The Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition - part 1 - Milan
From a watch fanatic's perspective, we have officially entered the season dedicated to dive watches. Clerc, a high-end sports watchmaker, stands on that fine line that separates a luxury sports watch and a luxury one, and its vision is to create something that the most experienced diver could use not only in a professional capacity but also in their own free time.
The Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition, a model made with just 500 pieces, will be my companion for the duration of the summer months and this post represents the very first part of a bigger article, which will document my travels from Milan all the way to the beautiful Sardinian beaches. I actually own many dive watches (mostly Japanese) and, although I'm not a pro diver, they are amongst my favourite for one single reason: creating a (true) diver's watch involves intricate detail and design, and even though the outcome is a simple three-hand timepiece, it boasts a series of technical solutions that are hard to find anywhere else.
What is the difference between Clerc and other diver's watches and why does it stand out from the crowd? In a nutshell, there are three main reasons: firstly, the bold and original style (meaning that are no grey areas: you just like it or not); secondly, the detailing and last but not least, its shape - one that is hard to make unless you are availing of machinery that is more commonly used by a workshop rather than industrial watchmakers and for anyone who's looking for something different, this means value.
The Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition features a case architecture that is just as technically impressive as it is aesthetically. It is made up of an imposing (and weighty) central block, which is water resistant at 500m.
Its weight is justified by the use of many steel parts, secured with both Allen screws and many gaskets, all of which makes this a true diver's watch. When you're presented with a watch featuring such a high degree of water resistance and no helium escape valve (I did not find it on the case, although I do not think this is an ISO certified watch) you can be sure that that is not yet another well marketed timepiece that can do anything except what a dive watch should actually do. This statement gets true even more when this particular watch's style is all but ordinary, something that traditionally does not help making it highly water resistant.
The brand logo, an octagonal double C, is everywhere: on the bezel's diving scale and on the octagonal rotating bezel with Clerc interpreting it in a commendably original way considering there's a brand out there - namely Audemars Piguet - that has a sort of intellectual property on such a geometrical shape.
The stainless steel case is DLC treated to protect it from accidental shocks and heavy duty use. From this first contact, the Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition is an interesting option among high-end dive watches and makes use of some original technical features that I will explain to you in the second part of this post in a few days. See you soon!
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter