In just a few short years, Louis Erard has managed to turn from an overlooked watchmaking company into a rebellious, expressive new brand that’s put itself back on the radar. The modus operandi employed by CEO Manuel Emch seems to be working quite well, as we’ve seen a reshuffle in the collections and a run of very interesting and solidly performing special editions following two principles. On one end we have watches displaying traditional craftsmanship in a very expressive and modern way (like the Excellence Guilloché Main II) and on the other, we have watches made in collaboration with design studios and industry veterans. The next chapter in the new book of Louis Erard sees us checking out the Le Diptyque Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein set.
Proof of Concept
The collaboration between Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein starts three years ago when the first limited edition was launched. Based on the emblematic Le Régulateur, Louis Erard presented a bold take on the simple yet alluring regulator watch. Using the signature red-yellow-and-blue colour scheme and geometric shapes Alain Silberstein is known for, it turned out to be a very fun watch.
While that very first collaboration piece was presented on its own (in black or white), with a typical round case, it was the start of something fresh and new for Louis Erard. What followed were several more interesting limited editions with industry legends such as Eric Giroud and Vianney Halter, all based on that same split-time display.
Unsurprisingly, the brand wasn’t done playing around with fresh colours and shapes, as last year the Le Tryptique Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein caused quite a sensation. Gone was the classical shaped case, as we welcomed a very modern and expressively shaped case in grade 2 and grade 5 titanium. We once again saw the Le Régulateur being turned into something playful, but also the brand’s monopusher chronograph. The proverbial icing on the cake was the La Semaine, with a smiley-faced indication for the day of the week that gradually gets more excited as the weekend approaches.
Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Blanc
Both watches use the same contemporary architecture as the three-piece collaboration between Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein. The case construction uses a central container with lugs extending from end to end to “grasp” the container in between. Made from micro-blasted grade 2 titanium and polished grade 5 titanium, the case shows contrast as well as lightness. Measuring 47mm from lug to lug, the watches wear quite large on the wrist but thanks to the unique hook-and-loop nylon strap are extremely comfortable.
The Le Régulateur has become somewhat of a signature complication for Louis Erard, so naturally, it makes a return in this special two-piece set. The split time display puts the emphasis on the minutes, with the hours and seconds being displayed off-centre in a stand-alone subdial. On top, we have the hours, the minutes in the middle, and the seconds are in the bottom. Reading time takes a little getting used to but becomes quite intuitive.
The dial for this new Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Blanc is pretty much the same as the one we’ve seen last year, with an opaline matte silver dial instead of black. Once again we see an outer ring with red and grey transfers for the minutes, and the signature Silberstein hands lacquered in red, yellow and blue. Each one has its own geometric shape, all adding to the flair of the watch.
The Sellita SW266-1 is an élaboré-grade automatic movement, running at a frequency of 28,800vph and providing 38 hours of autonomy once fully wound. It can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback. The case is attached to a grey nylon strap using a titanium hook and loop system to be secured to the wrist. The beauty of this is that it can be effortlessly and seamlessly adjusted on the go. The Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Blanc is limited to just 178 pieces and priced at CHF 4,000.
Quick Facts – 40mm diameter x 11.60mm height (47mm lug to lug) – micro-blasted grade 2 & polished grade 5 titanium case – sapphire crystal – 100m water-resistant – Opaline matte silver dial with grey and red transfers – regulator style time display – signature Silberstein hands in red, yellow and blue – Sellita SW266-1 (élaboré grade) – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 38h power reserve – hours, central minutes, seconds – grey nylon hook-and-loop strap with titanium hardware – limited to 178 pieces – CHF 4,000
La Semaine Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Blanche
The second piece of the duo is the unequivocally fun La Semaine Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Blanche. Again resorting to the very modern titanium exterior, the La Semaine adds a rather comical element to the passage of time. With the dimensions and overall design being similar inside and out, the change we see here is once more down to the colour of the dial.
Louis Erard has exchanged the deep black for a more frivolous opaline matte silver (almost white in tone) dial as a background to the geometric shapes and primary colours on display. The track on the outer perimeter has blue hour indices, paired with a red twelve o’clock index and grey markers in between. The red, yellow and blue hands are used to indicate the time, with a date window at the bottom and a weekday indicator just about that.
What’s so fun about this one is the fact the days of the week are displayed through seven different smiley faces. As the week kicks off with a grumpy face on Monday, it gradually gets happier and happier as the days go by and the weekend approaches. All this is driven by the automatic ETA 2863-2 movement. With a frequency of 28,800vph and 38 hours of power reserve on tap, it can be seen through the caseback.
This too is worn on a grey nylon hook-and-look strap, is also limited to just 178 pieces and will retail for CHF 4,000. And we sort of expect it to move rather quickly, just like last year’s trio (and box-set for that matter) used to do.
Quick Facts – 40mm diameter x 11.60mm height (47mm lug to lug) – micro-blasted grade 2 & polished grade 5 titanium case – sapphire crystal – 100m water-resistant – Opaline matte silver dial with grey transfers – Silberstein Smiledays day-of-the-week display – signature Silberstein hands in red, yellow and blue – date indication – ETA 2863-2 automatic – 28,800vph – 38h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, day, date – grey nylon hook-and-loop strap with titanium hardware – limited to 178 pieces – CHF 4,000
Le Diptyque box set
Next to the two watches being sold separately, Louis Erard once again offers a special box set containing both limited editions as it has done with the Tryptique set. For the sum of CHF 7,777 you get one of each in a single box which also gives you a little bit of a discount compared to the price for each one on its own. This special box set is limited to 56 sets only so you have to be quick!
For more information, please visit LouisErard.com