CLERC Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer (Hands-On)

Clerc Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer Red Hand

Since I first learned about Clerc a few years ago I’ve been a fan of the brand.  I’ve reviewed a couple of the Geneva-based brand’s watches over the years (Hydroscaph Titanium 1000m and one soon to be published), and I’ve always been impressed with their quality and strong identity code.  Last week I finally had a chance to meet the man behind the brand, the fourth generation family man carrying on the Clerc legacy, Mr. Gerald Clerc.  Team Clerc was most generous to sit down with me and discuss their 2013 pieces.  Being a small brand, Clerc does not release a lot of new models, maybe one per year.

The main launch for 2013 is the Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer.  I previewed this watch a couple weeks ago (click over to get my initial thoughts and analysis), but was pleasantly surprised to see several additional variations on the H1 Chronometer that will be offered.

Clerc Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer Trio

Last year’s Central Chronograph in bold orange was a great success for the brand, and so it makes sense that Clerc will offer its H1 Chronometer in a couple of vivid color choices as well.  Shown here are two models with red and blue accented dials with matching rubber straps (sorry I did not unwrap them first!):

Clerc Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer blue and red (c) Perpetuelle

Clerc Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer blue (c) Perpetuelle

Additional options include steel with black DLC coating of the bezel (or indeed the entire case), dial in a choice of blue, black or grey, with seconds hand and the triangular date marker at 3 o’clock in blue, red or fluorescent yellow.

Clerc Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer yellow hand (c) Perpetuelle

black DLC bezel:

Clerc Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer red hand DLC bezel (c) Perpetuelle

steel bezel:

Clerc Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer red hand (c) Perpetuelle

Clerc has one of the most complex case constructions in the industry.  It comprises 81 parts which combined for aesthetic appeal, innovative construction and useful functions, such as the signature lock-down crown which is a signature of the Hydroscaph collection.

Here you can see the attention to detail given to the dial.  The three-dimensional appliques are wonderful.  Not only are they faceted inward towards the center of the dial, they are also slightly tapered from out-to-in as well.

Clerc Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer Dial Closeup

What I like is how they complement the bezel on the watch which is also faceted.  Though subtle, the combination of these design elements are something that a connoisseur can and should appreciate.

If you are one of those who feel that life is too short to wear a Rolex, then Clerc is worth a look.

  • gumby43

    It says a chronograph watch but I don’t see the extra dials.

    • Perpetuelle

      Hi gumby43! The article states that the watch is a “chronometer” not a “chronograph”. Big difference! Chronometer refers to a timepiece which meets a certain standard of accuracy. A chronograph, as you know, would have subdials for keeping subsidary time! Thanks for commenting!