Affordability and luxury don’t generally go hand in hand with each other but still, the term “Affordable Luxury” is used blatantly in the world of horology. That said, there are a few brands like Louis Erard which are trying to bridge the gap between luxury and affordability. A short while back the brand released the beautiful Gran Feu enamel dial variation of the Excellence Petite Seconde and now the brand has dropped the Excellence Guilloché Main, an artistic masterpiece with a hand-done Guilloché dial.
Guilloche is a traditional decoration technique wherein an intricate pattern is painstakingly engraved on the underlying material (watch dials in the world of horology) using a Rose engine lathe operated by highly skilled craftsmen. While the outcome of this process is rich, detailed, and engaging, the cost of a watch with a hand guilloche dial easily exceeds five figures. But the Louis Erard has attempted to change things by pricing the new Excellence Guilloché Main even below the 5-k mark.
Executed by hand by Fehr and Cie, the 3-D checked pattern on the Excellence Guilloché showcases amazing depth, dimensionality, and texture. To create the distinctive black and silver effect, the dial is first covered with back varnish and then the Guilloché engraving is performed. Furthermore, to allow the user to fully appreciate this artwork, the dial is devoid of unnecessary text or printing except the Louis Erard branding at 12. There are no hour markers, no date complication, and not even a second’s hand. To read the time, Louis Erard has used an elegant pair of flame-blued fur-tree style hands that look elegant and add a dash of color to the dial.
The case is made using stainless steel and measures a modern 42mm in diameter. It is fully polished and offers 50 meters of water resistance. Flipping the watch over reveals the mechanical engine that drives this watch. The Sellita SW261-1 is an automatic movement that operates at 4 Hz and offers a power reserve of around 38 hours when fully wound. In terms of decoration, things are nowhere near to the dial side of the watch, but you still get blued screws and a skeletonized rotor to enjoy.
The new Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main would come mated to a black calf nubuck leather strap and would cost EUR 3,900, which is quite impressive for what is on offer here. The production is limited to just 99 pieces.