Like the sporty Sinn EZM 10 “Einsatzzeitmesser” Pilot Chronograph from last year, the new Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph (ref. CHY-554) comes equipped with a central chronograph minutes hand that not only makes the timekeeper’s dial more interesting to look at. The design also significantly simplifies the task of measuring short periods of time: something that most common chronographs with their tiny, difficult-to-read totalizers are not always good at.
Although thanks to a pair of thin chronograph hands of white and orange colors, the new timekeeper looks like a split-seconds chronograph, it is in fact a “normal” chronograph with one of the hands counting seconds and the other tallying minutes.
With such a design the Swiss watchmaker Clerc kills two birds with just one expensive stone: it gets rid of one of the sub-dials allowing for the rest of the elements more room to breathe and making it easier to read the 60-minute totalizer for persons with poor eyesight.
To somehow counterbalance the small-seconds indicator placed at 3 o’clock, they also placed a 24-hour day/night indicator at 9 hours. There is also a date window at 6 o’clock.
It is reported that the functions are powered by an “exclusive” caliber CO608 automatic movement. I am not sure about its origin, but, as far as I know, the watchmaking brand has its own manufacturing facilities, so there is a good chance that this is its own movement, not some ETA 7750 derivative with a third-party add-on module.
As usual, the movement rests inside an oversized, rugged-looking body.
Measuring almost 44 millimeters in diameter (and almost 50 millimeters in width if you include the lateral protections,) the stainless steel case is treated with black DLC coating, which makes this model almost scratch-proof.
Its contrast, highly legible dial is, too, protected from the elements and salty water (this is a diving watch, after all) with a glare-proofed, 4-mm thick synthetic sapphire crystal.
Well, I can’t say that I am terribly excited about this piece, it is way too rugged and massive to my taste, but, giving Clere Geneve their due, I must admit that the watch looks original and may very well be a good investment for those searching for a brand that goes unbeaten path.
The Hydroscaph Central Chronograph will be produced as a 500-piece limited edition. Pricing is still to be announced, but don’t expect this watch to cheap.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Clerce Geneve
Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Black DLC CHY-554 specification
Price: €10,800 (retail, listed at clercboutique.com)
Movement: Automatic, Clerc caliber CO608, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 47
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Chamfered bridges with Cotes de Geneve motif
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, 60-min chronograph, 24-hour day/night indicator
Power reserve: 44 hours
Case: Stainless steel, black DLC
Size: 43.80 mm
Case height: 15.50 mm
Dial: Black, orange accents
Numerals: Arabic, luminous
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 500 meters
Strap: Black Hornback crocodile rubber-treated leather strap with folding clasp or Black rubber strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective, 4.00 mm thick