Years from now, someone will look back on this period and write about rise of affordable independent watchmaking. We are truly in a golden age if you happen to favor small brands who are inclined to do adventurous, experimental things. I wonder if anyone will identify Louis Erard’s collaborations with Alain Silberstein as a defining moment in this era of watch enthusiasm. From my perspective, it certainly seems like this relatively small Swiss brand and niche designer (who many thought, mistakenly, had reached a peak in terms of his popularity and influence) stand at the center of a lot of what’s happening in our world today. Limited edition collaborations, the mixing of the high and low, and a focus on accessible watches that are still undeniably special in some way are a huge focus of what’s driving interest in the hobby right now, and while Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein didn’t get there first, it’s hard to deny that their continued relationship isn’t one of the key stories of the last several years.*

That relationship continues this week with the launch of the Le Régulateur Tourbillon Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Black. This is the same tourbillon that we saw as part of a limited edition triptych back in October of last year. That watch, and the others in the set, featured an olive green dial, and it was notable that the tourbillon could only be purchased as part of the set, while the other watches were available separately. At the time, the thinking was that this would be the final release from Louis Erard and Silberstein, but just like collaborations and limited editions themselves, going back to the well for one last watch is a defining characteristic of the current era. It’s notable, perhaps, that no such promise of a “final” collaboration accompanies the press materials for this release. Just the opposite, in fact: the press release closes with the promise that “More collaborations will follow.” It’s hard to say whether that’s a reference to more collaborations with Silberstein, or a more general promise of continued partnerships with other creators, but we’d be happy to see Louis Erard and Silberstein continue to work together indefinitely. I mean, why not?*

I’m personally a bit more drawn to the black dialed version of this watch than the green, but this of course is a completely subjective preference. I think the black dial serves a more complementary canvas to Silberstein’s use of color, which is so critical to any watch with his name on it. Even more than color, though, the fact that this watch uses a regulator format is absolutely essential. It’s a key part of the Louis Erard catalog and has been a signature for the brand for years, well before this relatively recent period during which they’ve risen to a higher level of prominence. It also provides a unique way to observe the tourbillon, and makes it functional in a way we don’t always see in tourbillons.*

The 40mm case is titanium, and is of the same design as the second Louis Erard collaboration with Silberstein from 2021. It’s a radical departure from the standard, classical Louis Erard case shape, and features a rounded “frame” with integrated lugs, and presents as altogether quite a bit more sporty than a typical Louis Erard release. The movement is the BCP T02 caliber. It’s manually wound and has a 100 hour power reserve, and is made for Louis Erard by Olivier Mory, a Swiss watchmaker who trained at Sellita and also put in time at Val Fleurier, working on both tried and true “workhorse” movements as well as far more complicated and exotic haute horlogerie.*

The Le Régulateur Tourbillon Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Black is a limited edition of 78 pieces. The retail price is CHF 15,900. Louis Erard

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