Introducing The Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main

Louis Erard brings a new member to their Excellence collection with the Guilloché Main, a dramatic addition featuring a hand guilloché dial done by Fehr & Cie SA in Switzerland. The resulting checkerboard pattern looks straight out of M.C. Escher’s sketchbook in the best possible way. While dial is the star of the show here, a few subtle accents push this limited edition over the top.

The dial appears to display a 3D pattern thanks to the trompe l’oeil (to deceive the eye) optical illusion. It’s done by hand on a manual guilloché rose engine lathe as depicted in the video below. The dial plate is covered in a black varnish prior to the guilloché work, which cuts away to reveal the brass below. A final rhodium plating gives this a silver finish, creating a brilliant contrast to heighten the illusion. 

Thankfully, Louis Erard has left the dial undisturbed by date windows or hour markers. They’ve even printed their logo directly onto the sapphire crystal. Likewise, the fir tree hands done in blued steel provide a lovely accent to the structure of the dial without getting in the way. The steel case measures 42mm in diameter (12.2mm thick, and 49.6mm lug to lug), and gets a black calf nubuck leather strap to accent.

Louis Erard is using the automatic Sellita SW261-1 movement within the Guilloché Main, which is visible through the open caseback. A closed caseback would feel more appropriate here considering the high craftsmanship of the dial, but it’s a small complaint. The movement keeps the price a hair over $4,000, and while that’s no small sum, considering this watch is limited to just 99 examples, and each dial is done by hand, it feels fair. 

In total this is a beautiful example of old-world craftsmanship available at a surprisingly approachable price point, something we always appreciate seeing around here and something for which Louis Erard is really leaning into these days (hot on the heels of their Vianney Halter collab). Louis Erard.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.