deployment buckle with pushers
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Stainless steel, embossed horses