Creativity at Its Finest: The Collaboration Between Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein
The watch industry is a versatile one. There are big brands like Rolex, Omega, and Breitling; high-end luxury watchmakers like Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet; budget-friendly brands like Seiko, Hamilton, and Certina; and small independent high-end companies like Urwerk, Philippe Dufour, and MB&F, there’s something for everyone. Some of the industry’s most spectacular products result from collaborations between different brands. MB&F is an excellent example of a watchmaker who works with other brands to produce fantastic timepieces. Another partnership that has people talking is Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein. Let’s check out what makes it so special.
Louis Erard is a small brand from Le Noirmont in the Swiss Canton of Jura, the heart of the so-called “Watch Valley.” The brand has been around since 1931 and was active until the early 1990s, when it disappeared from the watch landscape. A group of investors decided to buy the company and relaunch the brand in 2003. Since then, Louis Erard has focused on creating outstanding, original watches with great horological features that are also affordable to a broad audience. This approach has led the company to become a well-known name in the industry ever since its reintroduction. It currently features three collections: Héritage, La Sportive, and Excellence.
Great Louis Erard Collaborations
Louis Erard’s Excellence collection contains the company’s most exciting pieces. One of them is the Excellence Régulateur, a classic regulator watch. Next to horologically extraordinary timepieces, this collection is also home to timepieces from collaborations with Eric Giroud and Vianney Halter. Both Giroud and Halter created their version of Louis Erard’s famous Régulateur. While they were outstanding creations, Louis Erard truly made a name for itself when it announced a collaboration with French watch designer Alain Silberstein. The French architect-turned-watch-designer founded his brand in Besançon, the heart of the French watch industry, in 1990. The Bauhaus movement heavily influenced Silberstein’s watches. The models also featured funky designs with plenty of color and playful, graphic details. Unfortunately, the brand ceased to exist in 2012.
Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein
The name and style of Alain Silberstein are still very well known among watch enthusiasts worldwide. And it’s no wonder because Silberstein’s colorful creations are hard to forget. They inspired Louis Erard to team up with the French designer and have him create his version of the Régulateur. When Louis Erard asked Silberstein to do so, it was the first time in 90 years that the brand gave carte blanche to a watch designer for one of their creations. The result of the collaboration debuted in 2019, and the Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Excellence Régulateur was a huge success. Watch fans were delighted to see new creations from the famous French watch designer, and the collaboration with Louis Erard allowed these new watches to be offered at affordable prices. As a result, they sold out quickly.
Le Triptyque Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein
This past summer, the partnership was taken to the next level when a new series of three watches were released: Le Triptyque Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein. The watches were available separately or as a box set of three timepieces. If you think the first collab had people talking, this second effort took the watch world by storm. The three watches all feature the same unique and new open case design, brilliant Velcro strap, and Silberstein-designed dials, delivering three unique timepieces.
The first was a new version of the Régulateur. Le Régulateur II is a completely new take on the familiar Régulateur by Louis Erard. While classic looks define previous editions, this new watch combines a modern case with Silberstein’s playful dial design. Speaking of playful, the second of the three models, La Semaine, displays the time, day, and date, with a brilliant day window that uses a series of smiley faces instead of day names to indicate different moods throughout the week. The last of the three was Le Chrono Monopoussoir (or monopusher) chronograph. It features the same case design and a brilliantly executed chronograph that you can operate using the big red push-piece at 3 o’clock.
What’s next for Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein?
Both the box set and the individual pieces sold out very quickly, confirming the popularity of this young collaboration series. Asking prices for the individual pieces are up to sometimes twice the original list price of 3,500 CHF for the Le Régulateur II and the La Semaine and 4,500 CHF for the Le Chrono Monopoussoir. Additionally, two of the three watches received nominations for awards at this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021, showing that this collaboration series and its creations are not only highly appreciated by the watch-buying public but also by industry experts. We can only hope that this successful collaboration will continue to create even more amazing timepieces. Just be sure to get in line early if you want one because they will definitely sell fast!