The big release for Clerc this year was undoubtedly the new Clerc Hydroscaph Carbon. Less noticed and “headline grabbing” was the introduction of a distinctive bracelet for the Hydroscaph H1 Chronometer (in addition to new dial colors). Previously only offered on an integrated rubber strap, the new bracelet looks quite nice. Priced around $6,600 on the new bracelet, which is about $700 more than the rubber-strapped versions. If you are looking for more details about the Hydroscaphe Chronometer H1 you can check out my prior comments and hands-on review here.
Independent watchmaker Gerald Clerc — who carries on the brand on for the 4th generation — has unveiled this year at Baselworld a superb take on his exclusive Hydroscaphe central chronograph. Clerc has maintained the overall design and functionality of the Hydroscaphe central chronograph — a great watch in its own right — while stepping up with some new materials innovation. As the name implies the Clerc Hydroscaphe CARBON puts on full display a black DLC-coated steel case with NPTP carbon bezel, paired with a great looking carbon fibre-texture strap. Clerc’s 103-part case construction is already among the most complex and unique on offer today, and to execute with carbon bezel is a brilliant choice for the avant-garde and masculine Hydroscaphe series. Production will be limited to 140 pieces, in celebration of the mark’s 140th anniversary.
Hip-hop artist Flo Rida & R&B singer-songwriter Marcus Cooper were recently spotted wearing Clerc Hydroscaph watches. This photo is from a gathering late last month at the landmark Delano Hotel in Miami Beach. In the middle is Gérald Clerc, brand CEO:
Flo Rida is wearing a diamond-studded 18-carat rose gold and black DLC titanium Large Date Power Reserve model; Marcus Cooper has on a black DLC Central Chronograph (coincidentally, I reviewed this same watch just a few months prior (check it out here))
Nice pop culture publicity for Clerc Geneve, congrats Gerald!
Just before I left for Baselworld last month, I shot a quick review of the Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph, done in a limited edition of 500. My review is encapsulated in the video and photos posted here.
One thing which I do not discuss in the video but which I would like to note here is the complexity of the Clerc case. After meeting with Gerald Clerc in Geneve, I have a new appreciation for this aspect of his watches. This particular case is 43.8mm (49.9mm including lateral protectors) and is constructed of over 100 parts. This is one of the most complex case constructions in all of high watchmaking — and although more does not necessarily mean better — I like the attention that Clerc has given to its case and its features. Some of these are unique to Clerc or rarely seen elsewhere– articulating lugs, lateral protectors, special crown-activated rotating bezel, special chronograph triggers. As an independent brand, having unique features and design elements such as this can make all the difference as far as standing out in a crowded watch world.
And on top of this you get the not-oft-seen, but incredibly useful and legible, central chronograph complication.
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