Louis Erard 1931 – Limited Edition12:42 pm
Switzerland is a country of tradition and contrasts. A nation that has seen the birth, rise and fall of small and big watchmakers alike, and because of their rich and skilful tradition of producing the best timepieces in the world, there’s obviously no dearth of quality watchmaking companies. Some live in the shadow of the big boys – recognizable brands; some come and go and despite all, there are some who believe they can create a niche for themselves. A benchmark which probably no watchmaker would find it ‘viable’ to maintain in today’s world: to produce a watch of the highest quality, at par with the big boys (with all the mechanics, precious metals and complications) and offer it to the true watch lover at the lowest possible price. As impractical as it may sound, Louis Erard is that stubborn brand from La Chaux-de-Fonds that strives to deliver and tell the world “you don’t have to be a millionaire to own a beautiful watch”.
Today we’re going to talk about one of their first and oldest collections- the Louis Erard 1931, a collection named after their first watches produced. But before we go in depth with the watch, let’s tell you more about who they are:
Rise – fall and rise:
Louis Erard, the man himself founded the company back in 1929 with a desire to make premium mechanical watches. With a relatively small factory and a few craftsmen, they produced their first watch in 1931. As appreciation for their timepieces grew, the company decided to expand its business and had 60 employees on their roll in 1937. But as fate would have it, their fortunes turned sour, probably way too soon. In 1945, the brand was forced to dissolve because of a separation and the dream to make affordable mechanical watches for the world was almost pipe less. After their lengthy eclipse, a silver lining came in the year 2003, with the help of a few investors and its current CEO, Alain Spinedi. The brand Louis Erard was born again with the same determination and spirit to produce maybe a few timepieces in a year, but only for those who truly appreciate good watchmaking.
“Flawless quality, interesting complications that go hand-in-hand with affordable prices.”
The spirit retained:
A modern interpretation of the first watch, the 1931 was brought to life by the brand but in a limited edition version. In fact it’s good to mention here that almost all of Louis Erard watch collections are limited edition pieces.
In the 1931, the ‘old school’ spirit remains intact; the dial is white, Arabic numbers on a rail track design and a small second’s index at 9 o’clock keeps it as clean and legible as possible with of course a usual date window at 3 o’clock. They’ve gone with blue leaf hour hands that complement the white dial and all of this is in a stainless steel case and protected by reflective sapphire crystal on both sides. What’s more interesting though, is what this watch comes with; the watch is delivered in a one of a kind presentation box that comes with a Montegrappa pen, a traditional red wax seal and vintage paper. Something you’d expect only pure connoisseurs in the modern era to appreciate.
Only 500 of these have been manufactured and each is individually numbered on the case back.
As far as what runs this watch is concerned, Louis Erard has made no compromises with the trusted Sellita SW-290 that powers the watch, housed in a solid, well-built 40mm stainless steel case that comes with a black calfskin strap. The watch is also water-resistant to 5 ATM (50 Metres).
If you fancy this piece then you can expect more to come from Louis Erard, a brand that believes in making fine timepieces, only for the true watch lover.
Features Writer, The Watch Guide
Rahul is a watch and sports lover currently living in New Delhi. Having worked as a journalist and a copywriter previously, he is now thrilled to be a part of a team that loves, lives and breathes wristwatches. After joining Ethos and The Watch Guide team, his interest for the world of horology grew and is now completely and hopelessly hooked on watches.