A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine asked me what I thought about Japanese mechanical watches compared to Swiss alternatives. Over the last few years, Miyota and Seiko movements have become very popular with small microbrands. For example, SEVENFRIDAY has enjoyed enormous global success with its distinctive range of timepieces. You could also choose from labels like Achtung, Lytt Labs, REC and Zoid. My opinion is if you are on a restricted budget these brands are a viable option. However, Swiss-made timepieces still have more prestige and are becoming a lot more accessible. A great example can be found in Louis Erard’s phenomenal ‘Régulateur Louis Erard x Eric Giroud’ watch.
The history of Louis Erard dates back to 1931 when a 36-year old horologist (Louis Erard) founded the brand in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Over the years the company enjoyed a certain amount of success. In 1992 the business relocated to Le Noirmont in the Swiss Jura and was subsequently acquired by Alain Spinedi (with the help of fifteen shareholders). Their mantra is to produce well designed Swiss-made watches at reasonably affordable prices. To achieve this they have focused on quality rather than investing in expensive marketing campaigns. Personally I feel (in the current climate) this is a very good strategy.
In the world of horology, Eric Giroud is considered by many as the crème de la crème of watch designers. Notable achievements include the Manufacture Royale 1770, MCT Sequential One S110, MB & F/Urwerk ZR012 and Red Dot Award-winning Swarovski Crystallium Automatic. All of these timepieces are incredible but priced well beyond most peoples budgets. That is why I was interested to hear about the limited edition (178 pieces) ‘Régulateur Louis Erard x Eric Giroud’ watch, which retails for only CHF $2,700 (approximately $2,906). Very kindly Alain Spinedi sent me one of these exquisite timepieces (for review purposes) and on arrival, it massively exceeded my expectations.
The ‘Régulateur Louis Erard x Eric Giroud’ has a diameter of 42mm but actually wears slightly larger. Certainly, this a beautiful dress watch that potentially will appeal to a large demographic including the unisex market. What makes this timepiece so special is the sublime blue dial with complimentary silver accents. Essentially, this is Eric Giroud’s minimalistic interpretation of the iconic Regulator. Other features include a large date window (positioned at 3 o’clock) and blue crocodile-effect calf leather strap with folding clasp. Powering the watch is a Sellita SW200-1 self-winding movement with Dubois Depraz 14072 complication.
For more information about the ‘Régulateur Louis Erard x Eric Giroud’ follow this link