Nobody is better at collaborations than Louis Erard. The brand has lent its horological canvases to the likes of Alain Silberstein, Vianney Halter, William Massena, Konstantin Chaykin, and seconde/seconde for watches that range from silly to scary to serious, but all of which are striking in both execution and aesthetics. All of the brand’s prior collaborations have been with watchmakers, watch designers, and artists who have established themselves in the watch world. This time, though, the brand has joined up with Amr Sindi, better known by his Instagram handle @thehorophile, for a collaboration that connects two periods separated by 100 years: the Roaring Twenties and its Art Deco style and the 2020s and its modern aesthetic. Through a partnership founded upon 15 years of friendship between Sindi and Louis Erard director Manuel Emch, the new La Petite Seconde Metropolis Louis Erard x The Horophile watches capture the spirit of a bygone era with the contemporary grace and style you’ve come to expect from the brand.
The Art Deco style and its period are significant for Louis Erard: The brand was born in 1929, the height of the era and, simultaneously, its darkest year. But out of darkness came greatness. Originally a watchmaking school, it took only two years for Louis Erard to become a brand and start producing timepieces. Founded in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Louis Erard spent 60 years manufacturing watches there before relocating to La Noirmont in Franches-Montanges in the Swiss Jura. It is the spirit of its history that the new collaboration captures: the Art Deco styling, the city, the beauty of the country. In collaborating together, Sindi and the brand sought to create a collection within a collection, a new foundation upon which further models may one day be built, laying the groundwork with three models: slate, salmon, and tobacco.
While the new La Petite Seconde Metropolis Louis Erard x The Horophile borrows its own foundation from the brand’s emblematic Petite Second model, one may scarcely recognize it were it not for the namesake subsidiary second at 6 o’clock. Pulling the iconic elements from the Art Deco style and combining them with the modern flair that the brand has so readily mastered, a new design language has been established: neo-deco. The dial is an exquisite and intricate juxtaposition of depth and texture, on the tobacco dial, offering warmth, while the slate dial offers a coolness, and the salmon lends a balance of the two with a bit of fanciful exuberance. Taken as a whole, the dial offers ideal legibility and an uncompromising refinement, but to parse its assembled elements is to encounter something more.
For the details of the rich Tobacco dial, Louis Erard and Sindi worked together to develop something entirely new that was faithful both to the brand and the era that the model seeks to celebrate. The skeleton handset is immediately recognizable for its architectural design, evoking images of the icons of the era, like New York’s Empire State Building. The numeral font was developed especially for this watch, with the numerals’ orientation chosen to continue the mesmerizing circularity of the central gadrooned grooves. The subsidiary seconds dial is an exercise in restraint and subtlety, with fine azurage and a single dot at 0. The La Petite Seconde Metropolis Louis Erard x The Horophile is also offered in Slate and Salmon dials, and all three dials offer the singular elegance and simplicity that the brand and Mr. Sindi have managed to capture through their extensive and thoughtful design process.
On the wrist, this new collaboration is sure to sit as finely as any of the Petite Seconde models from Louis Erard. The perfectly proportioned 39mm stainless steel case is fully polished, elevating its already sleek form to a sophisticated silhouette ideal not just for a bit of fun on the town, but for every occasion that calls for something a bit more stylish. With a 45.9mm lug-to-lug measurement and a 12.82mm height, the La Petite Seconde Metropolis is an effortless wrist companion. Of course, the signature “fir tree” crown features the “LE” logo, the only branding to be found without flipping the watch over. A domed sapphire crystal completes the case which offers 50m of water resistance—perfect for the watch and any occasion it may encounter. The finishing touch on the timepiece is the dark brown 20mm textured calf leather strap with a custom-branded buckle, which features quick-release spring bars for easy changes.
While perhaps not as engaging as the incredible dial, Louis Erard has ensured the watch keeps exceptional time with the Swiss-made Sellita SW261-1 automatic movement, with the date function smartly removed. Seen through a sapphire display in the caseback, the movement features an open-worked rotor with a black lacquer “LE” logo. The élaboré grade caliber has snailing on the rotor and runs at 28,800 with a minimum power reserve of 38 hours, though typically you’ll get around 41 hours. While the SW261 is a less commonly seen Sellita caliber, anyone who knows it will know it to be an incredibly reliable timekeeper, rated to -/+7 seconds per day. The caseback itself features a polished finish with the brand name and “The Horophile” engraved, as well as limited-edition numbering.
With La Petite Seconde Metropolis, Louis Erard once again demonstrates its penchant for finding the right collaborators to extract every last drop of creativity and create incredible timepieces. While this new limited model certainly has a modern touch, it delves into the iconic style of the past in a way that is new for the brand, showing how deftly it can craft a watch using any source material. Available in Slate, Salmon, or Tobacco, La Petite Seconde Metropolis Louis Erard x The Horophile is priced at $2,900 USD and, as is tradition with the brand, is limited to 178 pieces; 59 pieces will be made in each of the three dials, with one unique edition reserved for Mr. Sindi. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.Sponsored Posts are a form of advertising that allows sponsors to share useful news, messages, and offers to aBlogtoWatch readers in a way traditional display advertising is often not best suited to. All Sponsored Posts are subject to editorial guidelines with the intent that they offer readers useful news, promotions, or stories. The viewpoints and opinions expressed in Sponsored Posts are those of the advertiser and not necessarily those of aBlogtoWatch or its writers.