Louis Erard goes from strength to strength, and today releases a new grand feu enamel dial version of their Excellene collection. Classically elegant watches, done right.
Press Release information with commentary in italics.
New: Louis Erard Excellence Email Grand Feu II
Recommended retail price for the Louis Erard Excellence Email Grand Feu II: CHF 3,900
Yet another feather in Louis Erard’s cap. After the release of the spectacular Guilloche Main II earlier this year, they followed up with this superb example with a grand feu enamel dial. The watch is absolutely a classic. The case is now a smaller 39mm, in comparison to the first Email and other Louis Erard watches in the Excellence series. including the first Excellence Email Grand Feu, which are 42mm.
This is a very classical watch in almost every sense of the word. In the design, proportions, and in the styling of the dial – Roman numerals for the even hours, and bars for the odd, with the 12 in red. All over a white grand feu enamel dial. The signature fir tree hands are hand blued. But with a modernist twist of the red grained calf strap.
The CHF 3,900 asking price strikes us as eminently reasonable. It is the same price as for the firse Email Grand Feu. Many other brands will charge at least this amount, or even more as a premium just for the privilege of having a grand feu enamel dial. But for this price, Louis Erard gives you a whole watch with an automatic winding movement, and in a limited edition of only 99 pieces. True, the movement is a basic Sellita SW261, but this is a workhorse of a movement, promising years of good timekeeping, with little to worry about in terms of reliability, serviceability or even accuracy.
Press Release information
Louis Erard continues its odyssey at the heart of métiers d’art with Grand Feu enamel. A new interpretation of this exclusive craft already explored in 2021, which returns in a contemporary classic with subtlety. With some touches of red and, for the first time, in a 39 mm case.
Every colour you see on a watch requires processing in a kiln at more than 800°C. This dial has three colours: white for the background, Louis Erard blue indexes, and flashes of red on the XII at 12 o‘clock and on some of the lines of the small seconds at six o’clock. For every kiln process, there are hours of preparation, not to mention the risk of something not going to plan. The artisan’s dexterity changes nothing: you cannot play with fire with impunity and, despite an expert touch, the high level of waste is irreducible.
When everything goes well, the result is total. The quality of a Grand Feu enamel dial is unsurpassable. Deposited in small layers of silica, oxides and potassium, the colours are fixed forever, permanently bonded to their metal base. It is an almost alchemical art that goldsmiths were practising 1,500 years ago, when this was the only way to dye metal until the invention of synthetic lacquers, and which traditional watchmaking has kept alive through the centuries.
These days, Grand Feu enamel is reserved for luxury watches. It is precisely for this reason that Louis Erard has opened up its range of expression, continuing its journey to the heart of ancestral watchmaking expertise under the artistic and strategic direction of Manuel Emch.
The first version of the Excellence Émail Grand Feu was launched in 2021: the first time Louis Erard had reinterpreted a métier d’art. Excellence Émail Grand Feu II has the same DNA, plus a few additional touches to further reinforce its contemporary identity. The piece comes together in a 39mm case, a universal size par excellence.
The dials, patiently made piece by piece, once again come from the Donzé Cadrans kilns, an art enameller based in Le Locle. Louis Erard celebrates the marriage of traditional fine watchmaking techniques and the spirit of the 21st century, the union of luxury craft and affordable watchmaking.
The signature fir tree hands in blued steel give the dial a harmonious finish. The strap completes the work in red grained calf leather with blue stitching, lined in Louis Erard blue grained calf leather.
Once again, this edition is limited to 99 pieces. The message is unchanging: make the exceptional accessible. And the price reflects this: CHF 3,900 — completely unheard of on this type of finish and at this level of exclusivity.
More métiers d’art will follow.
Louis Erard Excellence Émail Grand Feu II 39mm specifications
Ref. 34238AA54 Limited edition of 99 pieces
Movement Automatic, Sellita SW261-1 calibre, 3 hands with small seconds at 6 o’clock, 111⁄2’’’, Ø25.60 mm, height: 5.60 mm, 31 jewels, 28,800 VpH (4Hz), élaboré grade movement, meticulously decorated, special openworked oscillating weight with black lacquered Louis Erard symbol, approx. 38 hours of power reserve
Central hour and minute hands, second hand at 6 o’clock
Case Polished stainless steel, Ø39 mm, lug width: 20 mm, lug to lug: 46.48 mm, thickness: 12.25 mm, 3 pieces, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, movement visible through the transparent caseback, water resistant up to a pressure of 5 bars (50m/165ft), signature fir tree crown, caseback engraved with “Limited Edition 1 of 99”
Dial White Grand Feu enamel, made in the traditional way by Donzé Cadrans S.A., counter at 6 o’clock, blue and red enamelled transfers
Hands Signature fir tree hands in blued steel
Strap Red grained calf leather with blue stitching, blue grained calf leather lining, polished stainless steel pin buckle, functional catch spring bars enabling the strap to be changed quickly
Dimensions: 20/18mm width, 80/115mm length