All things Swiss
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Post by boscoe » August 8th 2020, 12:42pm

Clerc makes some unique watches with customer service to match.
In sneering French CS circles, unique a synonym for merde.
My CXX Scuba 250 LE came with a proprietary 22mm real rubber strap tapered to maybe 14-16 mm in the lugs.
Recently the rubber snapped - brittle with age.
Emailed and called Clerc looking for OEM replacement. Hunted the web. Nada zilch.
And, surprise, Clerc never responded, which is the boutique brand's pattern of arrogance.
Had it happen before when a bracelet screw fell out and, in the end, had to have one custom made.
Traditional high-end jewelers, Tourneau etc. couldn't find OEM and said there was no after-market replacement.
Call Clerc they all suggested.
I told them the reality and resigned to use my watch as a desk cube.
Then I wandered into a Fast Fix watch battery shop in the mall. Low-End stuff, Timex, etc.
Sold me a Hadley-Roma stitched silicone. Handsome and more supple than the OEM, which probably goes for $300-plus - if you can find it - like many high-end rubber strap ons from Switzerland and Italy.
Cost $29 then $20 more to custom cut the lug refit the OEM tang.
Most excellent job for $49 out the door. Looks great, feels great.
Happy clam!
But Clerc is a douchebag brand - despite some exceptional products that will cost you your left lung.
What good is a $2800 chronograph (retail in the year 2000) when you can't replace the strap or wear it?
Fuck you Gerald Clerc - and stick your $6900 (retail) Hyroscaph where the sun don't shine!
Side note: I'm off natural rubber straps for keeps. Learned a hard lesson.
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Post by bbattle » August 8th 2020, 6:58pm

I hear the synthetic rubber prevents pregnancies, too.

Shame a company doesn't bother to keep replacement straps in stock. Particularly custom sized rubber ones. The overhead they could (and would) charge on those would keep the doors open on the place all by themselves. Idiots.
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Post by TemerityB » August 8th 2020, 7:25pm

Straps can be such a pain in the arse. Coupla years ago, my wife had a fashion watch she really likes ....what was it...?

Cripes, it was a freakin' Renato, called the "Beauty"! Anyway, she's always loved the watch, and, as TV stuff is likely to do, the leather-like integrated proprietary strap simply got old and fell apart (I'm pretty sure the thing was like 11 years old by that point). I look at it and go, well, what the heck can we do? Renato doesn't even exist anymore.

But I got a wild hair up my ass, and told her to keep it in her purse, and we went to my favorite indie watch place in Long Island. They have a lot of straps, but she whips the thing out, and the kindly gent behind the counter says: "We'll contact the watch company."

Me: "No such animal. Went out of business a long time ago."

Him: "I promise, we can take care of this."

So, two days goes by, and he calls us back: "I'm really sorry, that company is out of business."

Me: "Yeah, I warned you."

Him: "Let me get my best strap guy on this one. We have a person here who is expert in cutting straps, even the best ones. I'm sure he can provide you with a replacement you'll like."

She selects a white leather strap worth $80, we wait another week, and on the weekend we go and pick up what looks like a brand new watch. Total cost, $100. Such a great job, it looks like it was the orginal strap (other than the color).

Still, proprietary straps are a gigantic pain. I hate buying watches with integrated straps, because it's just asking for trouble.

I feel for ya. Clerc also sounds like a royal pain.
Best of luck to all my longtime friends here. Please stay safe, always.
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