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, Louis Erard has built a passionate community that continues to grow thanks to the popularity and success of their collaborative projects and impressive individual endeavors. Amongst their most successful collaborations is their collaboration with the famed French designer and watchmaking industry veteran Alain Silberstein.
Launched in 2021, the Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Le Chrono Monopoussoir features Alain Silberstein's whimsical design language in abundance. Released within Louis Erard and Silberstein's second collaboration - a trio of watches with 178 pieces each, the Monopoussoir is the more complicated of the three due to its monopusher movement, the cal. SW500 MPCa. Started, stopped, and reset all through the red button set within its winding crown at 3 o'clock, the Monopoussoir's chronograph function is as it says on the tin – a single pusher (monopusher). Displayed behind a sapphire crystal caseback, Louis Erard has left the cal. SW500 MPCa's industrial aesthetic on show to contrast the Monopoussoir's whimsical dial, which we will explore later.
Beyond its movement, the Monopoussoir features an incredible distinctive case design, unlike the vast majority of watches on the market. Sharing the same 40mm case as its two sibling models, the Monopoussoir is an exceedingly unique timepiece that features vertical sidebars or 'brancards' as they are also known. These sidebars then suspend the Monopoussoir's circular 'tuna can' style case on the wrist, much like De Bethune's signature lug design. Furthermore, to highlight the various pieces of its case, the Monopoussoir is made from two different materials with different surface finishes. Made from micro-blasted grade 2 titanium, its strap attachments, case, and bezel all sport a brushed matte finish, while its grade 5 titanium vertical sidebars feature a polished finish.
Featuring the most vital and immediately recognizable piece of Alain's visual aesthetic is the Monopoussoir's dial. Black with a silver subdial at 2 o'clock to read the time that has elapsed since the chronograph began, the dial sports multi-colored hands made from various shapes to display the hours and minutes. The yellow S-shaped second's hand reads the chronograph's elapsed seconds while the red triangle-topped circle reads the hours, which leaves the long blue arrow to read the minutes. This is unmistakable Silberstein in its design language.