The tops of each marker have been highly polished to add visual pop to the dial. The brand’s name is prominently displayed below the 12 o’clock marker and, as per watch norm, you’ll discover tons of pertinent information about this particular model above the 6 o’clock marker.
A conical cutout that extends from the hands outward toward the 3 o’clock marker houses the visible date wheel. A triangle, one that is the same color as the minute hand, points to today’s date. The hour and minute hands are shaped much like the tuning forks I use daily as I test out my police vehicle’s radar unit, a simple design that I am quite fond of. As mentioned above, the minute hand color is only found in one other place on the dial, giving the person who wears it maximum readability at a glance. The white seconds hand swings around the dial at a COSC certified 28,800 BPH in such a smooth manner that its pulse is hardly noticeable.
The H1’s round case is robust, coming in at 48mm, and it’s hefty on the wrist. Should the size frighten you at first glance, do not fret, as it wears much smaller than the numbers would suggest. At the 2 o’clock position you’ll find what I believe to be the watch’s coolest feature, the C|CLIP, which is a strong nod to how serious of a dive watch the H1 is. When the C|CLIP is in the down position, the bezel is locked, but when flipped up, it allows you to spin the bezel counterclockwise, much like you would wind the crown. When set, simply flip the C|CLIP back down and you’re ready to safely time a dive or your grandma’s secret buttermilk pie recipe in the oven. Either way, the C|CLIP is a fidgeter’s dream come true. The design of the bezel alone is a work of art, as it reintroduces sloped brushed edges that seamlessly blend into high polished curves. The crown can be found at the 4 o’clock position, and due to its design, it turns effortlessly in either direction whether you’re setting the date or the time.
I found the watch to be extremely comfortable despite the compromising situations I placed it in. The watch derives its wearability from its articulating lugs. As one can imagine, my wrist flexes often during my shift, which included felony arrests, jumping over chain-link fences in an almost single bound, running up stairs, tumbling down stairs, and the occasional fight with a midnight burger (not burglar) packed with ‘special sauce.’ When used in conjunction with CLERC’s superb straps, it makes for a perfect fit on your wrist, no matter the shape. The decorated deployant clasp dresses up the watch quite nicely, but perhaps this was the area in which I discovered my only gripe. While this is purely subjective in nature, I found the push button release on the clasp to be too large, which made it a bit uncomfortable at times, especially as my wrist would swell.
The future-esque case back houses two sapphire windows that allow you to peer into the H1’s colorful soul, which consists of blued screws and ruby red jewels. Squared off edges intermingle with round screws in an almost eclectic design. The branding is plentiful, but much like other aspects of this watch, it all works well!
While CLERC timepieces have been carefully crafted for royalty and heads of state, it felt right at home among those with more humble roots. There’s no better way for CLERC to have outshined its competition than having rode atop the wrist of a humble public servant. The H1 never looked out of place, and it was clear to see that CLERC is a brand that represents us all, whether you’re meeting clients in a boardroom or grabbing a quick meal between calls at your local police department break room. My experience only echoed a CLERC spokesperson’s statement: CLERC timepieces are the common area where “raw power meets pure luxury,” and that the Hydroscaph is a new breed of Swiss luxury watches. While I was never able to subject it to the pressure of depth during its tour of duty, it was given a full helping of one of the greatest forces known to man: the pressures of life.
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