Louis Erard has become a byword for collaborations, and the list of watchmakers and design studios involved with the brand is growing by the day. Fast becoming a tradition, the models singled out for the collaborative transformations are the Régulateur and the Petite Seconde from Louis Erard’s Excellence collection. Tapping into a festive Halloween mood, the latest Petite Seconde has been designed by seconde/seconde, the alias of Romaric André, who has gained fame for customising vintage watches with lighthearted, whimsical touches.
A serial hand-swapper, Parisian designer Romaric André makes no qualms about his intentions: “I vandalize other people’s products only because I failed at building mine.” Taking the seriousness out of vintage watches, André’s tongue-in-cheek customisations include a Rolex Air King with a cloud substituting the central seconds hand or a Patek Philippe model branded Tiffany & Co. with a croissant-shaped minute hand entitled French Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Marking seconde/seconde’s second collaboration with Louis Erard, following last year’s Regulator Louis Error with the dreaded 404 ERROR code generated by computers, this latest Petite Seconde watch taps into the spooky spirit of Halloween.
As fans of Louis Erard know, the Regulator and Small Seconds models have become the canvas for countless artistic collaborations. Starting with Alain Silberstein and moving on to Eric Giroud, Vianney Halter, and design studios like atelier oï or the studio for independent watchmakers Massena LAB and customisation brands like Label Noir, Louis Erard’s latest philosophy – orchestrated by Manuel Emch – is to offer highly original watches at accessible prices.
Louis Horror Petite Seconde
Skulls depicted on the dials of watches are becoming, dare we say, almost banal. Instead of taking the obvious route, seconde/seconde has chosen the less threatening image of the classic children’s version of a ghost with a white sheet and two black cut-outs for the eyes. With its black outline, white interior and black eyes, the pixelated ghost has an ‘S’ denoting seconde/seconde’s signature. Emitting a green glow in the dark, the ghost replaces the small seconds hand and spins around the snailed sub-dial. To highlight the spooky spirit of the watch, the Erard in the brand name (Louis Erard) has been replaced with the word ‘Horror’ picked out in a bloody red colour, dripping down the letters.
The silver opaline dial is decorated with different textures to highlight the functions. As mentioned, the small seconds counter has a snailed background and is slightly recessed, while the dial’s centre is sandblasted for a matte, grainy effect. The chapter ring for the hours features a circular brushed surface with applied glossy numerals and markers contrasting with the sandblasted peripheral minutes track. Louis Erard’s signature fir tree hands for the hours and minutes are dark grey and polished.
The rest of the watch is identical to other 39mm Petite Seconde models and comes in a round, polished stainless steel case with a height of 12.25mm and the hallmark crown engraved with a fir tree. The domed sapphire crystal over the dial has anti-reflective testament on both sides, and the case is water-resistant to 50m.
Visible through the sapphire caseback engraved with ‘Limited Edition 1 of 178’ is the automatic Sellita SW261-1, basically a Sellita SW-200 with a small seconds indication. As part of the ubiquitous, tried-and-tested SW-200 family (Sellita’s version of the ETA-2824), the movement is 25.60mm in diameter and has a stop-seconds mechanism. It ticks at 4Hz with 38 hours of running time when fully wound. The movement is visible via the exhibition caseback. The finishing is elaboré grade, and its rotor is openworked with a black lacquered Louis Erard logo.
The Louis Erard Excellence Petite Seconde x seconde/seconde is presented on a black grained calfskin strap with a blue calfskin lining and attached to the case with quick-release spring bars, enabling the strap to be changed quickly without a tool. The pin buckle is polished steel.
Availability & Price
The Le Petite Seconde Louis Horror x seconde/seconde is a limited edition of 178 pieces. It will be available from 31 October 2022 at 15:00 CET and retails for CHF 1,975. For more information, please visit louiserard.com.