For anyone looking for a watch with plenty of design flair and originality that won’t break the bank, Louis Erard is a brand worth exploring. Always looking for new ideas, Louis Erard has worked with many watchmakers and designers to create imaginative, original watches. The latest project features three Petite Seconde models from the Excellence collection with malachite, aventurine and lapis lazuli dials.
Instead of dreaming up new models from scratch, Louis Erard consulted renowned watchmakers and designers to give their unique interpretations to some of the brand’s classic models, such as the Reglator. And sure enough, the brand started to gain traction and visibility with big-name collaborations like Alain Silberstein, Vianney Halter and Eric Giroud. Consolidating the new direction, the brand called on industry consultant Manuel Mch, former CEO of Jacket Droz, and Romain Jerome for an assessment. The idea, according to Emch, is “To offer what high-end watchmaking has to offer at a very affordable price”. This has translated into grand feu enamel, hand-guilloché and stone dials, not forgetting the super-cool pleated dial from recent collaborations with Atelier Oy and Label Noir.
Stone Age Dials
Cutting stones or glass into fractions of a millimeter is labor intensive and is usually reserved for high-end watch brands such as Piaget, Bulgari, Jaquet Droz and others. Well, Louis Erard proves that stone dials can also be attached at affordable prices, and uses the same natural materials that appeared on last year’s trio of Regulator models. The chosen model is the Classic Small Seconds, recently marked with a lovely salmon dial.
Enlivened by striking forest green malachite, golden-speckled lapis lazuli and shimmering midnight blue aventurine glass dials, these watches feature a matte opaline counter with snailed small seconds at 6 o’clock cut in stone or glass. In keeping with the minimalist dial elements, silver Arabic numerals at 12, 2, 4, 8 and 10 are applied to the dial along with slim tapered indices. The hands represent the brand’s signature fir-tree shape. The rim (anthracite transfers) and the brand name and logo are also silver to match the case and dial elements.
Available in 39mm stainless steel cases with a height of 12.25mm, the round case with small lugs is polished and the dial is protected by a slightly protruding sapphire crystal for added appeal. Underneath the transparent caseback is an automatic Elaborate grade Sellita SW261-1 movement with an openworked rotor customized with the LE logo. Part of the SW-200 family, the movement beats at 4Hz and offers a 38-hour power reserve.
Each model comes with a matching-color grained calf leather strap with a stainless steel pin buckle: the Aventurine dial comes with a deep blue calfskin strap; Lapis lazuli has a morning blue band and malachite has a forest green band. Functional quick-release levers allow quick strap changes.
Availability & Price
The three Louis Erard Excellence Petite Seconde models are limited editions of 99 pieces each and retail at a very attractive price. CHF 2,500. For more information, please visit louiserard.com.