Louis Erard Excellence Triptych Petite Seconde
The Petite Seconde forms one-third of the recently launched Louis Erard Excellence Triptych collection. As Angus Davies discusses the current impact of Covid-19 on the watch industry, he shares his thoughts on Louis Erard. In this article, he looks at the brand’s business strategy and explains why its products provide a compelling case for acquisition.
Recently, I was approached by a magazine from overseas and invited to share my thoughts on the impact of Covid-19 on the watch industry. This led me to reflect on the current situation.
Certainly, the watch industry is experiencing challenges within some market segments. In particular, the sub CHF 500 category has suffered a significant decline. However, not everything is doom and gloom. According to the Federation of the Swiss watch industry, December 2020 saw the CHF 500 – CHF 3000 segment experience 19.5% growth.
While some brands may potentially disappear from view, there will be many who continue to flourish in the long term. I suspect, for example, that Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Rolex will continue to prosper for many years to come. Why? Firstly, they masterfully ensure demand surpasses supply. Secondly, the aforementioned marques invest in marketing, repeatedly putting their brands in front of suitable audiences.
This preamble leads me to the independent watch brand, Louis Erard. Over the last 12 months, I have reviewed several of the brand’s models. Extended ‘hands-on’ evaluations have revealed many things about the company’s products but, more importantly, the firm itself.
Louis Erard competes in the previously mentioned CHF 500 – CHF 3000 segment as well as offering some products costing more. It is not alone in targeting this segment, however, it has implemented a strategy which should see it thrive in years to come.
- Firstly, the quality-price ratio is excellent. Close examination of the dials, case and, indeed, all touchpoints, demonstrates the brand has expended much effort procuring comparatively high-quality components.
- Secondly, Louis Erard has frequently collaborated with the leading lights of the watch industry, including Eric Giroud, Alain Silberstein and Vianney Halter.
- Thirdly, while the models are keenly priced, Louis Erard has expended much time suffusing each creation with numerous details, skilfully playing with depths and textures.
By focussing on the making of limited edition models, restricted to modest numbers, coupled with the aforementioned attributes, demand invariably outstrips supply. For example, the Alain Silberstein regulators of 2020 sold out virtually overnight.
While the public has grown accustomed to purchasing products online, the watch industry has been somewhat of a laggard in this area. Once again, Louis Erard was an early adopter of this means of distribution and is now well placed to serve its clientele during the current Covid-19 era.
In the latter half of 2020, Louis Erard unveiled the Excellence Triptych, three models inspired by the brand’s home, the Swiss Jura, as well as Art Sapin, a variant of Art Nouveau. The Excellence Triptyque Régulateur upholds the brand’s fondness for regulator-type watches. Shortly after its release, I enjoyed ‘hands-on’ time with this particular watch and duly recorded my findings.
The second model, the Excellence Triptych Chronographe Monopoussoir, a monopusher chronograph, is rich in style and with a retail price of CHF 3,500 it has certainly piqued my interest. I hope to obtain a sample of this watch in the near future and write about my temporary ownership experience.
This brings me to the final member of this ticking triumvirate, the Louis Erard Excellence Triptych Petite Seconde. Housed in a 42mm polished stainless steel case, the watch indicates the hours and minutes with coniferous-themed hands. A snailed small seconds display sits at 6 o’clock, stylishly overlaps the circular-brushed hour track. Arabic numerals, presented in a modern font, denote the even-numbered hours while supremely slender batons represent the odd-numbered values.
The crown features a grip encompassing fir-tree inspired recesses and the brand’s logo is depicted on the crown’s vertical flank. At the heart of the watch is a Sellita SW261-1 automatic movement. Throughout the composition, there is a wonderful interplay of depths, textures and forms.
Most pertinently, the Louis Erard Excellence Triptych Petite Seconde is offered for the modest price of CHF 1,500. Times may be tough for some brands at present, but I suspect for Louis Erard, by implementing its current strategy, it will weather any short term storms and go on to enjoy brighter days in the future.
- Model: Louis Erard Excellence Triptyque Petite Seconde
- Reference: 34237AA01
- Case: Polished stainless steel; diameter 42 mm; height 12.25 mm; water resistance 50ATM (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and exhibition caseback
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds
- Movement: Sellita SW 266-1 calibre; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 31 jewels; power reserve 38 hours
- Strap: Chocolate calf nubuck leather with tone-on-tone stitching, polished stainless steel pin buckle
- Price: CHF 1,500 (RRP as at 28.1.2021)