Clerc are now positioned in each of the region’s markets. “We took our time in rolling-out the brand because we were very keen to ensure that we were working with the correct partner’s in each location” Gerard explained. Clerc, like all other companies at their level, are intensely protective of their brand.
As he continued; “I think there is a best partner for every brand. For us it needs to be someone who has a good clientele, a faithful clientele, and for it to be someone who understands the core philosophy of Clerc and who will work with us in building the brand without taking any shortcuts”.
Gerard plays a pivotal role within the company as President and designer of Clerc Watches his input is key in the direction the business takes.
I commented to him that the Clerc collection does not truly reflect the current trends in the watch business. “This is true, and it’s an interesting point to cover. For us the whole creation process is very different than it is for many other brands in that we dream our watches in a certain way, and we work through until we have that exact watch in our hand”.
“For us there are no compromises. We’re not seeking to design a consensual product our sole aim is to produce the watch precisely as we conceived it”.
In terms of features, in terms of quality, in terms of originality Clerc stand proudly. “Even if sometimes we end up with what some people regard as a crazy end result, we always have the knowledge as do our buyers that we have created a watch that could only be Clerc”.
One such watch is their ‘Hydroscafe’ Gerard’s own watch of choice these days. “The case alone is made up from 75 individual parts”. To some, this does seem ‘crazy’, however to others those in-the-know it defines exactly what Clerc is all about.
“This gave us the watch we dreamed of. If I listened to my production people they’d like me to redesign it so it can be made out of just three pieces but then I tell them it wouldn’t be the same watch. Sometimes I think they wish I had different dreams!” Gerard laughs.
Without doubt, Clerc watches have their own personality. Even across the collection there are differences. Yet while the Odyssey has a different look and use to, for example, the Hydroscafe, there are still clear familial similarities.
While Clerc watches are built with functionality in mind, the Hydroscafe is the only watch fully pressure tested under water rather than air, Gerard accepts that few of his, shall we say, ‘professional’ watches are put to extreme us, he is adamant that the detailed design and production work is essential. “What are products have, which some other brands lack, is a legitimacy of purpose”. Indeed, how many Porsches are sold to race car drivers? Some, but certainly not most. And while the Porsche owner knows his car is a thoroughbred, so does the Clerc owner.
Be it the style of the men’s collection or the beauty of the women’s, the Clerc collection presents a unique face to the world.
First Published in Men's Passion Issue #14