Recently, the folks at Deployant had the opportunity to catch up with Mr Flavio Pellegrini, the President of Concord Watches, during his visit to Singapore during the Formula 1 season to launch Concord’s latest timepiece, the C1 Nightracer.
Held at a corner of Wooloomooloo, this was one of the more laid-back interview that we had. While the setting was quaint, the mood in the steakhouse was pleasant and lively. Following the Formula 1 hype that was inundating Singapore, Mr Flavio Pellegrini sported an equally masculine Concord Tourbillon prototype. After the usual pleasantries, we quickly dived into the conversation with this friendly personality to find out more about Concord and their latest scoops.
First off, we discussed on the company’s latest creation, the C1 Nightracer. The C1 Nightracer is another variant of the C1 range of chronograph pieces, albeit a sportier one. There are some vast differences, as Mr Pellegrini kindly pointed out, when we compare the conventional C1 to the C1 Nightracer. The Nightracer possesses a “sportier look”, thanks to the red accents on the timepiece. Another feature would be the use of carbon fiber (on the sub bezel, as well as the dial), in place of ceramic, for the C1 Nightracer. Carbon fiber is an extremely lightweight and strong material, and hence it is widely used in high-end exotic cars. By infusing it into the watches, Concord aims to make the C1 Nightracer sportier.
Also, the C1 Nightracer is cased in Grade 5 Titanium, which is famed for its lightweight property. One interesting point that was brought up by Mr Pellegrini would the strap used on the C1 Nightracer. The strap used both calf leather and rubber, in which is former is on the outside while the latter is on the inside of the strap. This, in Mr Pellegrini’s words, allows the user to have a “sophisticated look on the watch, with the comfort and durability at the same time”. Brilliant!
Prior to the interview, one particular question keeps popping into our mind: Why did Concord chose to commemorate Singapore GP, instead of the other Grand Prix? Out of curiosity, we posed the same question to Mr Pellegrini. He told us that there were several reasons for this decision. Firstly, the fact that Singapore’s night race is unique makes it worthwhile to commemorate. Next, and more importantly, it is the unique group of watch collectors in Singapore that had that inspired him to do this. Mr Pellegrini told us that Singaporean watch collectors are rather sophisticated, and that they are also more inclined to collect something different that is out of their comfort zone. Also, even though there are many people in the world with great horological knowledge, Singapore collectors are more outspoken and they tend to give receptive feedback with regards to timepieces and horology. That is why Mr Pellegrini enjoys working with Singaporean counterparts.
Next up, we asked Mr Pellegrini about the future of Concord. The man told us that they will be looking to build the brand image, but are still prioritizing the flagship C1 and C2 models. However, for certain markets such as the Middle East, the company will be focusing on more traditional pieces such as the Mariner and Saratoga.
With regards to expanding their watches to emerging markets, such as China and Indonesia, Mr Pellegrini remains undecided. But of course, he is looking at that prospect. He told us that the company wants to remain exclusive in niche markets, targeting niche collectors collecting conversational pieces. Hence, they are still contemplating on expanding the brand, and their collection.
On the subject of Concord’s future, another question that we had for Mr Pellegrini would be the use of in-house movements. Mr Pellegrini told us that Concord will still be collaborating with other watchmakers or movement makers because they want to focus on their what they are good at, such as designing. He gave us this analogy: “If a chef does everything by himself, the result would turn out average. But if a chef only cooks, and a mixer only mixes, then the result of the product would be much better.” That is why they leave the watch movements to the experts.
Taking the conversation into a lighter note, we asked Mr Pellegrini about his thoughts on the Apple Watch. He told us that the Apple Watch is rather interesting, with a good strap and good design. While he thinks that the product is rather good, but it is not going to be influential in the world of horology.
Also, on the subject of the future and relevance of timepieces, Mr Pellegrini shares that watches are not only a subject that merely tells time; it is a luxury object. It portrays an image; a person’s personality and image. That is why the people are willing to spend money on watches, at least in the foreseeable future.
Finally, we wrapped up the interview by asked Mr Pellegrini about his favorite timepieces. Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus was his response. His answer was not really unexpected, since Concord watches embodies what these two classic icons are- edgy, daring, unexpected, and timeless.
We thank Mr Pellegrini, the General Manager of Concord Watches, for his time and presence. We would also like to send our gratitude to Cortina Watches for organizing and arranging this interview for Deployant.