Clearly this Clerc watch has a spacey look. A lot of their more “ambitious” pieces tend to have a style that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie prop bin. This one is actually a bit more down to earth compared to what I have seen in the past. As though Clerc is calming down a bit and realizing the world is looking for more subtle avant garde style cues these days. If you make a watch that looks like a time machine – it better damn operate as one. Wow, I just realized how utterly ironic that statement was.
Clerc joins the growing number of watch brands that are using silicium (silicon) in their movements. The most popular metal part to replace with silicium is the escapement. This is a small gear-like wheel that is connected to the balance wheel and is responsible for moving power to the movement. Silicium gives this part ultra high endurance and precision. The basically means that the part doesn’t wear (like ever), doesn’t need any lubrication, and is very consistent which leads to overall improvements in rate results in the movement (accuracy gains). Basically, technology permitting, silicium is more or less better than metal. Technology is not entirely permitting today, and may actually never be. Not because we can’t do it, but needs of the watch industry alone are not enough to advance silicium research. That is in the hands of the computer industry – who might abandon silicon in the next several years in favor of something else. Anyhow, to make a long story short, silicium today works great in a few select watches but can’t be mass produced without great expense, and has construction limitations.
Brand using silicium in watches today include Ulysse Nardin, Patek Philippe. Breguet, Montblanc, and more. Clerc joins this club with the Odyssey S watch in titanium, with the exclusive C201 automatic movement. The movement is viewable through the back and parts of the front of the watch. In addition to having the silicium escapement, it has a 7 day power reserve, with power reserve indicator, and retrograde date.
Playing with the fact that silicium is blue, Clerc uses a blue tinted sapphire crystal over two segments of the dial to show the movement. Tinted sapphire crystal is going to be a hot thing in the next few years as watch designers have a new tool in their belt. Hublot is leading the way with their red sapphire crystals (read about the Hublot Monza watch here), and other brands are going to start following. The first to do this as far as I know was Rolex with the special green sapphire crystal on a Milgauss watch. In addition to the blue crystals seen here, Clerc will also offer gray ones. These will be matched to a DLC coated version of the titanium case.
At 44mm wide, the titanium case, DLC titanium case, or titanium case with 18k rose gold bezel models of the watch will all be pretty neat. The Odyssey S has a rotating diver’s bezel and some crazy stuff going on with the crown and pushers. Scaled back in design, the watch feels more live-with-able than other Clerc pieces. Still, it is anything but a normal watch. It comes with a rubber or alligator strap, and a whole lot of conversation starting abilities. Price will start at around $15,000 I assume.
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