A Jewelry Watch Category Is Born

May 1999


A Jewelry Watch Category Is Born

Clerc's technology combines gems and steel in an ode to America

The strongest trends driving watch sales today have been combined with a new leap in technology and innovative design for a new collection from Clerc S.A., New York City. The trends – steel, gemstones and watches designed specifically for women – come together in Clerc's Red, White & Blue collection, three watches featuring hand-set sapphires, rubies and diamonds in steel bezels.

Many watch brands have machine-set diamonds in steel. But larger stones such as those in Clerc's line (32 stones measuring 2mm each in each bezel) generally are set in gold or platinum; steel is considered too hard and increases the danger of larger stones cracking if they're not set properly.

President Gerald Clerc and his Geneva-based manufacturer have developed a new technique in which the gems are hand-set around the Clerc-designed "perfect square inside a perfect circle" – a shape he calls "modern prestige."

Large Consumer Niche
"By using stainless steel, we keep the cost low, demonstrate innovation and create a beautiful jewelry line that is also affordable to a wider group of consumers looking for jewelry with their fine watch," Clerc says. "I see this for women who feel traditional jewelry watches look too classic and for those who have seen the high costs of other jewelry watches."

But quality remains paramount. The diamond model, for example, has 1.15 carats of F color, VVS stones.

Clerc, a fourth-generation jeweler, opened the second office of his watch company last year (Professional Jeweler,September 1998, p. 74). The new watches are designed for the U.S. and have a theme as American in spirit as it is in color. The watches also boast Clerc's hand-finished automatic movements and see-through sapphire backs. And they're sold with colorful crocodile straps. Clerc SA, New York City; (212) 605-0163.

Clerc's Red, White and Blue jewelry watch line features hand-set colored gemstones and diamonds in steel. The Blue and Red models contain 30 sapphires or rubies measuring 2mm each and two diamonds. In White, the diamonds total 1.15 carats. Suggested retail, $5,500 for White, $6,500 for Blue, $7,500 for Red.

– by Michael Thompson

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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