Readers, take attention as you will below read words straight from the honorable Mr. Vincent Perriard, President of Concord Watches. I must first salute Mr Perriard on his incredible penchant for thumb typing (as I mentioned to him as well), for the below letter was sent from the – obviously well used – keyboard of his BlackBerry phone. The second they were able to place a full keyboard on a phone, the world changed.
Mr. Perriard satisfied his duty as president of an honorable watch brand by responding to a long series of less-than-flattering articles that I have written about the modern line of Concord watches. Modern being since after their parent company Movado, felt it was necessary to shake things up, and re-brand…the brand. In most recent response to my article on Luxist.com on March 23, regarding the new C1 QuantumGravity watch, Mr. Perriard defends his brand. This is exactly what he should be doing sitting at the helm of the company, and as he asked me politely to post his letter (with a few spelling mistakes that I corrected. Thumb typing is not without its hazards).
Here are two of the articles he refers to:
Before reading his remarks, I want to stress a single fact. I don’t feel as though I have attacked the dedication, manpower, or vision of the brand – which is what Mr. Perriard refers to in a few instances. I further don’t doubt the uniqueness of its specific complications in a technical sense. Rather, I sometimes don’t feel as though the complications, on a practical side, are unique enough that there should be as much hoopla surrounding them (as their ill conceived marketing language would suggest). For me it is all about the end result, and as a critic and member of the watch press I am allowed to provide my commentary.
So in the end, I say to Concord that I have no doubts about your significant status in the watch world, your watch making process, skilled team, or dedication to being different. I do however find myself not necessarily being taken by the end result of your efforts. No where does it say that if you put a lot of effort into something, am I supposed to like it. Your designs are getting better, which I will admit. Rational people have reasonable differences of opinion, so allow me to dissent with you on occasion. Mr. Perriard is a nice guy, so please see his comments below:
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I have reviewed your comments. Not only the one from the C1 “birth” in 2007, but also the one on the C1 Gravity and then the latest one on the C1 QuantumGravity.
I have to say that I kind of appreciate your very straight forward point of view and the “fairness” of your comments when you have chat with some other watch collectors in disagreement with you.
I have – obviously – to disagree with your unfair comments about C1.
First of all, when MGI appointed me and my team, we all came from serious watch companies (JLC, Audemars Piguet, Swatch Group, to name just a few). We have decided to base the company back to Bienne/Switzerland, where the company was borne more than 100 years ago. MGI has let this new group of people to re-think the brand, inside/out. The motto was “let’s make the best watch regardless of marketing positioning, regardless of price”.
We have been really lucky to come with the first design of C1 because we have created a big watch yet a watch that fits the wrist so well. It’s unique. We have removed the logs (that always attach the bracelet or the strap). With the C1, we could “afford” a big watch thanks to this unique attachment system. This is really what made C1 a hit when we launched it in the market in January 2008.
Our plan was to work with the best. Coming from (so called) “Manufacture”, we did not want to lie to our clients by re-creating a fake Manufacture. So we took a simple angle: be honest and straight with everything we would do in the future. Let me give you some examples: the dials are manufactured by METALEM (who create the dials of JLC, AP, Patek, etc…); the case is coming from GUILLOD GUNTER (who creates the cases for the most reputable companies); etc.
As for the movement, we have – inside our group – 2 manufactured movements that we couldn’t use at the beginning (i.e. Ebel movements). Why? Because of the really short time frame we had between the design and when we wanted to launch the C1 collection. So we have decided to go with the best “truck” (this is the name “insiders” give to this movement) of the industry, the ETA VALGRANGE A07. We are currently working on our own movements that will come soon (in preparation).
When you mention (in a very negative way) our partnership with BNB; let me be very straight with you: what’s wrong? We have ALWAYS (from day 1) put BNB as a close partner of the C1 Gravity. We want ALWAYS to work with the best of the best. BNB is manufacturing for De Witt, Hublot, HD3, Hermes, Romain Jerome, etc… And when we met first, we knew we needed to work together. A question of personalities! And we have done this crazy work to show the industry our capacity to be creative, disruptive…. And guess what: we have won the best design of 2008 at the Grand Prix de Genève. I am sorry that you were not part of the Jury… but 35 specialists and watch lovers (the best of the best from around 10 different countries) have voted for this incredible timepiece.
Now, coming to your words about the QuantumGravity. You are doing 2 major mistakes: Concord has develop a REAL (I can send you the pictures and emails of my people) team of engineers and designers that are really behind the birth of this product. The movement is manufactured by our partner BNB. This team has a name: C LAB SERIES team. I would be deligthed to introduce them. The second mistake is your total lake of knowledge when it comes to watchmaking. They are less than 10 companies in the world able to do a Double Axe Tourbillon. There is not a single company in the world doing / providing a watch with a vertical, fluorescent, liquid Power Reserve. The objective with our C LAB SERIES team is push limits of watchmaking to new levels. As much as Jules Audemars or Edward Piguet have done more than 125 years ago. It seems that you forget that tradition has to start at some point. I am sure if you were living in 1875, you would have given the same bad comments to Jules Audemars et Edward Piguet! Don’t you think?
I would be really glad, in a constructive spirit, to hear from you dear Ariel.”
With my kindest regards,
President of Concord
Sent using BlackBerry