The Concord C2 GraffitiGrey Circuit was launched in a “Secret East London Venue”, in the heart of Jack the Ripper country. Angus Davies ventured into the dark night to view the latest model from the Swiss watch brand.
Recently an invitation arrived in my email inbox to attend a watch launch. It provided a welcome change from the numerous offers to share in the proceeds of someone’s lottery win for a modest administration charge or to avail myself of the tempting prospect to suddenly shed numerous kilos by consuming an algae based capsule. However, any unsolicited cure to obesity is unlikely to address the fact that I eat too much cake and my exercise regime is solely based on walking to and from the kitchen.
Everyday life makes you increasingly cynical.
The proclamation by some watch brands to proffer something unique and ground breaking sometimes fails to live up to the exalted billing.
As I read the invitation, my intrigue was pricked by the words, “The C2 GraffitiGrey Circuit” and “Secret East London Venue”. Concord has held similar events in Paris and Milan previously. This was a departure from the conservative approach often adopted by some traditional brands.
C2 GraffitiGrey – Paris
C2 GraffitiGrey – Milan
The address of the venue arrived by email a few days later and my curiosity was heightened still further. The Old Shoreditch Tube Station is located near the famous Brick Lane. A Northerner by birth, I knew little of the East End beforehand.
I looked on the map and saw Whitechapel, once frequented by the Jack the Ripper, the unidentified serial killer of 1888. My finger traced the information on the page of a dog-eared London A-Z and I stumbled across Valance Road, Bethnal Green, home to the notorious Kray Twins.
I naively questioned my security and so I performed the obligatory health and safety risk assessment we are all expected to carry out these days. I permed the severity and likelihood of my perceived risks. This led me to question the prudence of venturing into this unknown territory.
Thankfully, I overcame my anxiety and with a low probability of risk recorded on my paperwork, I travelled to Shoreditch High Street Tube station.
The area was a revelation.
Walls are adorned with graffiti. Not, the moronic mindless scrawl emblazoned on a bus shelter with a black marker pen proclaiming, “Gav luvs Kel xxx”. No, the area is the colourful home to numerous artistic expressions sitting cheek by jowl with the shops and businesses which make up this Bohemian urban landscape.
Variegated hues populate the varied depictions of both life-like and abstract. The chosen canvasses were often brick, wood or steel.
The vibrancy of the renditions bestows energy to the community and provokes cerebration. Moreover, some of the abstract images can imbue introspection.
Graffiti-Life featuring Artists A&B were commissioned to create a unique piece of art for Concord to coincide with the launch of the new C2 GraffitiGrey Circuit. The culmination of the evening was the revealing of both the horologically inspired artwork and the new timepiece.
It was interesting for me to be exposed to the huge piece of street art. It was brilliantly executed and exampled the talent of the two man team who are masters in this modern artistic genre.
The focus of my attention soon centred on the ticking piece of art presented to the assembled media and customers, the new Concord C2 GraffitiGrey Circuit.
A few years ago, some computer notebooks had screens which were only visible to the user directly in front. Those nosey bystanders who tried to view the screen were left disappointed. This watch dial reminds me of this wonderful feature.
The wearer can read the hours and minutes, but those who are not perpendicular to the dial will not steal a free view of the time. Misers will love the way they do not have to share the functions of the watch with any adjacent freeloaders.
The nocturnal hues of black and grey bestow a stealth-like character. Concord have played with depth to provide differentiation of detail without corrupting the aesthetic with additional colours.
Large batons are located on the even numbered hours. The intervening odd numbered hours are marked with smaller batons. At 3 o’clock subsidiary seconds are shown on a sub dial using a grey rotating disk.
At 6 o’clock, a 12 hour chrono counter features. Adjacent 9 o’clock, a 30 minute chrono counter rests, awaiting the initiation process by the wearer.
A date aperture resides at the most southerly aspect of the dial.
Hands are grey Super-LumiNova. The hour and minute hands are partially skeletonised. Closer inspection reveals that the open aspect of the hour hand is near the tip, whereas on the minute hand it is near the centre of the dial.
The case is made of stainless steel but with black PVD treatment. It confers modernity, further reinforced by the unconventional union between case and strap.
Black and grey are the only colours which feature on the case, enhancing the covert persona of the timepiece.
The black crown is knurled and the pushers are rectangular in profile. There is a contemporary character to the watch wherever you look.
The caseback is solid, hiding the mind of the watch from the probing eyes of horological psychologists. I would prefer to see the model share its thoughts courtesy of a sapphire caseback.
A self-winding movement assists the absent-minded wearer. It is an ETA Caliber 2894-2.
The movement has been successfully used by several watch brands and is respected for its accurate and reliable operation.
This watch wants to hide in the shadows away from the glare of bright lights. A few inhabitants of the area in the past may have employed similar methods for escaping the long arm of the law.
Some notable historical figures practised illicit and criminal acts in years gone by and were responsible for some of the most heinous crimes. However, the Shoreditch of today is a “cool” place to be with diverse culture and superb cuisine.
The Concord C2 GraffitiGrey Circuit plays a stealth-like role but there is virtue in its motives. It is designed to provide a neoteric alternative to the usual suspects without delusions of grandeur or prohibitive cost.
Like the art on the walls of Shoreditch, the visual appearance of the watch is individual and accessible. It is definitely worth a look.
Model: Concord C2 GraffitiGrey Circuit
Case: Black PVD treated stainless steel; diameter 43.00 mm; height 12.75 mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.