Louis Erard Uses Glass & Stone For New LE Regulator Collection

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It’s not just colorful dials that are having a moment, we’re also seeing different textures and materials brought into play, often to incredible effect. ‘Exotic’ materials have long been used to craft watch dials, from meteorite to all manner of stone (I’m particularly fond of Piaget’s use of stone over the decades). Unfortunately, they are often found at price points beyond reach for most of us. This week, Louis Erard is showcasing three new dials within their Excellence Régulateur collection that are made of Aventurine, Lapis-Lazuli and Malachite. Each priced around $3k. 

The trio of watches will be limited to just 99 examples of each dial type, and given their material, no two will be exactly alike. The dials will live in the same steel case seen elsewhere in the Excellence Régulateur, which is 42mm in diameter with a lug to lug measurement of 49.6mm. Using a Sellita SW266 within, the total thickness of the case is 12.25mm. This is of course their classic regulator, which places the hour indication at 12 o’clock, the running seconds at 6 o’clock, and a large ‘fir tree’ hand indicating the minutes from the dial’s center.

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The Aventurine dial comes via the Murano glass-making technique first discovered in the 17th century (not to be confused with the aventurine gemstone), and appears dark blue with sparkling inclusions throughout. The effect is that of a dark starry night, and should look rather brilliant in varying light conditions. 

 

The Malachite dial is organic green with banding that will vary from dial to dial. The material is a copper carbonate and is certainly no stranger to ornamental uses thanks to its saturated appearance. It’s a material we’ve seen used by brands like Omega and Rolex, and feel equally at home within this Louis Erard. 

 

Finally, the Lapis-Lazuli dial offers an intense blue with silicate inclusions, and may even offer hints of white and yellow depending on the dial’s exact cut. Again, this is a material at home in this setting, and has been used for decorative purposes for literally millenia. 

Each dial is as lovely as you’d expect, however my single hesitation is the rather large exclusions made for the sub dials containing the hour and minute hand. The ringed sub dials appear to occupy about half of the dial’s real estate which, in this case, means a lot less of the dial material to be enjoyed. An application of the indices on the underside of the crystal (ala Guilloché Main) would have perhaps offered a more expansive view of the materials, but alas, the fact that we get them at all at this price point should be appreciated. 

These limited editions are available for order as of today directly from Louis Erard.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade 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 Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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