Louis Erard Excellence Automatic Regulator Black Collection
What is a "Regulator" watch? It is a rare complication that allowed timepieces from the past to be precisely adjusted using large pendulum clocks as a reference, at a time when pocket watches had not yet been invented, and the precision pace of mechanical clocks actually affected most industrial and daily activities. The operating logic behind a regulator is the separation between the hours reading and the minutes reading, the reduction of the length of the kinematic chain and the improvement of the mechanical performance. In the original regulators, the hours hand is directly connected to the barrel shaft, while the minutes hand is located in a lower position within the dial (at 6 o'clock), the third hand, finally, is the central seconds one.
Recognizing a regulator is quite easy; just look at the positioning of the two dials placed on the vertical line passing through 12 o'clock. Today, regulators are quite rare, I remember that IWC created some very nice ones, especially a limited edition version made for the Wempe boutique, but IWC is not the only brand, which offers such complication and there are a few available in different price ranges. Not everyone abides by the original crafting logic of the original regulators, but many manufacturers try to faithfully reproduce their aesthetic layout that makes them identifiable at first glance and also makes them quite original. Louis Erard is one of the few brands to offer up to two regulators in its collections; a more classic version of the regulator (with manual winding) and a more sporty version (with automatic winding). Recently, the latter version of this regulator started being distributed in Italy too.
The Louis Erard Excellence Automatic Regulator Black Collection is a three-hands-timepiece with a 42-mm-steel-case that underwent a PVD-treatment. Louis Erard's designers managed to further highlight the aesthetic concept of the regulator by focussing on the central part of the dial that features a Clous de Paris pattern. In addition to fulfilling this function, this type of design is usually preferred because it dramatically embellishes the dial and thus its perception of being a luxury watch. Because of its red central seconds red hand and the nubuk strap, the Louis Erard Excellence Automatic Regulator Black Collection looks like something half-way between a vaguely military watch and a sporty safari timepiece, where the Roman numerals displayed on the hours dial remind us of the typical classic spirit of a Louis Erard watch.
Perhaps, the only element that clashes a bit within the entire context is the date window; it is too intrusive, and those of you who know me, are well-aware that I am also one of the greatest supporters of the "no data watches" and of perfect geometric symmetry alike, although, obviously, I must be in a minority, given the choices of the majority of customers. In order to accomplish its Regulator, Louis Erard added a Dubois Depraz module to a Sellita SW200 base that guarantees up to 38 hours of power reserve. The timepiece is well-built, it sports a gorgeous nubuk strap that is perfectly coordinated with the SuperLuminova® vintage indices and a beautiful folding clasp too. The Louis Erard Excellence Automatic Regulator Black Collection retails at a price that sits just below the psychological 3000-euro-threshold.
(Photocredit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®