If someone from the future were to ask you what was the fashion in watches in the decade leading up to 2020, you’d probably mention the following trends: a bonanza of the luxury sports watch; materials like ceramic, titanium and bronze; colourful gradient dials (lots of blue); and a generous dash of vintage, vintage and more vintage styling. Well, Louis Erard has ticked all the above boxes and presents four limited-edition La Sportive chronographs with titanium or bronze cases, ceramic bezels, colourful gradient dials (including blue) and extra-domed sapphire crystals. Fitted with solid ETA 7750 Valjoux movements, Louis Erard is able to stick to its philosophy of offering good quality watches at “competitive prices”.
All four models share a diameter of 44mm and a thickness of 15mm, they also feature scratch and fade-resistant black ceramic bezels with a tachymeter scale and are water-resistant to 50m. Known as being 30% harder and 60% lighter than steel the grade 5 titanium models offer a winning combination of lightness and solidity and display brushed and polished surfaces. Bronze, with its particular oxidisation process and resulting patina, has enjoyed a comeback in watchmaking of late and is the material of choice for two of the La Sportive chronograph, again like the titanium, with brushed and polished surfaces.
Also known as graduated dials, fumé dials and even ombré dials, the names describe how the colour transitions from a paler tone in the centre of the dial to a darker, more intensely saturated hue on the periphery. For the dials of the four La Sportive chronographs, Louis Erard takes inspiration from the natural colours of the Jura Mountains: the two colder titanium models come with blue or grey dials while the warmer bronze cases are matched with brown or pine green gradient dials.
The effect is certainly eye-catching and heightens the contrast with the layout of the three black sub-dials, which are snailed and feature white markings. Small seconds are positioned at 9 o’clock, 30-minutes at 12 o’clock and 12-hours at 6 o’clock with black backgrounds designed to match the tachymeter scale. Counterbalancing the running seconds, a bevelled rectangular day/date window with a black background and white inscriptions is placed at 3 o’clock. The applied indices and central hands are all treated with Super-LumiNova (unlike the white central chronograph hand and the white hands of the subsidiary counters on the titanium models, the bronze watch features 4N rose gold PVD treated hands to match the case). Underscoring the vintage vibe of the latest La Sportive chronographs is the pronounced domed sapphire crystal protecting the dial.
The reverse side of the watch reveals the ETA 7750 Valjoux automatic chronograph movement. One of the most resilient Swiss movements, the calibre beats at 28,800vph and offers a decent power reserve of 48 hours for the hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph and day/date functions.
Straps, availability and price
The titanium La Sportive chronographs come with a black vintage calfskin leather strap with white stitching and an innovative titanium folding clasp that does not perforate the leather. A brown calfskin leather strap with white stitching accompanies the two bronze models, also fitted with a titanium clasp that does not require the leather to be punctured.
All four chronographs are limited editions of 250 pieces. The retail prices of the La Sportive models are CHF 3,250 for the titanium models and CHF 2,950 for the bronze. For more information, please consult louiserard.com.