Louis Erard Excellence Regulator Eric Giroud
The Louis Erard Excellence Regulator was relaunched this year in collaboration with esteemed watch designer, Eric Giroud. Steve Ashby spent two weeks taking a closer look at this beautiful regulator watch.
During my youth, I was only interested in things that were ultra-modern. I courted products that, like me, were ‘young’ and embodied a contemporary aesthetic. At the age of 18, my mouth watered at the sights and sounds of the latest sports cars. Likewise, my first home was filled with a multitude of neoteric gadgets which littered various high gloss surfaces and box-like furniture. Everything leaned towards fashion rather than comfort or functionality. Ironically, as I have become older my appreciation for classically styled products has grown exponentially.
Indeed, my taste in cars has changed. I now favour classical cars, especially those which predate the year of my birth. Furthermore, my home is mostly furnished with oak or walnut and, topping it all off, my collection of vintage vinyl LPs continues to grow.
I purchased my first watch at the age of 20 and if I were to lay out every piece I own in the order that I acquired them, you would be able to see a gradual change there too. Of course, I still have time for every watch in my collection, modern or not.
Having previously had the pleasure of wearing an earlier version of the Louis Erard Excellence Regulator when I attended Baselworld in 2017, I seized the opportunity to road-test the latest version of this watch, the Louis Erard Excellence Regulator Eric Giroud. It harnesses some vintage elements, sating my present-day penchant for classical timepieces.
This watch is a ticking work of art conceived by Eric Giroud, an award-winning watch designer from the Canton of Valais, Switzerland. Giroud has previously collaborated with the likes of MB&F, Mido, Romain Jerome, Tissot and countless others. Furthermore, Giroud has exhibited his artistic prowess, designing offices, writing instruments and furniture. No two Giroud watch designs look alike, but each is remarkably beautiful in its own way. As such, Giroud has been a member of the Cultural Council of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in style, design and artistic expertise since 2015.
The Louis Erard Excellence Regulator Eric Giroud is available in three dial variants, black, blue and ivory. Each variant is limited to just 70 pieces and all are equally appealing, making the decision-making process a bit of a challenge. After a lengthy period of contemplation, I opted for the latter of the three. I was impressed by the images of the product beforehand, however, seeing the watch affixed to my wrist significantly heightened my fondness for this timepiece.
The ivory dial has been given a deep lacquered finish, resulting in a shine so awing you could easily be fooled into believing it is made of glass. Minute markers surround a matching ivory chapter ring with Arabic numerals occupying the quarterly positions. The minute and second hands are presented on their own individual dials, consistent with other regulator timepieces. Both indications are positioned along the central vertical axis, augmenting the minimalist aesthetic of the watch. Giroud has opted for a simple outline for the subdials and employed crisp batons to aid read-off. The hour display also features Roman numerals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. The dial encompasses a small date window at the 3 o’clock position, complete with an anti-reflective magnifying bubble.
In keeping with the minimalist appearance, the blue dial canvas is complemented with polished nickel pointed baton hands, each eschewing the fussiness of a counterweight. Despite having three separate hands, the dial appears uncluttered, augmenting readability.
The watches are powered by a 26 jewel self-winding regulating calendar movement, the Sellita SW200 calibre, coupled with a Dubois Dépraz 14072 module. The movement is capable of delivering 38 hours of autonomous operation. Working at a computer, I have experienced watches in the past where the mainspring quickly becomes exhausted while worn on the wrist. However, with the Louis Erard Excellence Regulator Eric Giroud, I am pleased to say that, having worn the piece for two weeks while doing my regular desk job no such problem afflicted this watch whilst it was in my possession.
The watch is supplied in a highly polished stainless steel case. Likewise, the blue version is also housed in the same gleaming case, however, the black variant features a steel case coated with matte black PVD. Invariably, most watch brands opt for an open case back, however, Giroud has chosen to eschew dorsal glazing on this occasion, favouring a full case back adorned with the classically-styled Louis Erard emblem at its centre.
The ivory and blue dial pieces are available for £2,350 each, while the black version is only a fraction more at £2,430. Considering the modest pricing, each watch represents incredible value for money. Moreover, having been blessed with Eric Giroud’s consummate styling and the inclusion of a Swiss regulator movement, there is no question that the price is more than fair. Furthermore, bearing in mind that each watch is limited to just 70 examples worldwide, ‘more than fair’ becomes ‘unbelievable’. A considerable number of established brands have offered a whole lot less while charging a whole lot more.
The Louis Erard Excellence Regulator Eric Giroud embodies all of the legendary designer’s creativity and extraordinary attention to detail. Each variant exudes a different character while sharing the same impressive levels of beauty, readability and Swiss watchmaking know-how.
This timepiece is a paragon of versatility, befitting casual attire or a sartorial ensemble worthy of Savile Row. Most pertinently, this Louis Erard watch stands out from the crowd, inviting many compliments. Indeed, my fiancée who regularly proclaims that all of my watches ‘look the same’ freely gave her seal of approval to this Louis Erard creation.
Eric Giroud has penned an array of watch designs over the years, from classical to avant-garde but all evincing style while displaying seemly behaviour. The Louis Erard Excellence Regulator Eric Giroud is classical, timeless and elegant, qualities I appreciate as I approach middle age.
- Model: Louis Erard Excellence Regulator
- Reference: 86236AA21.BVD21 (ivory dial); 86236AA25.BDC555 (blue dial); 86236NN22.BDCN51 (black dial)
- Case:Stainless steel or black PVD coated stainless steel; diameter 42mm; water resistance 5ATM (50 metres) sapphire crystals to the front and solid case back
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; magnified date window
- Movement: Sellita SW200 base with a Dubois Dépraz 14072 module; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); contains 26 jewels; power reserve 38 hours
- Strap: Black crocodile style calf leather; blue crocodile style calf leather; cognac calf leather with ivory stitching; stainless steel or black PVD coated stainless steel folding clasp.
- Price: £2,350 for Ivory and Blue dial variants; £2,430 for black PVD coated variant (RRP as at 7.10.2019)
- Limited Edition: 70 pieces in each dial colour
The press sample was kindly provided by https://www.jurawatches.co.uk