Concord watch

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Concord Watch Company SA
Subsidiary
Industry Watch Manufacturing
Founded Biel, Switzerland 1908
Number of locations
120 stores (2008)
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Alex Grinberg (CEO)
Parent Subsidiary of Movado
Website www.concord.ch
An ad for Tiffany and Co of the Concord Delirium. Dubbed the world's thinnest watch it ranged from $4,900 to over $20,000 for customized models with diamonds.

Concord Watch Company is a Swiss luxury goods company that is part of the Movado group that owns Movado, Ebel, ESQ, Coach and Hugo Boss. Founded in 1908, Concord was purchased in 1970 by the North American Watch Company, which also distributed the Piaget and Corum lines of watches.[1] From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, Concord produced what would become some of the most marketed and respected luxury quartz watches on the market. Concord watches became recognized in large cities as status symbols and were noted for their innovation and design. Flagship quartz models such as the Concord Centurion and Concord Delirium ranged from $2,000 to $20,000 surpassing the price of base automatic Rolex, Cartier and Omega wristwatches. By the 1990s Concord watches fell out of style and grew obsolete amidst the re-branding of the company. While the brand still exists today, it never regained its market position nor visibility that it once had.

History[edit]

Founded in 1908 in Biel, Switzerland the brand was created to design watches with the American market in mind. Concord has made several innovations in its history such as being one of the first “private label” luxury watches to incorporate precious metals and gems in its watches. It was also the first company to make a wristwatch made of coins.

In 1915 Concord started working with companies like Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co. and Cartier (jeweler) on providing them with high quality watches made out of precious metals and gems.[2] In 1942 President Truman gifted Concord watches to Stalin and Churchill during World War II peace talks, solidifying their position as a leading luxury watch.[3]

In 1970 Concord was purchased by the North American Watch Company. While initially the company struggled it transitioned into a luxury quartz watch company, and during the quartz crisis it attained a large market share. Throughout the 1980s, Concord watches became some of the most recognizable watches on the American luxury watch market, seeing massive sales in luxury stores throughout the Americas. While the majority of Swiss watch makers were in financial trouble due to the quartz crisis Concord took advantage of the situation by producing some of the most expensive quartz watches on the market. By the early 1980s, the North American Watch Company had the largest advertising budget of any Swiss watch company spending over $14 million annually to attract celebrity endorsements from Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, Joe Montana, Tom Landry and Martha Graham in such expensive publications like the New York Magazine, Texas Monthly, Architectural Digest, Town and Country and Business Week while appearing on TV shows such as Miami Vice, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, Dynasty and Hill Street Blues.[4][5][6][7]

An example of a 18K Concord Centurion quartz watch. The advertised price in the New York Magazine in December 1982 was $7950 USD.

In 1979 it had a major breakthrough with the invention of the Delirium Watch which was the thinnest watch ever made at the time at 1.98 mm thick. Subsequently, a Delirium 2 was released which was even thinner at 1.5 mm.[8] Another notable watch was the Concord Centurion, an ultra thin sports watch introduced in 1979 that bore a resemblance to the Piaget Polo, the latter which was billed as the most expensive mass-produced luxury watch.

By the 1990s Concord watches began to fade as the quartz crisis came to a close and the bold Concord look fell out of favor. In addition the parent of Concord, the North American Watch Company sought to focus more on mid to high range watches suited to middle class Americans, as opposed to luxury watches for the select few. The company faced a setback when in 1996, the North American Watch Company re-branded as Movado, a mid-range watch company that had been purchased in 1984 by the North American Watch Company.[9] This robbed the company of their exclusive luxury watch branding. Further turmoil happened in 2004 when Movado purchased financially troubled luxury Swiss watch maker Ebel, causing Concord to be shunned in favor of their new acquisition.[10]

In 2007 the company made a drastic change in its vision. It closed most of its existing dealerships as sluggish sales and lack of a specific market created a huge grey market that hurt the company’s reputation. The launch of the C1 was highly touted and targeted the ever-popular luxury sport market. The style and pricing were designed to compete with watches such as Panerai, Audemars Piguet and Hublot. With only a couple hundred dealers worldwide Concord was hoping for a grand relaunch into the Luxury sector. In 2008 watches ranged from between $3,500 to $30,000 in pricing.[11]

In 2008 Concord created two new C1 pieces. The C1 worldtimer and the C1 Gravity Tourbillion. The later won the prestigious “Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve” as “Best design of the year 2008”. Whether this success will lead to ultimate success remains to be seen.

In 2009, Alex Grinberg was appointed as the worldwide CEO of Concord.[12]

Main Collection[edit]

Classic Concord watch

Pre 1996

  • La Costa  : Luxury Dress Watch. 18K Gold or 18 K Gold with Stainless Steel, Partly with Tiffany Dial. Competition in Style, Price and Design with Cartier's Santos Watches
  • Centurion: Luxury Sportsawatch: 18K with Stainless Steel, 18K
  • Delirium: Ultrathin Quartz Dresswatch: Leather, 18K, Often with Diamonds
  • Mariner: Sports Activity Watch

1996-2007

  • La Scala: Luxury Contemporary watch
  • Saratoga: Luxury Sports watch

2007–Present

  • C1 – Oversize luxury sport watch. This is the basis of the entire new collection. All new models revolve around this base case design.

See also[edit]

Movado Swiss Made

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of Movado Group, Inc. – FundingUniverse". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  2. ^ "Concord Heritage | Concord US". Concord.ch. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  3. ^ "Selling Your Concord Watch | Crown & Caliber". www.crownandcaliber.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  4. ^ "Movado Group, Inc. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Movado Group, Inc.". www.referenceforbusiness.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  5. ^ Communications, Emmis (1982-11-01). Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications. 
  6. ^ Kleinfield, N. r (1986-06-15). "THE ART OF SELLING TO THE VERY RICH". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  7. ^ TDOinc.com. "Movado Group Inc. - The Company - Watch Time Article: A Historical Perspective of Movado Group, Inc. from the Chairman and Founder". www.movadogroup.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  8. ^ Buchanan, Norma, "The Concord Delirium: One of the Top 20 Wristwatches of the 20th Century", American Time magazine
  9. ^ TDOinc.com. "Movado Group Inc. - The Company - Watch Time Article: A Historical Perspective of Movado Group, Inc. from the Chairman and Founder". www.movadogroup.com. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  10. ^ Rozhon, Tracie (2004-02-19). "LVMH Leader Looks For the Right Match In His Fashion Empire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  11. ^ "The Watch Company. Reinvented. | JCK". Retrieved 2016-06-14. 
  12. ^ "PROFESSIONAL WATCHES™ | Luxury Watch Guide: Movado Group appoints Alex Grinberg president of Concord". Professionalwatches.com. 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 

External links[edit]