Louis Erard offers us a very nice surprise during this last quarter by presenting a breathtaking version of his Excellence Regulateur. I almost wrote: "unexpectedly" and finally I changed my mind. Because when I think about it, it is not surprising to see Louis Erard act like this. The brand is indeed taking its destiny in hand under the impetus of Manuel Emch who is much more than a special advisor sit on its bedside. Manuel Emch took a share of the capital of the brand and de facto is fully associated with its future and its development. The recent situation of Louis Erard required a shock treatment, the company suffering the full brunt of the watch crisis. Since the arrival of Manuel Emch, the survival plan has been put in place resulting in a significant restructuring of the catalog and a reduction of the staff size.
It's a whole part of Louis Erard's activity that has been abandoned, the one that faced fierce competition and in which a small Swiss brand has few added values and competitive advantages: the segment of entry level watches, including with quartz movements and prices below 1.000 euros. Industrial processes have been reviewed, the contracts with suppliers have been renogotiated and the distribution network is changing. In short, Louis Erard is changing and now wants to show more horological ambition to be credible on the privileged segment.
I knew that Louis Erard was a brand to follow. It is always in difficult times that the best know how to create opportunities and I trusted Manuel Emch and his team to pull out some pretty rabbits from their hats. Moreover, the Excellence Regulateur redesigned by Eric Giroud was already a very beautiful evolution of the flagship model from Louis Erard.
The brand new Excellence Regulateur which has just been unveiled is part of this same process. It gives the opportunity to a known and recognized watch designer to express himself in a new context for him. This creator is Alain Siberstein and by discovering this new watch, I had only one thought: the partnership fully worked.
The Excellence Regulateur Alain Silberstein is a success because it is at the same time faithful to Louis Erard and faithful to Alain Silberstein. The Louis Erard style is reflected in the simplicity and efficiency of the presentation, in the use of the traditional 40mm steel case and in the movement Peseux 7001 specifically redesigned for the brand to integrate the regulator display and the power reserve indicator at 9 o'clock.
The Alain Silberstein style is manifested by the two backgrounds of the dial (black and white or opaline) and obviously by the superb set of typical hands. It is actually a kind of symbolic watch. The main hand is the minute hand. It is embodied by an imposing lacquered arrow that crosses the entire dial and reminds us that the minutes display is ultimately the most important. The hours sub-dial at the top of the dial uses the usual red triangle from Alain Silberstein (without the three small dots) and I find again with great pleasure the famous yellow serpentine hand (or red according to the version) as a second hand. The power reserve display hand is simpler but the aesthetic touch is on the scale, both discreet and effective.
Unlike the other Regulateurs of the catalog, the Excellence Regulateur Alain Silberstein offers a very visually present peripheral scale. The indexes echo the minute hand and the dial, which doesn't feature any numeral, appears at the same time colorful, very graphic and geometric and especially very readable. In fact this watch is clearly in the spirit of Alain Silberstein: it offers a precise reading of time while immersing ourselves in an offbeat and creative context.
As for the manual winding Regulateur models of the catalog, the Excellence Regulateur Alain Silberstein is powered by a Peseux 7001 with "top" grade offering a frequency of 3hz and a power reserve of 42 hours. This movement is simply decorated with Geneva stripes and blued screws. It is a reliable and widespread movement which ensures sustainable operation and ability to service it easily. I have one regret: its diameter is small considering the size of the case and the see-through caseback doesn't seem to me the best solution. And this feeling is reinforced by the fact that the inscription "Le Regulateur - Limited Edition Louis Erard" as well as Alain Silberstein's signature are printed on the glass which hinders the sight on the movement. In this context, I would have preferred a solid caseback with an engraving recalling us the involvement of Alain Silberstein than the see-through caseback option. The good point is that taken into account the typical regulateur display, the small size of the movement can't be felt on the dial side.
I had a lot of pleasure by testing the Excellence Regulateur Alain Silberstein. Its quality of execution is flawless and the finish of the dial and of the lacquered hands is excellent. The anti-reflective sapphire crystal treated on both sides ensures excellent readability and in all ways, our eyes are immediately attracted by the big minute hand. The diameter of the case appeared to me well dosed. The 40mm is a good compromise to obtain a piece at the same time elegant and allowing a good legibility of the indications on the dial. Finally, the calf leather strap with original stitching offers a good comfort due to its flexibility.
I was very seduced by this watch at once fun, creative and very serious in its presentation. But above all, how can we not thank the Louis Erard team for having given to Alain Silberstein such an opportunity to express himself again? This common development is ideal: the regulateur display highlights the hands and reminds us all the talent of the French designer. And at the same time, it gives a welcome spotlight on Louis Erard and its new strategic orientations. A real win-win partnership. But, be careful! If the watch appeals to you, you will have to react very quickly because each version will be available in 178 pieces only at a price of 2,800 euros for the model with opaline dial and 2,900 euros for the black pvd model with black and white dial.
+ the pleasure to find again Alain Silberstein's style
+ an aesthetic success
+ a simple and effective movement
+ the quality of the execution
- I would have preferred a solid caseback than a see-through caseback that reveals a movement which is too small for the case