The New Louis Erard Excellence and 1931 Collections

Watchmaker Louis Erard founded his eponymous watch brand in 1931 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Now based in Le Noirmont in the Jura Valley, the brand has reinvented its collections in recent years under new CEO Alain Spinedi, offering a focus on mechanical movements with classical complications (and a particular emphasis on regulators) at affordable prices. Here we present highlights from Louis Erard’s two major men’s watch collections, Excellence and 1931.

The Louis Erard Excellence collection is considered the brand’s flagship, and one of its signature pieces is the new Excellence Automatic Regulator, the collection’s first regulator-dial timepiece with a self-winding movement (previous models had all been manual-winding). It has a contemporary 42-mm-diameter case (water-resistant to 50 meters) in polished stainless steel and is powered by the Sellita SW200 caliber with a Dubois Dépraz 14072 module. The dial options are silver-tone (Ref. 86 236 AA 01, pictured below) and black (Ref. 86 236 AA 02), each enhanced with a côtes de Genève decoration. The watches come on a black imitation crocodile strap with a steel folding clasp.

Louis Erard Excellence Automatic Regulator - reclining
Louis Erard Excellence Automatic Regulator - front

A more complicated model from the collection is the Excellence Chrono Moon Phase, which is now available in a rose gold case as well as the existing steel one (both are pictured below). This watch is outfitted with an ETA Valjoux 7751 automatic movement powering a chronograph, pointer date indication, and moon-phase display. The case is 42 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 50 meters. The silver-toned dials have Roman numeral hour markers and blued hands. The steel version (Ref. 80 231 AA 01) comes on a black strap with pin buckle; the gold model (Ref. 80 231 OR 01), on a brown strap. For more watches in Louis Erard’s Excellence collection, click here.

Louis Erard Excellence Chrono Moon Phase Gold - side
Louis Erard Excellence Chrono Moon Phase Gold - front
Louis Erard Excellence Chrono Moon Phase - steel

From the Louis Erard 1931 Collection — named for the year of the first Louis Erard watch and characterized by rounded, Arabic hour numerals — comes the 1931 Small Second Open, whose featured attraction is a large, eye-catching aperture at 6 o’clock that reveals the balance of the openworked movement, based on the hand-wound ETA/Peseux 7001, ticking away the seconds as the blued small seconds hand sweeps over it. The Small Second Open has a 40-mm case, water-resistant to 50 meters, with a sapphire exhibition caseback. There are two models in steel (Ref. 32 217 AA 31 with silvered dial, below, and Ref. 32 217 AA 32 with black dial) and two in rose gold (Ref. 32 217 OR 31 with silvered dial, and Ref. 32 217 OR 32 with black dial). For more in Louis Erard’s 1931 collection, click here.

Louis Erard 1931 Small Second Open - steel, reclining
Louis Erard 1931 Small Second Open - steel, frontLouis Erard watches start at around €500 to €3,500 for “mid-range” pieces, and reach €6,000 to €13,000 for “high-end” models. More detail on the collection, along with contact info, is available on the brand’s website.

Spinedi (below), who acquired the Louis Erard brand with a group of investors in 2003, takes pride in its growth since then: highlights include the development of an in-house module in 2008, the launch of an entirely new ladies’ collection in 2012, and surpassing the milestone of 200,000 watches produced in 2014. “Capturing time demands finesse, creativity and technology,” Spinedi says. “This is the Louis Erard Spirit : a repertoire of timepieces that galvanise technology and aesthetic to create completely new icons of time. Our mechanical executions for 2015 are Regulators, Power Reserves and Chronos, among others.”

Alain Spinedi, CEO, Louis Erard

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