Louis Erard marks a new stage in the accessible creation watch, with a fresh look at all the crafts that make up watchmaking. For this new collaboration, the Jura based Manufacture turns to architecture and design working with Architects atelier oï.
How to materialise space and time? How to materialise the contemporary spirit of the watch when connected technology has disconnected watchmaking from its primary necessity: telling the time?
Louis Erard invited atelier oï to look into the question and the answer is a new original dial, the third part of the series of collaborations already co-created by Alain Silberstein and Vianney Halter. Once more based on the emblematic model of the Maison: the regulator.
Breaking new ground, the collaboration leaves the strict field of watchmaking, since atelier oï works in the fields of architecture and design. The invitation did not come about by accident. The workshop, based in La Neuveville, a satellite town of Neuchâtel, has been close to the watchmaking industry since its creation precisely thirty years ago and the watchmaking world has played a major part in the development of the company. Also Manuel Emch, manager at Louis Erard and Friend of MrWatchMaster, began his career with an internship at atelier oï and who has collaborated with it ever since.
The objective, for Louis Erard, is once again to break down barriers in the world and make accessible what is often reserved for specialist clientele. With this added challenge of plunging without a net into contemporary creation, with all that entails of references, reflections, diversions and shocks.
atelier oï proceeded in a basic way: “To radiate from the centre outwards.” Taking care to reduce the technical vocabulary as much as possible, reminiscent of the shape of a sundial. The result is a surface engraved with asymmetrical rays, the light of which reveals reflections and contrasts – echoing the passion of the members of atelier oï for the material and the play of light. The art of engraving being expressed here in its essence: drawn lines. These lines create a space, to which the hands add the dimension of time.
Le Régulateur has naturally imposed its own rhythm: the hands (hour, minute, second) become centres from which rays emerge, generating visual kinetics that each movement of the wrist animates, giving the two-dimensional dial the depth of a radiant architecture. A pure work of art, which nothing can break, not even the Louis Erard logo.
“Today, the object watch has another meaning.”
Reading the time comes out somewhat dematerialised – you have to mentally reconstruct the puzzle of hour angles – but all the links are not broken: the minute-circle still appears around the edge of the dial, with a more pronounced line every five minutes and exactly sixty segments.
Le Régulateur Louis Erard x atelier oï. Retail price CHF 3,500. Limited edition of 178 pieces — symbol number which means that together we are always stronger. Other collaborations to follow.
Le Régulateur Louis Erard x atelier oï ref. 85237AA53
Limited edition of 178 pieces
Recommended retail price: CHF 3,500
Movement: Automatic regulator, Sellita SW266-1 calibre, 11½’’’, Ø25.60 mm, height: 5.60 mm, 31 jewels, 28,800 VpH (4Hz), élaboré grade movement, special openworked oscillating weight with Louis Erard symbol, approx. 38 hours of power reserve
Functions: HMS. Hour hand at 12 o’clock, central minute hand, second hand at 6 o’clock
Case: Polished stainless steel, Ø42 mm, lug width: 22 mm, lug to lug: 49.60 mm, thickness: 12.25 mm, 3 pieces, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, movement visible through the transparent caseback, water resistant up to a pressure of 5 bars (50 m/165 ft), signature fir tree crown, case back engraved with “atelier oï x Louis Erard Limited Edition 1 of 178”
Dial: “Black Or” slate grey, matt and polished, 60 planed lines marking the minutes. Dial designed by atelier oï according to their artistic identity
Hands: Blue baton hands
Strap: “Covey” grey calf nubuck leather with tone-on-tone stitching, polished stainless steel pin buckle, functional catch spring bars enabling the strap to be changed quickly
Dimensions: 22/20mm width, 80/115mm length
Collaboration: Watch developed in collaboration with atelier oï in a limited edition of 178 pieces
For more information please visit https://www.louiserard.com