Watchuseek Blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Clerc Hydroscaph Limited Edition Automatic Chronograph Lets You Dive with the Whales

Clerc can follow the roots of its family tree through many generations back to 1874 in Geneva. Fourth generation watchmaker Gérald Clerc now holds the reigns of the family company bearing his name. While most watches fall into the category of basic primary shapes such as a square, circle or rectangle, Clerc’s have a very definitive appearance. In a perfect square combined with a perfect circle 49.6mm in diameter, it has articulated lugs to hug the wrist.

In the Hydroscaph Limited Edition Automatic Chronograph, Clerc played with the idea of how to demonstrate the time. A chronograph mainly uses dials in a tri-compax or 7750 layout, meaning dials at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock or 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. To make the graphics easier to take in at a glance, Clerc decided to place make the chrono minutes indicator and chrono seconds hand co-axial –twins as it were, save for the different colored hand in brown to differentiate it from the other.

The dial features Arabic indices and hands with luminant, small seconds at 3 o’clock, date at 6 o’clock and a 24-hour day/night indication at 9 o’clock

Developed with both racers and divers in mind, this Hydroscaph takes into account short-time intervals and has the feel of a technical time and competition instrument. Even the chronograph pushers are designed for precision and built with a fail-safe approach. Located at 2 and 4 o’clock, they are hollowed on the inner face to defy slipping when starting, stopping and resetting the chrono function. Additionally, when engaged, each pusher pivots around a lateral rod acting like a lever, much like a piano key. Clerc reexamined everything down to the rubber-molded steel crown, which practically reaches out to meet and grip your thumb and index finger.

Though perfectly able to handle timing responsibilities on land, the Hydroscaph, a diving watch, was built to take a long, deep dip in the sea. In order to handle the rough and tumble down below, the watch boasts a Brinks-like case composed of 103 parts with lateral enforcements that will let you make acquaintance with a sperm whale at 500m on her way down to 1000m.

Another interesting feature about the case is the octagonal rotating bezel, which is operated from the dedicated crown at 10 o’clock that pivots on a retractable flap. Putting the flap back in its original position locks down the bezel and prevents any errors and therefore any unwanted holding of the breath.

The multi-level dial features an ultra-technical yet ultra-readable face. Each section of time read-off is perfectly delineated and visible even in the dark thanks to the Superluminova coating on the hands and hour-markers.

The new Hydroscaph Limited Edition Automatic Chronograph, which runs off the Clerk C608 automatic movement, is available in three finishes: high-density steel, black DLC (diamond-like carbon, an extremely hard and thermally stable coating) and 18K rose gold/black DLC steel). Each of the three versions, fitted with rubber or rubber-treated hornback leather straps secured by folding clasps, is issued in limited series of 500.

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