Louis Erard have certainly surprised us and everyone else this year with their releases. Before a few years ago, the brand went fairly unnoticed, keeping their designs simple, understated and incredibly affordable with a couple of small collaborations like the one we covered with British supercar manufacturer Ultima. More recently, however, there has been an undeniable change in their approach to watchmaking by bringing to life traditional artistic techniques but at an extremely low price point. Following on from the Excellence Émail Grand Feu first introduced a few months ago, Louis Erard have now unveiled the Excellence Guilloché Main Limited Edition with a breathtaking hand guilloche dial.
Those new to the world of guilloche need to understand the long and painstaking effort that goes into crafting it. Done entirely by hand, one by one by the same artisan, each dial of the Louis Excellence Guilloché Main Limited Edition takes several hours to complete. The dial maker, Fehr & Cie SA in La Chaux-de-Fonds, is responsible for the breathtaking pattern and they have used no CNC machine or automated process here, but it has been carried out entirely by hand on a manual guilloche rose engine lath. Techniques like this are usually reserved for the world’s most prestigious brands, and not that Louis Erard aren’t worthy of this title , but at a retail price of £3,400, it’s not a common sight to see in the luxury watch industry.
Some of the more common guilloche patterns seen in today’s watches are clous de Paris or grains d’orge, but as we’ve now come to expect, Louis Erard likes to break the boundaries of traditional timepiece manufacture and has opted for a more contemporary 3D chequered pattern. The dial is applied with a black varnish prior to the guilloche engraving which is then plated with rhodium to give it an unmissable silvery finish. The final look creates an almost three-dimensional effect similar to that trompe-l’oeil. As with any piece made by hand, the volumes that can be envisaged are limited and so the Louis Excellence Guilloché Main watch is a limited edition of only 99 pieces.
To put all focus on the devilish geometric pattern at its centre, the Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main Limited Edition watch is highlighted by two singular “fir tree” hands for hours and minutes dressed in flame-blued steel. The Louis Erard logo has chosen not to disrupt the guilloche backdrop but has been transferred in black under the domed sapphire crystal glass treated with ant-reflective coating. Sapphire crystal is also incorporated through the case back and delivers a view of the automatic winding movement within and the special open-worked oscillating rotor adorned with the Louis Erard emblem.
Powering the Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main watch is the Sellita SW261-1 automatic winding in élaboré grade. The movement is nothing overly special, providing just central hands for hours and minutes and a power reserve of 38 hours, but its simplicity is high cause for the limited edition’s reasonable price point. The movement also boasts 31 jewels and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
The case of the Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main Limited Edition is also nothing new, following in the footsteps of other references in the Excellence collection. It measures to 42 millimetres in diameter and 12.25 millimetres in thickness and is crafted from polished stainless steel. The small knurled crown at 3 o’clock is non-screw locked ensuring a water resistance of 50 metres and on the case back, the limited edition number out of 99 pieces is engraved. The case is then completed by a natural black calfskin nubuck leather strap equipped with quick release spring bars for an easy change over and a matching polished stainless steel pin buckle.
If you’d like to learn more about the Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main Limited Edition watch and to order your own, head over to the Jura Watches website here or get in touch with the team on 01335 453453.
Specifications: Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main Limited Edition (66237AA52.BVA34)
- Case Size: 42mm
- Case Material: Polished stainless steel
- Bezel: Fixed
- Glass: Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
- Crown: Non-screw locked
- Case Back: Exhibition
- Water Resistance: 50 metres
- Movement: Sellita SW261-1 automatic
- Functions: Hours and minutes
- Power Reserve: 38 hours
- Jewels: 31
- Frequency: 28,800vph
- Dial: Black and silver chequered pattern made by hand guilloche, blued steel hands
- Strap: Black calfskin nubuck leather
- Buckle: Pin
- RRP: £3,400
- Limited Edition: 99 pieces