Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
< 50 metres
40mm, 42mm, or 42.5mm
Screw-down crown (or with dual pushers)
£2,100 - 3,400
The Louis Erard Excellence collection pays homage to Louis Erard’s 80th anniversary. It focuses on the culture, essence and identity of the brand more than ever. Exhibiting neo-classicism, particularities and mechanical complications, the essence of excellent watchmaking flows through each of these watches, steered by the exemplary regulators.
Louis Erard has been working and constantly rebranding itself. One of the most outstanding sectors of this strategy is this minimalistic dimension on the regulator. Enthusiasts of elegantly crafted mechanics will pick these chronographs, moon phases, power reserves and other complications that are the sentinels of time, and the heritage and mastery of Louis Erard.
Louis Erard was initially established in 1929 and made its first watch in 1931. In 2003, some Swiss financiers purchased the name and the brand moved from La Chaux-de-Fonds to Le Noirmont, in the Jura. The vision was to craft sophisticated timepieces with cheap prices and in 2009, Louis Erard invented its first in-house module with Soprod. With a portfolio of simple 3-hand dress watches to chronographs and skeletonised models, Louis Erard made plans to work with the contemporary artist, Alain Silberstein and watch designer Eric Giroud to bring new life into its elegant Excellence Regulator.
Eric Giroud as a versatile designer has been heavily interested in watches since 1997 and has never stopped since. Architecture has always been an important factor in his designs with some of his works are present in MB&F, Harry Winston Opus 9 edition, Manufacture Royale, etc. His career is celebrated with numerous awards, not leaving out his most recent collaboration with MB&F which won the award for the Ladies’ Complication at GPHG 2019.
Currently, the Excellence collection has five Regulator models that possess thoroughly unique personalities.
The original classic version with Roman numerals and silvered hands.
The creative collaboration with Alain Silberstein, resulting in artistic and quirky primary colours, accompanied by caricature time hour and minute hands.
The distinctly modern and minimalist collaboration with designer Eric Giroud with a date window at 3’oclock.
The ‘excellent’ moon phase chronograph which effortlessly combines the lunar cycle with an incomparable elegance that is both luxurious and ageless.
The classic Vintage chronograph provides a flashback to the early years of Louis Erard, featuring telemeter and tachymeter functions with the chronograph.
Though regulator watches slowly waned into idleness, they were initially created in the mid-18th century as master watches to deliver the most precise time attainable at that period. The unique component of regulators was the divergence of minutes, hours and seconds. The minutes evolved to be the true champions of the dial read with a huge stretch hand, while the hours and seconds were often confined to smaller sub-dials, with all three hands operating off diverse mechanisms.
The adorable structure of regulator watches, with the notable minutes’ track and two sub-dials for the subordinate purpose of the hours and running seconds, has recently been finding its way back into watchmaking. Chronoswiss has made regulator-style dials its brand forte and even high-premium brands like Patek Philippe have paid homage to the style.
The undisputed champion of the timepiece is the dial. A channel on the perimeter of the dial infers the very essential minutes and is read with a silver-coloured hand lengthening from the middle of the dial on both the Classic and LOUIS ERARD X ERIC GIROUD Regulator watches. The hours are housed in the bigger sub-dial under twelve o’clock in both watch models. While both models make use of Roman numeral numbering, the LOUIS ERARD X ERIC GIROUD model only makes use of them at the XII, III and IX points.
The LOUIS ERARD X ALAIN SILBERSTEIN Excellence Regulator also makes use of the dual-dial design but instead replaces the sub-dials with colourful renditions with indices instead of numerals. The Moon Phase Chronograph model is quite popular in this collection as it provides great readability via the dial. With big Roman numeral numbering on an ivory dial, this is complemented with a date, month and lunar cycle sub-dial, which beautifully translates Louis Erard’s focus on balance, excellence and refinement.
The word “Regulateur” is finely printed in the core of the small seconds counter. The company name Louis Erard features on the left, at nine o’clock, artistically equalizing the presence of a date aperture at three o’clock. The silver covering of the circular date aperture suits all the other silver markings on the black and blue varieties. The ivory white dial has the same silver covering on the date aperture but the sub-dials and engravings are a soft colour of grey. To develop legibility, the date aperture is coated with anti-reflective magnifying glass.
The first notion of the Louis Erard Excellence Regulator collection exudes is sobriety and refinement with an alluring feel of modernity. The models are available in 40mm, 42mm or 42.5mm case sizes which are bigger than the average watch. The cases are presented in a glistening and highly polished stainless steel case for the white and blue models and matte black PVD-coated steel case for the black dial. They feature a simple 3-part case with a sealed case back, straight lugs and a thin bezel except for the Excellence Regulator Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein and Vintage models which have see-through case backs.
The watches have a water-resistant capacity of up to 50 metres. Usually, most watch brands choose an open case back, the Excellence collection has instead decided to forgo dorsal enamel on this project, opting for a full case back decorated with the classically-themed Louis Erard logo at its middle.
Depending on the watch model, the Excellence Regulator collection is driven by either an automatic Sellita SW200-1 Calibre (with a Dubois Depraz 14072 complication), an ETA 7001 calibre (with RE9 complication), ETA 7751 Valjoux or an ETA 7753 Valjoux. It runs at a frequency of 28,800vph or 4Hz, and the movement can keep the hours, minutes, seconds and date functions running for between 38 – 48 hours depending on the watch. All the watch movements are reliable and known for precision and durability.
The Louis Erard Excellence watches only come with calf leather or crocodile style calf leather. These are available in black, blue, or cognac brown depending on the model. The collaborative models also have special stitching as a trademark. The leather straps add to the elegance and luxury of the watches and seem perfect for evening wear, in our opinion steel or gold bracelets would not work with the design of these timepieces.
The collaborative Excellence Regulator Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein and Louis Erard x Eric Giroud collection are limited edition pieces with only 178 pieces being made available. According to Louis Erard, the metaphor of the number 178 represents “strong together” and symbolizes the collaboration with Eric Giroud (each colour limited to 178 pieces). The ivory and blue dial Eric Giroud models are priced at £2,350 (€2,620 or $2,960) each, while the black version is available for £2,430 (€2,710 or $3,060)
The Alain Silberstein models are available at £2,430 for the black PVD and black model, while the brown leather strap, white dial model is £2,350. The Classic model is available around £2,100 (€2,345 or $2,640) while the Moon Phase Chronograph is £2,695 (€3,000 or $3,398) If you are looking for something a bit more unique, the Excellence Regulator Limited Edition with a gem bezel is available for £3,370 (€3,760 or $4,250) with only 50 pieces available.
Review: Louis Erard Excellence Regulator
Louis Erard is not only famed for fine watchmaking but its generous use of regulators, finely crafted mechanics and complications.Known for its unique and exclusive timepieces, the Excellence collection truly highlights the 'excellent' luxury craftsmanship available.