The tradition of luxury watchmakers collaborating with artists and designers is a long one that always result in some of the most spectacular watches around, you can check out some of our favourites here. And Louis Erard have proven they’re masters at it, which is why their latest collaboration featuring not one but three artistic watches is exciting. They are describing the collection as a triptych – a type of three-piece painting – and the designer Alain Silberstein, who they have worked with previously, was given carte blanche to create whatever he wanted. This is the Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Collector’s Triptych.
Each of the watches in the limited edition collection follow roughly the same design principles, although they are unique in their functions and maintain a strong distinction from each other. As such, we’ll tackle them in turn, starting with the piece called Le Semaine Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein.
La Semaine Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein
The case, which is the same on all three watches, is made from a combination of two types of titanium, with a central 40mm diameter round case held within a tonneau shaped frame. It makes for a strong geometric design that is only emphasised by the Bauhaus dial, but we’ll look at that in more detail in a moment. The case is completed by a conical crown and sapphire crystals, front and back, which have anti-reflective coating on both sides.
Where the triptych excels are the dials. As mentioned, the overriding influence is Bauhaus and that couldn’t be made clearer than the red, yellow and blue central hands – the three primary colours of the 1919 German movement. The red circle with triangular appendage is the hour hand, the large blue arrow is the minute hand and the curvaceous yellow is the second hand.
An addition unique to La Semaine is the weekly planner at 6 o’clock, which is no surprise if you know French. If this was any other watch, we’d use the term day/date timer, however, Alain Silberstein has swapped the traditional M T W T F S S for smiley faces of different colours, starting with grey on Monday and getting brighter throughout the week until Sunday – although if you love Mondays, you can adjust the scale to match.
Because each of the watches have different functions they also have different movement: La Semaine houses the ETA 2836-2 automatic calibre with a 38-hour power reserve. It’s not the most astounding movement around and 38-hours is swiftly becoming the lower end of what’s considered good.
Ref: 75357TT02.BTT88 | Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 11.6mm height, microblasted grade 2 titanium & polished grade 5 titanium, matt black dial | Water resistance: 100m | Movement: ETA 2836-2 calibre, automatic, 25 jewels | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 38h | Functions: Hours, minutes, second, day indicated by Alain Silberstein signature days disc (“smiledays”), date at 6 o’clock | Strap: Black nylon | Price: CHF 3,500 (approx. £2,750), limited to 100 pieces
Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein II
The middle piece in the triptych is a regulator watch, it also happens to be Silberstein’s second collaboration with Louis Erard to feature this complication. With the same case as its counterparts, the focus is squarely on the dial and the signature Bauhaus influenced hands.
Here, each of the bright colours are separated with their own dials, as per the regulator complication. The red triangle hours hand is on the subdial at 12, the large blue arrow minutes hand is central and the yellow serpent seconds is on the subdial at 6. It really emphasises the fun and quirky designs, aimed at making reading the time a joyful event.
The calibre housed inside has an extra degree of complexity to La Semaine, upgraded to an élaboré grade Sellita movement, the SW266-1. Although, the power reserve still isn’t opportune at only 38-hours, which is mildly frustrating.
Le Régulateur and the other watches in the collection are presented on black nylon straps with titanium hook and loop fasteners that allow for quick adjustment.
Ref: 85358TT02.BTT88 | Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 11.60mm height, microblasted grade 2 titanium & polished grade 5 titanium, matt black dial | Water resistance: 100m | Movement: Sellita SW266-1 calibre, automatic, 31 jewels | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 38h | Functions: Hours, minutes, second | Strap: Black nylon | Price: CHF 3,500 (approx. £2,750), limited to 100 pieces
Le Chrono Monopoussoir Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein
Once again, if you know your French then the mysteries of La Chrono Monopoussoir are easy to decipher – it’s a monopusher chronograph. On this watch the three central hands from La Semaine return, except this time the yellow seconds hand is actually the chronograph timer. It also has a 30-minute timer at 12 o’clock on a white subdial with red and black indices. The minute track on all three watches is a combination of small white rectangles with the hours denoted by ellipse shaped yellow markers.
Finally, the movement is the Sellita SW500MPCa and has the best power reserve of the lot at 48-hours, making it the most user friendly piece of the trio. It also happens to be my personal favourite as it captures the essence of Bauhaus the best without being too comical, such as the smiley face counter on La Semaine.
Ref: 74359TT02.BTT88 | Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 13.60mm height, microblasted grade 2 titanium & polished grade 5 titanium, matt black dial | Water resistance: 100m | Movement: Sellita SW500MPCa calibre, automatic, 25 jewels | Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz) | Power reserve: 48h | Functions: Hours, minutes, 30 minute chronograph counter at 12 o’clock | Strap: Black nylon | Price: CHF 4,500 (approx. £3,540), limited to 100 pieces
Each of the three timepieces are available separately in a limited edition run of 100 pieces with a price of CHF 3,500 (approx. £2,750) for La Semaine and Le Régulateur and CHF 4,500 (approx. £3,540) for La Chrono Monopoussoir. An additional 78 versions of all three timepieces will be available in collector’s sets containing the full triptych and an NFT artwork of the watches, the set is priced at CHF 11,111 (approx. £8,740) making it surprisingly accessible.
More details at Louis Erard.