A friend of mine called Oliver Broos Revitt has just set up a company called OBR Horology in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD (Central Business District). Previously he studied at the prestigious British Horological Institute and American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute. I first met Oliver when he worked for my good friend and co-collaborator Ben Birkett. As well as being a specialist watch repairer/restorer Oliver also is skilled in the art of Guilloché. This is a very precise technique that involves engraving a repetitive pattern onto metal. It originates in France circa 1770 and has become exceptionally popular in modern watchmaking. A great example can be found in Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main.
Over the last few months I have written several articles about Louis Erard including the Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Eric Giroud, Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Vianney Halter, Excellence Émail Grand Feu and Excellence Triptych. All of these wonderful timepieces were a pleasure to write about because they all have exceptional aspects of design merit. The Excellence Guilloché Main follows a similar path and is inspired by the marble parquet of a Venetian High Renaissance palace and the works of M.C. Escher. The end result is a sublime trompe-l’oeil effect. This super realistic technique captivated me at art school because it creates a three-dimensional optical illusion.
The Excellence Guilloché Main is limited to only 99 pieces and each dial is individually crafted by specialist dial manufacturer Fehr in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Due to the meticulous nature of this technique, each dial takes several hours to produce and is fabricated on a manual guilloché rose engine lathe. This entire splendour is encapsulated in a 42mm stainless steel case that should appeal to a broad demographic. Other refined features include Louis Erard signature blued steel fir tree hands and crown. Overall the composition is delightful and the finishing is first-rate.
At the heart of the watch is an élaboré grade self-winding movement from Swiss manufacturer Selita. The Calibre SW261-1 comprises 31-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This sophisticated mechanism has a special open-worked oscillating weight with the Louis Erard symbol that is visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Excellence Guilloché Main only features hours and minutes to not detract from the ornate dial. The watch also has a power reserve of 38-hours and is water-resistant to a depth of 50-metres.
As a perfect finale, the Excellence Guilloché Main is presented on a black calf nubuck leather with tone-on-tone stitching and complimentary steel pin buckle. For a watch of this quality, I believe the recommended retail price of CHF 3,900 is competitive.
For more information about Louis Erard follow this link