Founded in 1874 and based in Geneva, Clerc is endowed with a rich and inventive heritage to which unique creations continue to bear witness, these include one-of-kind models crafted for royalty, heads of state and artists, in keeping with this longstanding tradition handed down from one generation to the next, Gérald Clerc cultivates the family passion for exceptional horology.
The story begins 140 years ago in Paris, where Clerc began producing fabulous individually crafted and assembled pocket watches issued in small series, thereby instating a tradition that has endured to this day. Ever since, the Clercs have faithfully perpetuated this spirit of excellence while keeping step with the sweeping changes that saw watches graduate from the pocket to the wrist.
Until the 1970s, the Maison Clerc successively cooperated with some of the most renowned brands in the Swiss watch industry, such as Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Its creations found favor with artists including Salvador Dali, Paco Rabanne and Maurice Chevalier. Statesman General de Gaulle even ordered a one-of-a-kind model – a fascinating clock depicting the globe – which he presented as an official state gift to Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s.
During that same period, the Maison Clerc started producing its first diver’s watches, which were already authentic exploring machines equipped with hermetically sealed innovative cases providing an airlock for the movement thanks to thick glasses, impressively sturdy gaskets and robust screw-down casebacks. At a time when the vogue of underwater expeditions was in full swing, Clerc watches fully met the demands of professionals by remaining imperturbably water-resistant and operational despite the strong pressures to which they were subjected.
With the release of Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s film The Silent World, the general public also soon discovered these hitherto little-known deep waters. Scuba diving gradually became more accessible and its popularity has steadily increased ever since.
Gérald Clerc also caught the ‘virus’ and regards the conquest of the depths as the most formidable human adventure of all time. The first watch collection created by Gérald Clerc in 1998 was to give rise to the successful collection that delights fans around the world.
Gérald Clerc is dedicated to inventing the future of fine watchmaking. While his timepieces could not hope for a finer mode of expression than the ancestral know-how of which he is the modern-day guardian, they are currently interpreted through a far more daring approach.
Gérald Clerc is already laying milestones embodying state-of-the-art research in the fields of space and deep ocean exploration technologies, somewhat like archaeological testimony to a future in the making. Synonymous with a break from traditions, his mechanical techno-luxury creations follow the dictates of a single rule: inventiveness. Each conceived as a unique work of art, Clerc watches yield no concessions in the drive toward creativity, innovation and quality.