After a somewhat controversial Saratoga Alarm Chronograph (0320219) that was released about two months ago during the last Baselworld 2013 show, Concord has issued yet another quartz-powered timekeeper. The new Concord Saratoga Lady White (ref. SKU 0320214), too, pays homage to the legendary Saratoga Race Course, a thoroughbred horse racing track which is located in Saratoga Springs, New York, United States.
It is also expensive, as well, although in this particular instance the high price tag is partially justified by 32 nicely cut diamonds that decorate its fixed bezel and the bluish mother-of-pearl dial.
Unlike many moderately expensive quartz watches that are powered by so-called “throw-away” movements (those are mainly or even entirely -safe for the electronics, of course- plastic devices that are cheaper to dump than to repair), this timekeeper is animated by a trifle bit pricier (it retails for some $40 USD making about one percent of the total recommended price that is briefly reviewed here) Caliber ETA 956.412. Made in Switzerland by the same watchmaking conglomerate that churns out a lot more complex self-winding mechanisms on an industrial scale, the movement is built on seven jewels and even sports gold-plated chassis that holds everything together.
Usually reserved for “higher” brands, this accurate and fairly reliable movement was used in earlier TAG Heuer Link series of sporty three-handers, as well as in Eterna Artena Lady and Maurice Lacroix Calypso collections.
Since the movement comes almost free compared with the price of the timekeeper (I was told that the Swiss brand plans to sell the watch for CHF 3900 MSRP), the Concord Saratoga Lady tries to justify the price with lots of diamonds and beautifully executed white mother of pearl dial, which is crafted of two MOP pieces of slightly different color.
The whole thirty-two of these precious stones that measure around 0.416 carats adore the signature octagonal bezel, while the other six diamonds are neatly spaced between elegantly shaped Roman numerals and serve as hour markers.
While the layout of the dial will offer you good legibility during, um, office hours, the watch will not be as stellar at night due to the total lack of Superluminova (or any other luminous compound, for that matter) on the dial. Personally, I don’t see a problem here, but if you plan to use the gadget in places with not enough light, keep this information in mind.
Both the fixed bezel and the relatively compact (it measures just 31 millimeters in diameter) body are fashioned out of high-grade stainless steel. While the bezel is nicely polished, the case itself sports a finely brushed texture that serves as a perfect background for the blingy rim.
Perhaps, when it comes to ergonomics, the only thing that worries me a little is that the crown is too tiny even for the delicate fingers of a woman. On the other hand, the mechanism that powers the wristwatch is accurate enough for you to correct its readings just two times per year when Daylight Saving Time comes into effect and then when it expires.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Concord Saratoga Lady White (0320214) specification
Price: CHF 3900 (approx. $4000 USD)
Movement: Quartz, Caliber ETA 956.412 with date corrector, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 7
Power reserve: A couple of years
Movement decoration: Gold-plated
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel: Matches case, set with 32 diamonds, (0.416 carats)
Size: 31.00 mm
Dial: White Mother-of-pearl (also available in blue MOP)
Hour markers: Diamonds
Strap: Pearl white alligator leather strap on stainless steel deployment buckle with pushers
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Solid, embossed “Saratoga horses”