I cant help but be turned off on the Claremont by the upsweeping case sides, are they as dramatic as they look in pictures in real life. I think I will have to go see one in real life to decide if I like. From pictures at least I personally prefer the look of the Champlain series, though they are more expensive.
I'm getting the Claremont. The seconds hand, while admittedly not as smooth as the SD's, is very smooth in person.
Is the design a bit funky? Certainly the answer is yes, it is.
But there is also a lot I like about it, such as the recessed numerals with a brushed texture, some pretty nice finishing, a surprisingly nice bracelet and clasp (which appears almost integrated into the bracelet--very cool), and I also like the silver ring at the center of the dial. It has hash marks that correspond with each hour numeral, which makes telling the time even easier, IMO.
Also, how many HEQ's out there can claim that their seconds hand never misses the markers? )