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.
In addition to its resolutely avante-garde design and choice of materials, the Clerc Hydroscaphe Carbon is spec’d at 500 meters water resistance. These distinguishing features are noted on the dial. You can also see below the key indicators of the central chronograph. Rather than indicating the minutes on a counter, the chronograph is equipped with two hands ensuring perfect and intuitive legibility: a central chronograph seconds hand as well as an additional hand counting off the minutes.
You can see the unique look of the NPTP carbon bezel. According to Clerc:
Composed of multiple ultra-thin carbon fibre layers with a maximum thickness 30 microns, NTPT® is impregnated with resin before being woven in such a way as to modify the direction of the weft by 45° between each layer. After subsequent heating, the material lends itself to machining better than any other composite, paving the way for all kinds of possibilities in the manufacture of high-precision components.
By the way, this ultra-light carbon composite was initially intended for making racing-boat sails and gained some prominence when it appeared in Team Alinghi’s America’s Cup racer.
The watch also maintains its aggressively styled chrono pushers, here presented in black DCL-steel:
Other features remain unchanged from prior Hydroscaphe central chrono models — as I have discussed in depth in my full hands-on review of the Hydroscaphe Central Chrono in 2013 as well as my prior articles here (2012), and here (2010).
Very cool watch!