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Thread: My homage to Gary123, Concord C1 Big Date

  1. #1

    My homage to Gary123, Concord C1 Big Date

    This is a Gary kind of a watch. It's big (at 44mm), it makes a statement that includes elements of the preposterous, it's highly readable in all lighting conditions, it has 200m water resistance, the crown is operable wearing gloves (actually, I think I could operate this crown with my toes), and it is really superbly made.

    And I did not buy it at a Movado store, which, despite the 70% discount, couldn't match the 80% discount offered by an Ashford weekly sale. But I did see it in three dimensions at the Movado store, having bought enough from them that I didn't feel guilty at using them for a test drive. My wife was the one shopping, and I was just keeping her company. Right.

    This is my favorite of the entire line, the Concord C1 Big Date, ref. 0320104.

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    Everything on the dial that is not lume (or logo, minute/seconds tracks, or date font) is black, similar to an IWC pilot. The center of the dial is decorated with perlage, surrounded by machined concentric guilloche.

    Legibility is amazing. The minutes hand is skeletonized where it would cover the hours hand, and the hours hand is lumed only for the length of that aperture. The sub-seconds hand is a skeletonized disk, with two pointers that float inside and outside of the track. Other C1's--chronographs--use lighter colors for the running seconds disk, but the flat black really carries the desired look. The dial is made by Metalem, who makes dials for AP, JLC, Philippe Dufour, Chopard, PP, and others of that level, and the quality shows.

    The bezel is the commanding feature, of course. The rubber crenellations prevent scratches on the brushed steel, and protect the edge of the raised 3.3mm crystal, whose exposed edge can be seen between the crenellations. The bevel on the crystal is angle to reflect the minute track when viewed straight on, which lengthens them noticeably.

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    (Ashford pics)

    Even though this looks like an Invicta from, say, 200 feet away, the detailing up close earns a place in the ranks of the haute horlogerie, where it was originally priced ($10,000). The case shape is a bit IWC, a bit Hublot, a bit Linde Werdelin, and a bit Offshore. But it somehow carries the over-the-top bold effect without looking gaudy or unbalanced. There is nothing shiny except the micro-bevel on the case and the bevel on the crystal.

    The case has no lugs, and thus will fit much smaller wrists than one might expect. It's perfect on mine. The strap is screwed into the case from the side. The case is made by legendary high-end case maker Guillod Gunter. Despite the size, it is actually under 13mm thick.

    I could not get the Redhead to tell me that wearing it made me look like a middle-aged fat guy driving a Corvette. But I think it might.

    The guts are worthy. The movement is a La Joux Perret cal. 3532 in 26 jewels. This is, of course, mostly a bag o' ETA parts, finished by LJP, who also added the Big Date complication. The rotor is black, with côtes de Genève, and the rest of the movement is nicely finished, on a par with IWC, Panerai, and Hublot's use of this movement. It is COSC-certified. The display back only shows part of the movement with an unusual off-center window.

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    Back in 2007, MGI had just finished rebuilding Ebel and was getting started on Concord. They had bought Concord in 1970--13 years before what became MGI had even bought Movado--and had had quite a lot of success with it. Concord is an old brand having been founded in 1908, but mostly they made high-grade watches for high-end jewelry brands until the 70's.

    Their big move was to hire Vincent Perriard, previously of AP and others. He stopped the popular but to him stagnant Mariner and Saratoga lines and moved the brand sharply upmarket, increasing the styling testosterone and developing a whole new branding scheme. This was their answer to Panerai, Hublot, and even IWC. It ultimately didn't work, of course, but turnover had increased by over a third by the time he left for Technomarine several years later. It was a big move, and for a couple of years the Concord buzz at Basel was deafening. But it didn't wear well across the downturn and volume remains quite low. Concord has since (rightly, I think) restored the Mariner and Saratoga lines, too. All of MGI's prices have dropped across all their brands.

    This was probably the most cleanly executed of all the C-series Concords, and I didn't even know it existed until yesterday. The price was just too good to pass up.

    Rick "who tries to listen when a watch speaks to him" Denney
    Last edited by Rdenney; Aug 16, 2015 at 06:02 AM.
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  3. #2
    rolex pic as answer guy mikeylacroix's Avatar
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    that is indeed a very nice piece....
    hmmmmmmmmmmm

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    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Pretty cool! Quite a departure for you, no? Is this a midlife crisis, like your wife alluded to?!

    I like how the big date is integrated into the design. They must have reworked the movement a fair bit to remove central seconds too. What's with the sub seconds marker?
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  7. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    Pretty cool! Quite a departure for you, no? Is this a midlife crisis, like your wife alluded to?!

    I like how the big date is integrated into the design. They must have reworked the movement a fair bit to remove central seconds too. What's with the sub seconds marker?
    The inner and outer pointers are part of the rotating disk, and the rings on which they are applied are connected on the other side of the subdial, where one doesn't notice. With the black on black, the effect is striking.

    I was concerned it would look like mid-life overcompensation, but my wife didn't think so. She thought it had more of a pilot look, I think because of the ultra-black dial, which reminded her of the IWC pilot.

    Making a subdial for seconds isn't hard, if the fourth wheel is in the right place. But the balance on a 2892 is at 12 o'clock, so I suspect there are a couple of transfer gears on the dial side.

    Rick "can't see much through that little window" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  9. #5
    rolex pic as answer guy mikeylacroix's Avatar
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    rick...would i like it?

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    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    I reason you would, doc
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  12. #7
    When I opened this thread first thing this morning, still befuddled by sleep, I thought the OP was yours, Mikey.....

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  14. #8
    rolex pic as answer guy mikeylacroix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    When I opened this thread first thing this morning, still befuddled by sleep, I thought the OP was yours, Mikey.....
    i am turning predictable eh..?

    or not?

  15. #9

    My homage to Gary123, Concord C1 Big Date

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeylacroix View Post
    rick...would i like it?
    Rick "Ya think?" Denney
    Last edited by Rdenney; Aug 16, 2015 at 03:52 PM.
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

  16. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mikeylacroix View Post
    i am turning predictable eh..?

    or not?
    Maybe if the black rubber chunks were gold instead?

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