The new Concord Saratoga Alarm Chronograph (Ref. 0320219) wristwatch makes somewhat dubious impression. It does look expensive and is advanced when it comes to industrial design. Its main problem is the movement: the chronograph uses an ordinary quartz module. I mean, we are talking about a niche where potential buyers expect nothing less than a high-tech mechanical caliber. This may put off customers looking for an affordable timekeeper that they would be able to pass to their grandchildren. The watch will become a collection of metal parts and useless electronic components long before your grandson 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.
See also: Saint Honore Trocadero Chronograph
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Concord Saratoga Alarm Chronograph 0320219 specification
Movement: Quartz, Ronda 5130.B, repairable, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 13
Power reserve: 48 months (4 years)
Movement decoration: Gold-plated
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, alarm, date
Case and Bezel material: Stainless steel, black PVD
Crown material: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 10.90 mm
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