At the moment my time has been monopolised by research for two new books I am writing. One of the projects (my 10th book) explores how dress watches have evolved over the last couple of decades. Within this publication, I hope to illustrate how watchmakers have experimented with different materials and aesthetics. The parameters are pretty broad and the selections will be diverse. However, all of the selections can be worn with a dinner suit to a gala ball.
One brand that has become synonymous with creating traditional dress watches with a modern twist is Louis Erard. I’ve written several articles about pieces like the Excellence Guilloché Main, Excellence Émail Grand Feu, ‘Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Vianney Halter’, Excellence Triptych and ‘Régulateur Louis Erard x Eric Giroud’. All of these timepieces are phenomenal and would be perfect for my ‘Modern Dress Watch’ book.
A few days ago I received a press release unveiling three exciting new timepieces called the Excellence Régulateur Aventurine, Lapis-Lazuli and Malachite. For these three models, Louis Erard has decided to experiment with raw stones and minerals. Certainly, they are not the first brand to use this distinctive material. However, they have created a beautiful series of Swiss mechanical automatic watches at a very competitive price. Impressively they are offering each of these limited edition timepieces (99 pieces) for a 2,900CHF (approximately $3,172).
Each of the timepieces from the Excellence Régulateur Aventurine, Lapis-Lazuli and Malachite triptych has a 42mm x 12.25mm polished steel. Dimensionally, this makes the watches an ideal accompaniment to formal events. The watches are also pressure tested to 5 bars (50 metres) so offer a certain amount of water protection. However, it wouldn’t be advisable to use these timepieces for diving or vigorous water sports.
Visually each of the three models has a different identity because of the different stones Louis Erard has used. However, they are unified by the silver dual counters and indexes. All of the timepieces are absolutely exquisite but if I had to make a choice it would be the vibrant green Malachite. Powering the watches is a Swiss automatic movement from Selita. The Calibre SW266-1 comprises 31-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. This élaboré grade mechanism is visibly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Excellence Régulateur’s features hours, minutes and seconds. The watch also has a power reserve of approximately 38-hours.
Excellence Régulateur Aventurine ref. 85237AA32
Excellence Régulateur Lapis-Lazuli ref. 85237AA35
Excellence Régulateur Malachite ref. 85237AA39