There was a time when the difference between a men’s and a women’s watch was based mainly on size. Today it is not unlikely that the lovely lady you just held the door for at the restaurant wears a larger watch then you.
In a way you can say that the watch industry went through an emancipation process, or better, it’s customers. That means that women can easily wear men’s watches, but it also means that larger watches with a female touch are becoming available. A good example of this is the Concord C1 Amethyst that was introduced earlier this year.
Concord is for sure a watch brand that has been through a lot of phases. Although they never truly gained full recognition for their accomplishments, they have made some interesting watches. Perhaps best known is the Concord Delirium, an ultra thin watch that was only 1.98 mm thick. This was Concord’s answer to the quartz revolution and they did this very successful. After this era, Concord made some great watches featuring Zenith movements. Nevertheless, some greatness never comes out of the limelight. Concord’s owner, the Movado Group, wanted to put the brand back on the map and decided to reposition it. The model that emphasized ‘the new Concord‘ was the C1.
The C1 is not for the fainthearted and even for a men’s watch quite massive; 44mm in diameter and almost 17mm thick. When creating the Amethyst version Concord kept original dimensions of the watch intact. For many women this watch will be quite oversized, which is inline with current trends, but it might also be not the most comfortable watch to wear. Also the movement is been kept the same as the one used in the original C1. Concord uses a chronometer certified Valgrange calibre, A07.211. This movement is based on the Valjoux 7750, but with a larger diameter to accommodate bigger cases like the C1. Within the price range that the C1 sells, especially in this expensive Haute Joaillerie version, this movement simply won’t cut it. Sure, it is a solid movement, but it lacks the refinement that might be expected from a watch with a serious price tag; the exact price is unknown, however it’s more than 150,000 CHF.
For this watch Concord used a white gold case set with amethyst. Although amethyst is the most popular member of the quartz-group to be used in jewelry, it’s not often used on watches. With a ranking of 7 on the Mohs scale it is hard enough to withstand everyday wear. Perhaps broader use within the watchmaking industry, is prevented because of its distinct violet color. Concord opted for a baguette cutting style for the amethyst. This was a smart move because it amplifies the watch’s bold design with a female touch. There is also hardly any part of the watch, that is not set with amethyst. The dial, case, crown, pushers, folding buckle and even the two-level bezel and its indexes are set with this stone. In total 217 amethysts are used, adding up to a total of a stunning 13.80 carat.
The finishing touch on this C1 is a matching violet strap made from alligator leather. A bit more upscale then the usual rubber straps that accompany most C1 models. The strap is secured to the case by two screws, complementing the architecture of the case. The choice for amethyst gives the watch a non-traditional allure, but might limit mix and match options in the wardrobe. All together Concord offers an unusual watch for women who like to keep up with current trends. Their approach is almost the complete opposite of, for example, the elegant and high-end watches by Delaneau, about we reported earlier this year. The flair added by the amethyst cannot hide the fact that the C1 still is an oversized men’s watch, emancipation or not. Although a mechnical movement in a ladies watch is already a step in the right direction, this one is a far cry from the innovative quartz movements or mechnical Zenith movements that Concord used in the past.