Louis Erard has abandoned a second limited edition in its artisanal series, which focuses on offering traditionally high-end craftsmanship at more accessible prices, with the Excellence Guilloché Main.
The trompe-l’œil (or optical illusion) guilloche pattern on the dial is created at the Swiss dial maker Fehr, using a century-old pink motor lathe, a machine controlled by hand and the eye by an operator using a series of cams, feelers, cranks and chisels, a trade which is a mixture of dexterity and experience.
Each of the 99 dials in the series is produced by the same craftsman, which helps them develop a vital rhythm as they create the unique pattern. As each takes several hours to complete, motor-turned dials have traditionally been used primarily in the high end of the market by watchmakers such as Roger Smith.
Some manufacturers are now using modern CNC machines to engrave guilloché patterns on dials (or even stamp the pattern into the metal) and, although this is technically guilloche, with the word describing both the pattern and the technique, a dial created in this way is not as high. rated like the one created on a pink engine.
The 3D cubic pattern chosen by Louis Erard and created in Fehr’s workshop in the La Chaux-de-Fonds watchmaking center, is also much more modern than most guilloche which, given the age of the craftsmanship , tend to focus on more floral designs. The feeling of depth is enhanced by coating the dial blank with black varnish before the engraving, then applying a rhodium plating to the brass exposed by the engraving. The Louis Erard logo and name are then printed on the sapphire crystal of the watch.
The Excellence Guilloché Main features a 42mm polished stainless steel case containing a Sellita SW261-1 automatic with hours and minutes indicated by blued steel “fir” hands. The watch is water resistant to 50 m and is attached to a black nubuck strap with pin buckle.
Louis Erard launched its Artisan series with its Excellence Enamel Grand Feu, which features a traditional baked enamel dial produced by Donzé Cadrans.
Only 99 pieces of the Excellence Guilloché Main are in production and are now available. via Louis Erard, priced at CHF 3,900 (USD 4,267).
In other watchmaking news, Jacob & Co is launching a Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon set with precious stones with a moving V16 engine.