Louis Erard gained a cult following collaborations with partners ranging from independent watchmakers to industrial designers. Now, the brand has teamed up with Switzerland-based watch influencer Amr Sindi, better known by his Instagram handle The Horophile. Their project, the Le Petite Seconde Metropolis, draws direct inspiration from Art Deco with its clean, distinctive dial.
Following their recent collaboration at Raketa, it comes as no surprise that Louis Erard chief Manuel Emch (who’s also helping run Raketa) and Mr Sindi have once again united their creative forces. While deviating from the contemporary design accented by Mr Sindi’s trademark purple that characterised his past creations, the trio of timepieces represent a unique interpretation of 1920s style.
The watches evoke the era without being remakes of 1920s watches. They are distinctive yet unbranded, enabling the design to be conveyed clearly. Aside from the Art Deco hour numerals, there is absolutely no text on the dial whatsoever. In my view, this exemplifies how watch brands should design a retro watch, rather than simply generating a remake based on archives.
While the dial is new, the rest of the watch is identical to the regular production model. That means a relatively thick case, which is the only major shortcoming of the design.
The Le Petite Seconde Metropolis is priced at US$2,900, which is roughly in the same price range as the standard version of the model. Although the price is relatively affordable, the appeal would be enhanced with some embellishment on the reverse, like a customised oscillating weight, in order to set it apart as a limited edition.
The dial of Le Petite Seconde Metropolis is a unique fusion of Art Deco and modern aesthetics, a style sometimes termed “Neo-Deco.” The dial’s minimalist look consists of only stencilled, Art Deco-inspired numerals and stamped concentric patterning on the centre as well as the sub-dial. The concentric patterns provide some visual depth that is further complemented by the open-worked “Empire” hands that are based on the silhouette of the Empire State Building.
The watch is available in three dial colours: salmon, slate, and tobacco. Among the three, the slate and tobacco dials exhibit a more vintage feel appearance due to their red gold hands and numerals, while the salmon dial has greater contrast and a more modern appearance.
Additionally, a unique version of the timepiece will be made for Mr Sindi, although details regarding this are yet to be revealed.
The Metropolis has the exact same case as the regular production models made of polished stainless steel and measuring 39 mm in diameter and 12.82 mm high. It’s powered by the Sellita SW261-1, the same movement found on the Excellence Marqueterie. The calibre is essentially the small seconds version of the SW200-1 movement, which is a clone of the reliable ETA 2824. It offers a power reserve of 38 hours, which is quite short by today’s industry standard for newer calibres of three days.
Key facts and price
Le Petite Seconde Metropolis Louis Erard x The Horophile
Ref. 34248AA44 (slate)
Ref. 34248AA64 (salmon)
Ref. 34248AA66 (tobacco)
Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 12.82 mm
Water resistance: 50 m
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours
Strap: Calf leather with pin buckle
Limited edition: 178 pieces – 59 pieces per model and a piece unique for The Horophile
Availability: Direct from Louis Erard online
For more information, visit Louiserard.com.
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