The Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition - part 2 - Sardinia
Greetings from Sardinia, from where, as previously promised to my readers, I am completing the article about my personal experience with the Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition CHY-585. This marvellous location is the perfect spot where to make use of this watch, after already spending a lot of time in its company in Milan and getting well acquainted with this high-end divers' watch (if you have missed the first part of the article, please go here to read it). Despite the fact that I'm not a professional diver, there are, however, some thoughts about using this timepiece during your day to day activies that I would like to share with you but, before doing that, let me please give you some more technical details about this watch which will probably help you to better understand what I'm going to explain further on in the article.
The watch's massive case is 43,80mm wide and it gets quite close to 50mm if you also count in the bridge located on the left-hand side of the case and the kind of floating chrono pushers located on the right-hand side. A big and sturdy timepiece indeed, two key features that make it a proper tool watch equipped with a 4mm thick sapphire crystal. This particular feature, along with the previous ones, stresses once again that this is a watch geared towards the most serious and technological addicts of divers' watches.
If you take a look at the dial's layout, you will notice the first surprise, the central chronograph. The two counters have not been built to fulfill the chrono's function of timekeeping, the left counter is actually a day-and-night indicator while the right one is used to track the running seconds. They are both indented and are part of a separate layer (the dial actually features two layers), in the central part of the dial are two aligned big hands, something that might trick you into thinking that this is a split-seconds chrono. It is not. The upper chrono seconds hand has a nice "lollipop" tip and, if you take a closer look at it, you will notice that it is built in the shape of the famous “doubled C” Clerc's logo. The orange hand is the central minute chrono register.
In terms of ownership and originality, the Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition CHY-585's trademark is the C-Clic Safety Lock, a nice way of blending branding and functionality. Once you have extracted one of the logo's two Cs and rotated it clockwise, the bezel will start rotating on itself and, when you lock the C, the bezel will lock too. Thumbs up to Clerc for creating such a useful and simple feature for safe diving and something nice to look at and use for non professional divers too.
How would I rate the Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition CHY-585 on the wrist? Let's start off with the orange rubber strap, it is smooth, well made but a bit too thin and not rigid enough. In my opinion, such a heavy watch would need a thicker and sturdier strap, and the result is that this strap appears to be a bit slippery on the wrist. I guess that Clerc had everyday comfort in mind when it designed this watch, since it added moveable lugs to the case too and this feature has both one pro and one con: the case appears to be less heavy than what it might seem and the moveable lugs also help to fit different wrist sizes but, conversely, it seems you are wearing something that is not 100% firm around your wrist.
Last but not least, the chrono pushers are perfectly functional even under water and this last feature, along with what I suspect to be an outsourced 4Hz caliber (there is no information about whether it is made in-house or not) completes my overview and the two-part-review of this luxury diver. I am not aware of this timepiece's official retail price but, taking a look here and there, I can tell you that most online retailers are selling it for around 9,000€.
The retail price is in line with that of most similar high-end timepieces but you also need to consider that the Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Limited Edition CHY-585 is not coming from a mass production line but is actually crafted in very small quantities in a small workshop and this makes a big difference. To conclude I would say that this watch is not ideal for those who are looking for an everyday classic piece, as it is all but understated, especially when it comes with an orange strap (it comes with a replacement black leather strap with orange stitching too). I have to say that I do like it and I think that it is an unconventional and powerful sports watch but, personally, I would improve a bit the ratcheting sound and feel that you experience when the watch is in motion, as it is a bit too noisy and rigid. However, I do like the overall finishes, that are top-notch, something that I always take a very careful look at when I buy a new watch.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter