Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie Limited Edition Watch Review

Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie Limited Edition Watch Review

Swiss watchmaker Louis Erard continues to use their beautifully affordable Excellence watch as the foundation for rare métiers d’art dials as the Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie watch, a limited edition of 99 pieces, presents a complicated and mesmerising miniature marquetry dial.

The Marqueterie Dial

There are some watches you just have to see in person to appreciate the full splendour of its manufacture and the new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie Limited Edition is one of the same. The extreme practice of miniature marquetry is presented on the dial, handmade piece-by-piece by independent artisan, Bastien Chevalier, based in Sainte-Croix. This decorative work is typically seen on surfaces of furniture where elaborate patterns are created using thin veneers or layers of materials like hardwood, shell or ivory. It’s a complex technique even on larger surfaces, so to create marquetry on something as small as a watch dial is no easy feat.

The pattern on the Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie watch is one of pure geometry, a checkerboard effect that is both playful and eye catching, utilising a mesmerising trompe-l’oeil pattern that protrudes and hollows out under the light. According to Bastien Chevalier, the geometric design of the dial was a real challenge: “Geometric design is the hardest thing to do, you have to be totally precise. The pattern won’t permit any error, the slightest deviation is visible.” To create it, each facet is cut into the wood by hand with a saw and each colour visible is a different wood. The dial uses three shades of blue-tinted tulip tree, and grey-tinted willow burl cut in the direction of the grain. The wood must also be cut at exactly a tenth of a millimetre to ensure the display is assembled without any gaps; any mistake and you must start over from scratch.

It’s easy to see now why marquetry dials like this are not seen often. It requires an immense amount of talent and patience to create the surgical-level jigsaw and the production time is significantly longer than any other conventional watch dial. As you’d expect, the price of a watch with a marquetry dial is also not always easily accessible. And yet, the 99 limited edition pieces of the Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie watch make history as the first wood marquetry dial that has ever been available to the public for less than £5,000. To fully respect the beauty of the dial’s artwork, the rest of the display is kept super simply with no numerals, two fir-tree hands in blue for the hours and minutes, the Louis Erard logo and the artisan’s signature.

Additional Features of the Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie Watch

Since the miniature marquetry dial is the entire focal point of the Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie Limited Edition, the rest of the watch is kept pretty traditional, following in the footsteps of previous Excellence models. The modern case measures to 42mm in diameter and 12.25mm in height, crafted from highly polished stainless steel with domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on top alongside a smooth, unadorned bezel. There’s the familiar signature fir-tree crown at 3 o’clock and an exhibition case back engraved with its limited edition status out of 99 pieces. The Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie watch is water resistant to 50 metres.

The 99-piece Louis Erard limited edition secures to the wrist by a blue grained calfskin leather strap with tone-on-tone attachment points, blue grained calfskin leather lining and a polished stainless steel pin buckle to match the case. The strap is also equipped with functional catch spring bars so you can easily change the strap with an alternate one. When the Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie Limited Edition is not on your wrist, you can admire the Sellita SW261-1 automatic winding movement a blue tinted case back. It delivers 31 jewels, a frequency of 28,80vph and a power reserve of 38 hours. It’s an élaboré grade movement so you can expect to see high-end finishing including a special openworked oscillating weight with black lacquered Louis Erard symbol.

If you’d like to learn more about the new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie watch and secure one of the 99 limited edition pieces for yourself, head over to the Jura Watches website here. Alternatively, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at help@jurawatches.co.uk.


  • Case Size: 42mm x 12.25mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Fixed
  • Glass: Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
  • Crown: Non-screw down
  • Case Back: Exhibition, blue tinted glass
  • Water Resistance: 50 metres
  • Movement: Sellita SW261-1 automatic winding, élaboré grade
  • Functions: Hours and minutes
  • Power Reserve: 38 hours
  • Jewels: 31
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Handmade wood marquetry dial by Bastien Chevalier, blue steel fir-tree hands
  • Strap: Blue grained calfskin leather
  • Buckle: Pin
  • Limited: 99 pieces
  • Reference: 34237AA58
  • RRP: £4,200

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