Louis Erard and The Horophile Collaborate on a Sleek Art Deco Inspired Limited Edition

If you had told me a few weeks ago that Louis Erard’s new collaboration with Amr Sindi, AKA, The Horophile, would be an Art Deco inspired watch with a quite literal approximation of the Empire State Building within the handset, I probably would have let out an audible groan. Not because I don’t have faith in Louis Erard (their run of limited editions over the past few years is basically a parade of nonstop hits) or The Horophile (whose Instagram feed reveals his exceptional taste), but because it just all seems so on-the-nose. Art Deco inspired designs are a pretty niche interest in 2023, but calling out the Empire State Building, perhaps the single most well known symbol of the design and architecture movement as a major point of reference, seems to me like a recipe for something that you’d find in the building’s gift shop. Well, I should have known better. Because the new watch from Louis Erard is beautifully subtle, and surprisingly modern in its sensibility. 


The Petite Seconde Metropolis incorporates a number of Art Deco hallmarks into a clean design that takes advantage of a Louis Erard platform that we’re starting to see used more frequently. As you might expect given the Art Deco themes, there was a large focus on the typeface used for the hours around the dial’s perimeter. Each numeral is very subtly “openworked,” and they’re presented in an uncommon circular fashion, which mimics the circular motif at the dial’s center. Importantly, these hour markers are the only letters or numbers on the dial, which puts them in a sharper focus and plays up the design’s elegance. 

There’s also an interplay of texture and surface treatments on the dial, which feels to me like a more contemporary design choice, but works remarkably well in the finished product. The central section of the dial is made up of circular grooves, broken up by a subsidiary seconds subdial at 6:00 with a circular satin finish that matches the outer sector where you’ll find the hour markers. 

And then there’s the handset. Honestly, it took reading the press release to identify that the shape is borrowed from the Empire State Building, which ought to say something about the subtlety of the design. To my eye, they register as stylized syringes, which is also (roughly) period appropriate for an Art Deco inspired watch, and certainly in line with the movement’s focus on geometric forms. I’m a fan of Louis Erard using a consistent shape for the hour, minute, and seconds hands, and I also really enjoy the detail of the two larger hands being skeletonized, which coheres nicely with the open spaces found in the numerals. 

For the Petite Seconde Metropolis, Louis Erard is using their smaller 39mm case, which I think is the right choice for a watch in this style. Three dial options are available: slate, salmon, and tobacco. The watch is limited to 178 pieces (59 of each dial variant, plus a unique piece reserved for The Horophile). The retail price is CHF 2,300, and the watch is available now. Louis Erard

Images from this post:
Related Posts
Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.