Louis Erard marks a new stage in the accessible creation watch, with a fresh look at all the crafts that make up watchmaking. For this new collaboration, Louis Erard turns to architecture and design with atelier oï, a regional company that has been shining internationally for 30 years, and a radiant watch, too: Le Régulateur Louis Erard x atelier oï.
How to materialise space and time? How to materialise the contemporary spirit of the watch when connected technology has disconnected watchmaking from its primary necessity: telling the time?
Louis Erard invited atelier oï to look into the question and the answer is a new original dial, the third part of the series of collaborations already co-signed by Alain Silberstein and Vianney Halter. Once more based on the emblematic model of the Maison: the regulator. Once again with the desire to bring together key players in traditional watchmaking culture. And again with the desire to bring together key players in Swiss know-how: atelier oï and Louis Erard are both regional companies of international stature.
Breaking new ground, the collaboration leaves the strict field of watchmaking, since atelier oï works in the fields of architecture and design. The invitation did not come about by accident, however. The workshop, based in La Neuveville, a satellite town of Neuchâtel, has been close to the watchmaking industry since its creation precisely thirty years ago and the watchmaking world has played a major part in the development of the company. Going back as far as the 1990s, there has also been a warm relationship between atelier oï and Louis Erard, as illustrated by the current manager Manuel Emch, who began his career with an internship at atelier oï and who has collaborated with it ever since.
In three decades, atelier oï has become a brand in itself, reputed around the world, rewarded with more than thirty distinctions that illustrate its uniqueness. Moreover, the name, oï, is borrowed from the Russian Troika, a word that symbolises the energy generated by a trio, in this case, Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis and Patrick Reymond, the three co-founders.
Talents, an anniversary, connections, Le Régulateur Louis Erard, the planets were therefore aligned for this collaboration to emerge.
The objective, for Louis Erard, is once again to break down barriers in the world and make accessible what is often reserved for specialist clientele. With this added challenge of plunging without a net into contemporary creation, with all that entails of references, reflections, diversions and shocks.
atelier oï proceeded in a basic way: “To radiate from the centre outwards.” Taking care to reduce the technical vocabulary as much as possible, reminiscent of the shape of a sundial. The result is a surface engraved with asymmetrical rays, the light of which reveals reflections and contrasts – echoing the passion of the members of atelier oï for the material and the play of light. The art of engraving being expressed here in its essence: drawn lines. These lines create a space, to which the hands add the dimension of time.
Le Régulateur has naturally imposed its own rhythm: the hands (hour, minute, second) become centres from which rays emerge, generating visual kinetics that each movement of the wrist animates, giving the two-dimensional dial the depth of a radiant architecture. A pure work of art, which nothing can break, not even the Louis Erard logo.
Reading the time comes out somewhat dematerialised – you have to mentally reconstruct the puzzle of hour angles – but all the links are not broken: the minute-circle still appears around the edge of the dial, with a more pronounced line every five minutes and exactly sixty segments. A nod from atelier oï to the smartphone generation: “Today, the object watch has another meaning.”
Le Régulateur Louis Erard x atelier oï. Retail price CHF 3,500. Limited edition of 178 pieces — symbol number which means that together we are always stronger. Other collaborations to follow.
Le Régulateur Louis Erard x atelier oï Technical Specifications
Ref. 85237AA53 – Limited edition of 178 pieces
Recommended retail price: CHF 3,500
- Automatic regulator,
- Sellita SW266-1 calibre,
- 11½’’’, Ø25.60 mm, height: 5.60 mm,
- 31 jewels,
- 28,800 VpH (4Hz),
- élaboré grade movement,
- special openworked oscillating weight with Louis Erard symbol,
- approx. 38 hours of power reserve
- Functions HMS
- Hour hand at 12 o’clock, central minute hand, second hand at 6 o’clock
- Polished stainless steel,
- Ø42 mm, lug width: 22 mm, lug to lug: 49.60 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 (50 m/165 ft),
- signature fir tree crown,
- caseback engraved with “atelier oï x Louis Erard Limited Edition 1 of 178”
- “Black Or” slate grey, matt and polished,
- 60 planed lines marking the minutes
- Dial designed by atelier oï according to their artistic identity
- Hands: Blue baton hands
- “Covey” grey calf nubuck leather with tone-on-tone stitching,
- polished stainless steel pin buckle,
- functional catch spring bars enabling the strap to be changed quickly
- Dimensions: 22/20mm width, 80/115mm length
Collaboration Watch developed in collaboration with atelier oï in a limited edition of 178 pieces
About atelier oï
Derived from the Russian word “troika”, a team of three, atelier oï was founded in 1991 in La Neuveville, Switzerland, by Aurel Aebi, Armand Louis and Patrick Reymond. With a team spirit and an intimate relationship with the material, atelier oï has been working for 30 years to dissolve barriers between genres and promote transdisciplinary creativity.
Born from an intuitive and emotional affinity between the three founders, atelier oï works in the fields of architecture, interior architecture, product design and scenography, with a collaboration between disciplines, creating holistic solutions from object to space. The co-founders have a strong interest in nature and natural materials, and their expertise in transforming these allows them to carry out both emotional and artisanal projects.
The three founders are architects, designers and boat builders, all members of the Federation of Swiss Architects FAS and headed the Swiss Design Awards as President of the Federal Design Commission between 2008 and 2016. Trained at the school of architecture funded by Alberto Sartoris in Switzerland, the founders also received honorary doctorates from this institution.
atelier oï encourages experimentation and cultural exchange, through their work with clients and their own initiatives, and as visiting professors in a number of leading institutions, including ETH Zurich, ECAL Renens, the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and the Kuwasawa Design School in Tokyo.
The combination of local roots and international know-how has enabled atelier oï to design objects for a wide variety of national and international clients, including Artemide, B&B Italia, Bulgari, Foscarini, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Pringle of Scotland, Rimowa, USM and WonderGlass. atelier oï has also organised monographic exhibitions of its work in Zurich, São Paulo and Tokyo. atelier oï is also working on a humanitarian project for Smiling Gecko in Cambodia.
atelier oï’s projects have been recognised globally and have won some of the most prestigious awards including multiple IF Design Awards, Europan 3 Award, European Museum of the Year Award, Red Dot Award and the product of the year award from Architectural Record.
About Louis Erard
Based in the Jura mountains, the birthplace of watchmaking, Louis Erard embodies the values of Swiss mechanics, the tradition that keeps its promises. Combining luxury, timelessness and elegance, this independent brand is renowned for its mechanical watches and, in particular, its iconic regulators. A collection on which the brand, founded by Mr Louis Erard in 1929, built its reputation.
Today, continuing the work of its founder and honouring the watchmaking tradition, the Maison is reinterpreting the codes in a contemporary language, revisiting its artistic crafts and opening up its field of expression through collaborations and exchanges of know-how. Louis Erard continues to set itself apart from mass-market brands. Inspired by high-end watchmaking, the brand draws on its values to enhance its mechanical timepieces.