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Charlie Paris Concordia GMT

French. GMT. Diver.

It’s a great time to be a watch collector and a Frenchman. A watch collector because we are living an incredible period in which GMTs are plentiful and at our financial reach. A Frenchman because I’m proud of how inventive and dedicated French brands have been in the past decade. (These brands are putting the country back onto the world’s horological map.) One such brand is Charlie Paris which I’ve written about before in your now favorite online watch magazine. First, I wrote a profile story about the founders and then reviewed the Alliance model. Each new model of the brand gets better—unlike movie sequels—and each time Charlie pushes the envelope a little further. A first big step for them was to make automatic watches, then tool watches, then innovative designs and now complex utilitarian timepieces we can take on any adventure. 

With a twist and charm.

The latest release from Charlie Paris is the Concordia GMT, a diver/traveler’s watch that looks more Charlie now than the diver-only model did last year. (This will all make sense later.) As we will see—addressing now the many pairs of eyeballs reading this review—the brand didn’t content itself of just adding a GMT complication to the diver and swapping the count-up bezel for a GMT one. Non, monsieur. They symbiotically integrated the GMT with the diver, updated the design, and added different dial colors and even textures to offer something a little extra that other brands don’t. All of this can be pre-ordered starting September 13, 2023, for the comparatively reasonable sum of 1195€ ($1,280 USD) on the strap and 1245€ ($1,333 USD) on the stainless steel bracelet.


As mentioned in previous articles, Charlie works with actual explorers and athletes to develop their models. The Concordia was designed in collaboration with and for a French adventurer who crossed some massive piece of land covered with ice. Unlike us, he actually needs proper tool watches to keep track of time to know when it would be ideal to set up camp for the night. Such watches must keep precise time in harsh conditions. (Not your city's snowstorm, but something much more serious.) That’s how the Concordia collection came to be and which the brand endowed with time-only models and divers. And now GMTs. The Concordia GMT, therefore, is a 300m diver and traveler’s watch as it is powered by the Soprod C125 caliber. This movement beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz) and has 40 hours of power reserve. 

Despite its impressive water resistance, this model comes with dimensions that are right in the middle for wrists of various sizes: 40mm in diameter, 47.5mm lug-to-lug, 12.5mm thick, and 20mm lug width. These dimensions are arguably good for many and fits my 6.25”/16cm wrist quite well. Actually, let’s not argue about this because I know we are on the same page. The Concordia does command a gentle wrist presence which is offset by the slender 3-link bracelet and its moderately-sized clasp. Nothing fancy here. And you know what? Not every single watch in 2023 must come with tool-less micro-adjust mechanisms. There, I said it. (YouTubers, please calm down.) To finish talking about the case, you should know that the back is see-through and made of sapphire so that we can lose sense of time looking at the Soprod C125.

Since the Concordia GMT has 300 meters of water resistance, you guessed it has a screw-down crown and case-back. The crown, furthermore, is protected by small crown guards to add a bit of solidity to the entire package. Maybe what follows is absolutely subjective but I would advance that endowing the case with an alternation of brushed and polished surfaces aids in making any watch look versatile. Here we find brushed finishes on the lugs and polished ones on the sides and chamfers. The bracelet, for its part, is entirely brushed and comes with solid links and end-links and push-pins. What also makes a watch versatile is the dial design which we’re going to analyze below.


While I could be the first one to claim that 99% of designs we see everyday are not 100% original, I must say that the Concordia GMT looks more original than the non-GMT Concordia did. A big part of this can be explained by the dial color and texture as well as how the GMT complication was integrated within the design. The model presented here showcases a forest green color complete with a dégradé effect and a texture that mimics that of a tree trunk. (The brand  wanted to evoke the possibility of exploring the Amazon forest wearing a diver in addition to discovering the underwater world.) To add contrast, the applied hour markers are covered with lume that looks creamy during the day and glow green at night, and the GMT scale printed on the rehaut has two colors: green for the AM hours and cream/yellow for the PM hours. These plays on colors make it possible to simultaneously read the time locally and elsewhere on our vast planet. 

Hopefully the latter being home time since local time is vacation time. 

Compared to the hour markers, the handset is rather discreet which aids in giving the Concordia GMT an elegant appearance. The hour and minute hands are of the pencil-style design and the seconds hand looks like a needle on steroids given the rectangular, lumed element. All hands are lumed and glow the same green color as the hour markers. (Except for the small GMT hand which glows blue.) At the six we find a small date aperture where the numerals are printed in black against a white background for ultimate legibility. (As a side note: aren’t you tired of people like me lamenting about non color matched date wheels?) For fun and to showcase their great attention to detail, Charlie Paris framed the date aperture in a way that it matches the dial color. 

The case has a simple profile with slab-sided flanks and two small crown guards surrounding the redesigned crown. The latter used to have a conical shape on the Concordia diver and now it has the appearance of an onion, something we typically see on pilot watches. This new shape makes it easier to grab and operate the crown—something that should be a given on any proper tool watch. Furthermore, the brand added a red ring at the base of the crown so that one can easily see whether or not it is screwed in to guarantee water resistance. The bezel insert has also been redesigned and now comes with an applied inverted triangle complete with a lume pip. As you can now see, there is plenty of lume on the Concordia GMT and all in the right places. (I do find lumed crowns fun but boy how so unnecessary.)

The Heart of the Matter

At the heart of the matter is the fact that Charlie Paris is continuously evolving and upping the quality and complexity of its collections. While I found the Alliance to be particularly original and very “Charlie”—in the sense that the brand managed to transfer the design ethos of its first collections to more complex horological creations—the Concordia diver was not. But, the GMT version is. And what I believe makes it “Charlie Paris” is the play on colors and how the diving and GMT functions are well integrated with one another. While brands usually replace a dive time bezel by a GMT one, my countrymen decided to retain the precise utilitarian functionality of a diver and add another layer of utility by placing a GMT scale on the rehaut. 

This is important because I find GMTs built from a diver platform generally silly and the sign of lazy designers. Yes, go to hell Rolex GMT Master II. You know I’m talking about you! You’re just a Submariner with a GMT hand and scale. What’s your actual life purpose, I wonder every day.

And, I would add, there are just too few GMT divers out there for less than $2,000. Or, ones that actually have a coherent design and are useful. That is what Charlie Paris managed to do and I love it. They preserved the look of the original Concordia collection and diver and made it better. If you can spend $1,000 on a diver, why not stretch your budget a little and buy a GMT diver? This way you can go on a week-long dive cruise in the Caribbeans and keep track of the time where your boss lives. Or your mother.  This watch comes with loads of functionality in a relatively compact package and a reasonable price tag. As a reminder, pre-orders started and the Concordia GMT can be had for 1195€ ($1,280 USD) on the strap and 1245€ ($1,333 USD) on the bracelet. 

Full retail is as follows: 1375€ ($1,475 USD) on nylon or leather and 1425€ ($1,528 USD) on metal.

A little over a year ago we didn’t have many options for GMTs coming from micro and independent brands. Then the arrival of the Seiko NH34 and Miyota 9075 calibers gave hundreds of brands a renewed interest in making GMTs—and sometimes the terrible idea for get-rich-quick schemes—to the point where we all felt a little bit overwhelmed. Before all of this happened, Charlie Paris had already begun designing the Concordia GMT and made the right decision to not change their plans to fit a Seiko or Miyota movement. Instead, they opted for a solid Swiss-made caliber that pairs perfectly with their robust Concordia platform. The result is a well thought out GMT diver that costs three times less than a Tudor Black Bay GMT and would, I guarantee, give you an equal amount of horological pleasure. 

As a final note, you should know that the Concordia GMT exists in four versions: blue with a blue/white GMT scale, green with a green/cream GMT scale, chocolate brown with a brown/cream GMT scale, and a black with a gray/white GMT scale. You can learn more about the Concordia and Charlie Paris here.

Thanks for reading.


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