Recently I completed my 7th book (co-written by my editor Cheryl Weber) about contemporary concrete residential homes. Previously this material was mainly used in the commercial sector for bridges and warehouse etc. In popular culture, many rap artists mentioned the term ‘concrete jungle’ Essentially this phrase references unattractive modern buildings in high-density living areas. However, over the last few years, progressive architects have massively changed peoples perception by creating innovative solutions. This has caused a ripple effect and now concrete has filtered into the luxury market. Rather than using it for its structural qualities, brands are inspired by the aesthetic. A great example is DZ4513 Mega Chief concrete chronograph by Diesel.
The DZ4513 Mega Chief concrete chronograph was released in 2019 and certainly isn’t the first watch to be made from this material. Previously, I have featured a concrete watch by French industrial designer Dzmitry Samal (Modern Watch Materials) and a cool Swiss automatic with a concrete dial from 22 Design Studio. However, at $300 Diesel’s timepiece has a completely different aesthetic and that majorly because of Associate Creative Director Phillip Riedel’s input.
Recently I had a conversation with Phillip Riedel to discover what inspired the concept. Essentially Diesel released several models in 2019 that paid homage to the 1990s. The concrete elements on the case and bracelet of the DZ4513 Mega Chief represent a diverse urban landscape. Whereas the iridescent graded turquoise and orange dial represents the multi-cultural element in densely populated cities. Overall, the design is cohesive and the idea is very thought-provoking. Certainly, this is much more than just another fashion watch because it makes a bold statement on many levels.
Normally concrete used in building construction is composed of cement, aggregate and water. However, as a watch material, the molecular structure needs to be adapted to keep the weight down. Phillip Riedel wouldn’t divulge the exact formula but I have a good idea of the ingredients they used. Ultimately, they have achieved the desired aesthetic required and that all that matters. For a watch measuring 51mm x 18mm (excluding crown and pushers), it feels surprisingly lightweight and comfortable on the wrist.
For more information about the DZ4513 Mega Chief concrete chronograph follow this link