Founded in 1929, Louis Erard is a watchmaker filled with heritage and history. Selling watches under their own banner since 1931, the brand was eventually acquired in the 1990s before it was later relaunched during the independent watchmaking boom of the early 2000s. Now established with a strong design language that doesn't break the bank to buy into, Louis Erard has built up a passionate customer base that continues to grow thanks to the popularity and success of their collaborative projects and impressive individual exploits. One of their most successful collaborations is with the famed French designer and watchmaking industry veteran Alain Silberstein.
Released in 2021 as Louis Erard's second collaboration with Alain Silberstein following the duo's first collaboration in 2019, the Le Triptyque Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein was a trio of timepieces that each featured a unique set of functions and layout while also being limited to just 178 pieces each. Offered here is the La Semaine variant, which is my favorite out of the three due to its unique and playful demeanor which we will discuss below.
Sharing the same 40mm case as its two sibling models, the La Semaine is an exceedingly unique timepiece that features vertical sidebars or 'brancards' as they are also known that are reminiscent of independent watchmaking powerhouse De Bethune's floating lugs. To highlight the various parts of the case, it is made from two different materials with different surface finishes. Made from micro-blasted grade 2 titanium, its lugs, case, and bezel all sport a matte finish, while its grade 5 titanium vertical sidebars feature a polished finish.
Featuring the most vital piece of Alain's signature visual style is the La Semaine's dial. A plain black dial hosting multi-colored hands made from various shapes, the La Semaine tastefully blends yellow with red and blue to create a visual delight, enhancing legibility. Another highlight of the La Semaine is its day-of-the-week indicator which is represented by a series of smiley emoticons that allows the wearer to set the mood of the day. A very fun yet appropriate complication for modern users today if you ask me. You will also find a date window at 6 o ‘clock just beneath the aperture for the emoticons.
Powering this playful and unique display is the automatic ETA 2836-2, which features a respectable 38-hour power reserve. Fitted with a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback, the La Semaine's movement is proudly on full display with its custom Louis Erard winding rotor as it drives this wonderful collaborative timepiece forward.
All things considered, this is a truly unique offering from one of the most exciting collaborations in recent times, it is no wonder it sold out fast.