The regulator dial used in original 18th-century master clocks has long been a style preference for many a watch collector, particularly those who lean more towards traditional-looking wristwatches over contemporary designs. Louis Erard’s new trio of watches – the Excellence Triptych – introduces this timekeeping concept to its modern audiences by adding another regulator watch to its catalogue, the Excellence Régulateur. It sits alongside two other new releases, the Excellence Petite Seconde and the Excellence Chronographe Monopoussoir.
One of the first collaborative pieces for Louis Erard’s Excellence collection was the work of multi-faceted designer, Eric Giroud, who drew upon his combined passion for architecture and watches to create his version of the Excellence Regulator, but the collection is also home to other chronograph, moon phase and power reserve complications.
Shared Jura Mountain Influences
Accumulatively, the three watches from the Excellence Triptych line share some characteristics despite their different functional purposes. The blued hands, for example, are inspired by the fir trees that create the backdrop to the quaint village of Le Noirmont, nestled deep in the Jura Mountains where Louis Erard’s manufacturing house resides. The distinctive look of the fir trees is also echoed in more functional aspects of each watch, like their push-button crowns, adorned in Swiss Art Nouveau “Pine Tree”- style grooves. The spruce and fir trees creating a plumage over the gentle slopes of the Jura Mountains were the inspiration behind designer, Nicolas Barth Nussbaum’s vision when creating this threesome.
Each Louis Erard watch from the Excellence Triptych family has a round 50-metre water-resistant stainless steel case that holds a third party movement visible through a transparent caseback. Elegant and minimalistic, the three watches take subtle design cues from the 1950s, and each timepiece is completed on a chocolate brown calf nubuck leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching.
The Louis Erard Excellence Régulateur
Embracing the original regulator watches of its past, the protagonist of the 42mm Louis Erard Excellence Régulateur watch is, of course, the minutes which take residence upon the dial around the periphery of an opaline silver display. The diamond-cut snailed dual counter format, with hours and seconds placed on a North-South axis, do add a sense of dimension to the dial, as do the polished silver indices and the classic blued steel hands. The Sellita SW266-1 calibre performs at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers a 38-hour power reserve. Price will be CHF 2,500.
Quick facts: 42mm x 12.25mm – stainless steel case – sapphire crystal front and caseback – 50m water-resistance – opaline matte silver dial – automatic Sellita SW 266-1, 4Hz frequency, 38h power reserve – regulator with off-centred hours, central minutes, small seconds – chocolate calf nubuck leather strap – Ref. 85237AA21 – retail price CHF 2,500
The Louis Erard Excellence Petite Seconds
With a similar sense of clarity, the dial layout of the Excellence Petite Seconde watch, the entry-level model to the collection, is uncluttered and pared down to reveal timekeeping essentials only. The minute and hour hands co-ordinate with a minute scale and inner Arabic hour track respectively, while the small seconds counter is positioned at 6 o’clock. This time, the Louis Erard lettering resides at 12 o’clock as opposed to the 3 o’clock position on the dial of the Excellence Régulateur. The Petite Seconde model is powered by the Sellita SW261-1 calibre, which delivers the same performance and power reserve as the Régulateur’s movement. It will retail for CHF 1,500.
Quick facts: 42mm x 12.25mm – stainless steel case – sapphire crystal front and caseback – 50m water-resistance – opaline matte silver dial – automatic Sellita SW 261-1, 4Hz frequency, 38h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds – chocolate calf nubuck leather strap – Ref. 34237AA01 – retail price CHF 1,500
The Louis Erard Excellence Chronographe Monopoussoir
In the same style as the Petite Seconde model, the Louis Erard Excellence Chronographe Monopoussoir features minutes around the edge of the dial bordering an inner hour track featuring alternating Arabic numerals and stick indices. A 30-minute chronograph counter is positioned at 12 o’clock and activated via a monopusher at 3 o’clock inside the crown. Powered by the Sellita SW 500MPCa calibre (based on the Valjoux architecture), the movement offers a larger 48-hour power reserve and, as with the other two movements, features a special openwork oscillating weight. It will be priced at CHF 3,500.
Quick facts: 43mm x 15.70mm – stainless steel case – sapphire crystal front and caseback – 50m water-resistance – opaline matte silver dial – automatic Sellita SW 500MPCa, 4Hz frequency, 48h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, mono-pusher chronograph with 30-minute counter – chocolate calf nubuck leather strap – Ref. 74239AA01 – retail price CHF 3,500
Since 2003, when Louis Erard relocated its watchmaking facilities from La Chaux-de-Fonds to Le Noirmont in an attempt to tighten its links with high-end manufacture, watches like the Excellence Triptych family can now boast designs that reflect the region in which they are crafted. Despite being fitted with outsourced movements, the Régulateur, Petite Seconde and Chronographe Monopoussoir still remain faithful to classic, sought-after complications but at an accesible price.
More details at www.louiserard.com.