When I think about Louis Erard’s previous collaborations with artists I tend to think first of their original triptych with Alain Silberstein from 2021. It was a riot of colours and shapes with a highlight being the regulator model. Now, they’ve launched another regulator in collaboration with a different artist, the Louis Erard x Olivier Mosset Le Régulateur that takes almost exactly the opposite approach to design.
Instead of bright and colourful, the new watch is completely black save for the splash of silver glitter across the dial. The 42mm case is made from stainless steel with a matte black PVD coating giving the piece a subtle and minimalist appearance. That’s where the influence of Olivier Mosset can be felt, a Swiss artist known for his late-modern minimalist artworks in the 1960s as part of the BMPT (Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni).
Mosset’s artwork was known for challenging traditional assumptions about how paintings should be done and similarly, the Louis Erard x Olivier Mosset Le Régulateur challenges how we read the time. First of all, it has a regulator layout, which consists of the hours, minutes and seconds indicators all presented separately. Historically this made it easier to use them to precisely set clocks. However, that original purpose is redundant today, so its use here feels intentionally subversive – highlighting an artistic representation of time and also the fact that watches themselves are also largely redundant.
Pushing that notion even further is the fact that the trio of hands on the Louis Erard x Olivier Mosset Le Régulateur are all black on black, making them difficult to see. Plus, all three are virtually identical with the only difference being the size of a small hole at their tips that serve as the indicators for which way they’re pointing. So unless you already know which hand is which or spend the time to recognise the patterns of their movement, it’s almost impossible to read. Fortunately, I can tell you that the top hand is for the hours, the middle one is minutes and the bottom is seconds. They each rotate around their centre points with their ends overlapping where they meet.
Below the dark, glittery dial is the Sellita SW266-1 automatic calibre movement, one of the lesser seen Sellita movements due to the general rarity of regulator displays. It’s visible through the exhibition caseback, where you can see the fine finishing of the elaboré grade movement and the custom Louis Erard skeletonised rotor. It features a 38-hour power reserve – it would be nice to see this improved in future in line with Sellita’s more up to date movements.
As for pricing and availability, the Louis Erard x Olivier Mosset Le Régulateur is limited to 178 pieces worldwide at a price of CHF 3,750 (approx. £3,440). Honestly, I was expecting it to cost more due to the artistic collaboration and cool design – it has the appearance of a more expensive watch. However, the smart use of an accessible movement and materials such as PVD and glitter as opposed to things like DLC or aventurine glass has kept costs down. So you get the best of both worlds, style that doesn’t break the bank.
Price and Specs:
More details at Louis Erard.