Editor’s note: Before we get to dive deep into the Watches & Wonders 2023 novelties, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The New Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie In A Nutshell
Louis Erard are in the shock and awe business; the brand was relaunched by private investors in 2003, but its roots go as far back as 1929 when Louis Erard & André Perret brand was established. The reason why I am so impressed by the brand is the value proposition, something that a lot of brands can learn about. Inflation is a term the people at Louis Erard haven’t heard of, and I am sure glad for that.
Like last year’s Excellence Guilloché Main II, the new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie retains the price tag of only CHF 3’900; and I say only with a feeling of immense satisfaction because in a world of mass-produced watches, there are only a handful of bands that out in the effort to hand-make their horological pieces.
Breguet for one. The CHF 3’900 (including taxes) price tag comes to just shy of 6’000 AUD mark. For reference, my Breguet Marine Grande Date with a hand-guilloché dial retailed for about 27’200 AUD. So for a mere CHF 3’900, the new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie is a strike of unmatched brilliance.
Along with Garrick and Laine watches, Louis Erard is turning out to be quite the bargain find from the horological world.
What We Love
The most striking feature about the new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie is the trippy, three-dimensional dial. Marquetry, or Marqueterie in French I believe, is the art of applying pieces of veneer to form decorative patterns and designs. In the case of the new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie, each dial is handmade by independent artisan Bastien Chevalier, piece by piece, and it incorporates more than 70 elements.
Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie – Specs
The new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie is available in limited numbers of 99-pieces only and features a 50m water-resistant 42mm diameter and 12.25mm thick polished stainless steel case with a lug-to-lug spacing of 49.6mm and interhorn spacing of 22mm.
My only criticism: the use of the stock-standard, outsourced movement, the Sellita SW261-1 with a measly 38-hour power reserve. I am sorry, it is 2023 after all, 38-hour doesn’t really cut it. Sellita SW261-1 is an automatic winding movement measuring 25.6mm x 5.6mm. This élaboré grade movement traditionally comes with a small seconds at 6 and date, but Louis Erard has opted to go for the cleaner, only 2 hands look. It comprises 31 jewels and beats at the standard frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h).
“Louis Erard continues to enliven métiers d’art with a contemporary perspective and an impossible challenge: to make the most exclusive craftsmanship accessible, this time with the extreme practice of miniature marquetry featured on the dial”.
Just in time for Watches & Wonders 2023, the new Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie can be purchased on the brand’s website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are ©2021 Louis Erard. All Rights Reserved.