Louis Erard
Clerc

1931 – The first mechanical movement springs to life in the Louis Erard workshops.

2015 – The passion burns as strong as ever. Each model embodies the house values firmly focused on watchmaking tradition, contemporary design and finely crafted mechanisms still made in Switzerland. This is a land of traditions and contrasts. Contrasts show themselves in the wide open spaces of the landscape with its almost infinite palette of green, here and there with dabs of grey from a rock, a dry stone wall or a vale. Traditions are hidden away behind workbenches and behind the facades with their row upon row of windows, some of which still bear a revered name. Here at the heart of Watch Valley, spurred by the tide of events in the eighteenth century, watchmaking has made the Jura, and Le Noirmont, its second home. Still today the foremost master watchmakers are established here, in a region whose name is admired throughout the world. To come here is to experience an immersion in time… in its element.

This cultural heritage becomes one with the watchmaker who is heir to savoir-faire which he perpetuates while continuing to add new expertise. Established in 1931 and now settled in Le Noirmont, Louis Erard has made these values its strength. Five flagship collections, four of which are entirely mechanical, demonstrate this unwavering commitment to Swiss-Made. They make up a world of classic, refined timepieces for men and women.

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 favour 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 case-backs. 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.