The ambassador of a new generation of watches, the C1 Tourbillon Gravity thrusts Concord into the era of innovation and a firmly futuristic approach. This horological instrument marks a new milestone in its journey to the heart of technology and engineering.
Developed in close cooperation with BNB Concept, this timepiece was conceived, elaborated and assembled in twelve months. The result is a provocative watch built around a complex mechanism expressing an inventive spirit inspired by a whole new watchmaking approach. The design, created by Blade Design, portrays the engineering of the timepiece in an unexpected, daring and cutting-edge stage-setting.
An unusual and insolent construction puts the tourbillon alongside the body of the watch, making it look independent, as if released from the mechanism. Thus housed in a manner external to both the dial and the case, it frees up the space inside the watch, enabling the designer to enjoy full and unrestrained expression.
The tourbillon is fitted outside the movement and case, but connected to the rest of the mechanism by a perpendicular pinion. The gearing device requires extremely meticulous adjustment: the slightest misalignment between the carriage and case, or the tiniest flaw in regulating the depth of the pinion, would be detrimental to the performance of the mechanism. The visual result is truly spectacular: the tourbillon carriage, housed in a crankcase laterally screwed to the case, plays a dissident role and proclaims its nonconformist attitude. This technical feat also serves a practical purpose, in that it gives watchmakers more space to create other complications “inside” the watch itself.
This construction represents a nod to one of the finest horological inventions, patented in 1801. At that time, pocket watches that were almost always placed in a vertical position were subject to disturbances in the balance isochronism due to the effects of gravity. The conception of a mobile carriage spinning on its axis and housing the heart of the movement – the balance, balance-spring and escapement – significantly enhanced the precision of such timepieces: by means of this ingenious device, the regulating organ successively moves through all the various positions, thereby enabling mutual compensation of the variations in rate.
Over two centuries later, Concord offers its own take on history by building its tourbillon according to an orthogonal mechanical concept. The vertical device is immediately visible on the wrist, radiating an authoritative and almost martial stature. Like an independent element besieging the watch, it asserts its presence and looks all set to conquer the case.
The upper and lower bridges of the tourbillon carriage, as indeed most of the movement bridges, are made from aluminum-lithium, an exceptional high-tech material that has proved its worth in the aerospace industry. This high-performance alloy is composed of aluminum, one of the most abundant elements on earth, and of lithium, an alkaline metal with a density half that of water.
Remarkable in terms of its resistance, aluminum-lithium also displays exceptional longevity. Anti-corrosive and anti-magnetic, it features the best possible compromise between sturdiness and lightness. Nonetheless, partly because it is so hard to machine and so expensive, it is still rarely used in watchmaking despite its impressive qualities.
The second challenge is a rebellious seconds display that goes its own way. The small seconds of the C1 Tourbillon Gravity asserts its independence with the same force of character as the tourbillon. Its mechanism breaks out of the dial and its display transposes time into whole new dimension.
A slender black aluminum strip engraved with the seconds numerals is fixed to the lower bridge of the tourbillon, and thus fully interdependent with the carriage which spins on its axis once a minute. The luminescent seconds appear through an open window on the side of the tourbillon carriage, and since the latter is vertical, are perfectly visible on the face of the watch. This completely innovative mechanism is entirely in line with the already surprising small seconds display on the C1 Chronograph.
The third challenge lay in optimized technical sophistication and an irreverent design. The majestic C1 Tourbillon Gravity makes an authoritative statement in a case measuring 48.5 mm in diameter and 18.5 mm thick. Its construction, now a Concord brand signature, features excellent shock absorbing properties and exceptional sturdiness.
A rubber-coated white gold protective ring placed on the case middle and secured on the side by seven self-locking screws, is enhanced by seven decorative elements straddling the bezel. These “ramparts” protect a monumental sapphire crystal a full 3.3 mm thick, glare-proofed on both sides, which literally seems to rise out of the case.
The machined metal face of the C1 Tourbillon Gravity adopts Concord’s hallmark layered construction. Composed of twelve parts including four sapphire crystals, it is enriched by a dark DLC-coated grid which, like a lattice-work motif, accentuates the depth and perspective of the dial. The various subdials and time4 measurement indications are superimposed to create a sense of perfectly mastered space.
In the foreground, the hour circle is off-centered between 10 and 11 o’clock and placed on a sapphire crystal providing glimpses of the mechanism gear-trains. Surrounded by applied luminescent hour-markers, it features luminescent hands with a taut profile that requires particularly careful adjustment. Partially hollowed, they alternate solids and voids according to an asymmetrical pattern that results in strong pressure on the central stem.
The power-reserve indicator between 7 and 8 o’clock displays the level of wind of the movement in respect to the available three and a half days of autonomy. It is accompanied by a spherical differential gear visible through the dial between 9 and 10 o’ clock, which serves to transmit the barrel rotation to the power reserve hand without influencing the movement operation. During winding, this mechanism serves to compensate for the difference in
speed between the counting train and the gear train of the power reserve.
Just opposite the power-reserve indication, the trust index display provides information on the amplitude of the balance. It serves to preserve an extremely high level of precision by avoiding excessive tension in the mainspring due to maximum winding. By ensuring that the trust index hand remains at the centre of the graduated scale (and does not reach the + zone) when winding the watch, the user can maintain perfect accuracy. Clad in the Concord shade of blue and thus providing the only colorful accents on the dial, the power-reserve and trust index hands cleverly point to these two horological complications.
Finally, at 5 o’clock, the chronograph counter also opts for transparency to offer a view of the mechanism. Equipped with a flyback function, it is actuated by a push-piece discreetly integrated into the case between 7 and 8 o’clock. In a seditious and ultra contemporary spirit, it ignores seconds, instead jointly displaying hours and minutes so as to guarantee optimal readability. The flyback chronograph has been designed to avoid any loss in amplitude of the movement. While activating a chronograph generally reduces the accuracy of a watch as well as its autonomy and its power reserve, the mechanism runs continuously in this model, stopping only when reset and thus not affecting the rate of the watch.
Revealed through the transparent sapphire crystal set into the DLC-coated white gold case-back, the hand-wound movement oscillates at a frequency of 3 Hz and features 38 jewels. The exquisite decoration and finishing on the bridges set the finishing touch to the exceptional design of the watch. The black vulcanized rubber strap with its matte-velvety look, is secured to the case by four self-locking screws. The lug-free construction of the attachments ensures a flowing design and a perfect fit on the wrist. The double white gold folding clasp specially made for the brand is engraved with the Concord logo.
Loyal to its identity, Concord is holding fast to its exclusive course by building on reliable expertise and an avant-garde vision of Haute Horlogerie. The C1 Tourbillon Gravity, issued in a limited edition of 25, embodies Concord’s audacity and creative energy.
Model: C1 Tourbillon Gravity
Mechanical hand-wound movement, Concord Caliber C100
21,600 vibrations per hour
84-hour (3 ½ day) power reserve
Hours – minutes
Seconds on the side of the tourbillon carriage
Trust index (indication of the balance amplitude)
Flyback chronograph (hours-minutes)
18-karat white gold – white gold bezel with 7 black rubber-coated decorative elements
White gold back with DLC treatment (diamond-like carbon), opening onto the movement (sapphire crystal)
Dimensions: 48.5 mm x 18.5 mm
3.3 mm thick sapphire crystal, glare-proofed on both sides
18-carat white gold crown with black rubber guard
External crankcase housing the tourbillon carriage
Water-resistant to a depth equivalent to 3 ATM
Machined metal with openings revealing the movement
Composed of twelve parts including four sapphire crystals
Black vulcanized rubber
18-carat white gold folding clasp with Concord logo