Louis Erard’s Olivier Mosset Le Regulateur is Ultra Minimalist

A conceptual indication of the time.

Louis Erard, a brand well-known for its affordable collaborations with notable figures across different industries, has just dropped a wristwatch designed by a Swiss contemporary artist known for his abstract style. A variant of the brand’s classic regulator model, Le Regulateur Louis Erard x Oliver Mosset tells the time, but in an extremely minimalist, almost redacted manner, with just three hands rotating on a dial that evokes outer space.

Initial Thoughts

The design is clearly the work of an abstract artist; time-telling instrument it is not. In fact, it is not especially recognisable as a watch, particularly for someone unfamiliar with a regulator-style dial.

The striking design will be polarising, particularly since it comes at the expense of function. It is, however, appealing in its own peculiar way and more broadly reflects the wide-ranging aesthetic adopted by Louis Erard thanks to Manuel Emch, now the brand’s creative chief and himself a collector of contemporary art.

The only downside of the watch is the chunky case, which is shared by all Le Regulateur models. It’s thicker and bulkier than such a minimalist watch should be, but necessarily so due to the no-frills movement inside.

But that also means the Oliver Mosset regulator is an affordable CHF3,750, as is typical for the brand. It’s a value proposition for a little bit of contemporary on the wrist.

Not a watch

That the watch was conceived as an artwork, rather than a timepiece is indicated by the label attached to each watch that reads “work of art – do not wear”. The reason for that lies in Mr Mosset’s belief that “a watch is useless today”, so he views it as an accessory rather than a time-telling tool. The brand drily notes “[a regulator normally] improves precision and legibility… In this case, though, it is rather a work of art.”

The design of the watch reflects the ethos of Mr Mosset, who is known for his monochrome palette and use of shapes. The three baton hands are seemingly identical, with hours at the top, followed by the minutes, and the seconds at the base. But the hands are actually subtly different, with the holes in the tips of each hand indicating its functionality. The hour hand has the largest aperture, followed by the minutes with a smaller aperture, and lastly the seconds with the smallest.

Mr Mosset is a car and motorcycle buff, and the watch was also conceived to echo the automobile body. It’s entirely finished in some variant of black: the hands are brushed, while the dial is black-laquered and speckled with silver. The case, on the other hand, is sandblasted and finished with a black coating.

Visible through the grey-tinted sapphire back is the Sellita SW266-1 that’s been modified to have a regulator-stye display. It’s a basic but reliable movement with a short 38-hour power reserve.

Key facts and price

Le Regulateur Louis Erard x Oliver Mosset
Ref. 85237NN62

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 12.25 mm
Material: Sand-blasted stainless steel with black PVD treatment
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: Sellita SW266-1 Calibre
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 38 hours

Strap: Two black Baranil calf leather bracelets with tone-on-tone stitching and black calf leather lining

Limited edition: 178 pieces
Availability: At Louis Erard online and physical boutiques and retailers starting January 2024
Price: CHF3,750.00

For more information, visit louiserard.com.


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The Minimalist, 1970s Bulgari Bulgari Makes a Comeback

In a wearable 38 mm case.

Bulgari updates its signature Bulgari Bulgari wristwatch by reverting to the original format (almost). Debuted in 1977 as the brand’s first wristwatch, the model was designed by Gerald Genta, who conceived a flat bezel engraved with the brand name, reputedly inspired by ancient Roman coins. Though the model has remained in the collection size in a variety of styles, the latest version returns to the simplicity of the original, with a minimalist dial and compact, 38 mm case available only in either 18k yellow or rose gold for now.

Initial thoughts

The Bulgari Bulgari remains the Italian jeweller’s quintessential wristwatch, remaining recognisable despite having evolved into a multitude of iterations over the years. The appeal of the design is its distinctive style despite the simplicity, something that the latest version returns to.

The new Bulgari Bulgari has a minimalist dial featuring a date at three (which purists might frown at), and rendered more wearable with a diameter of 38 mm. This scaled-down case no doubt reflects a trend found across other brands, many of which are moving towards cases in the range of 35 mm to 39 mm, often in a vintage-inspired style.

Whilst the new case size is almost ideal, the date window gets in the way of the minimalist design. At the same time, an upgraded movement would have made it more appeal. While in-house, the long-in-tooth BVL 191 has a disappointingly short power reserve of 42 hours, as opposed to the norm of three days for newer calibres.

The new Bulgari Bulgari is available in either 18k yellow or rose gold, explaining the price tag of US$13,200, which is the ballpark for a solid-gold watch with no complications.

The price is US$8,000 more than the standard steel model with the same movement. However, it is almost a certainly that a steel model will come along at some point in time, so if you’re not set on a precious metal case, then waiting makes sense.

The Bulgari Bulgari of 1977 (left), and its predecessor, the digital Bulgari Roma of 1975 (right). Image – Bulgari

Scaled down and pared back

The latest rendition of the Bulgari Bulgari adds to a family of watches conceived by Genta as the successor to the digital Bulgari Roma of 1975. The line-up was facelifted in 2014 with a sleeker bezel, streamlined lugs, and the in-house BVL 191, at the same time gaining a large, 41 mm model

The new releases, however, reverse the past facelifts and return to the original styling for the most part. The new dial utilises the same design elements as the original, namely the baton hour indices as well as the Arabic numerals at six and 12, along with the addition of the date window and centre seconds.

Two configurations are available for now. The 18k yellow gold model mirrors the original of 1977 with a black dial featuring yellow gold indices and numerals. On the other hand, the rose gold version has a silver-opaline dial contrasted by rose gold indices and numerals.

The 38 mm case certainly fits the cleaner style better than the 41 mm case. And the new case is also 3 mm thinner than its larger counterpart.

The movement, however, remains the BVL 191, an automatic calibre that was the brand’s first attempt at an in-house calibre. It’s now used widely across the Bulgari catalogue, including in the Octo Roma. It has a 42 hour power reserve and operates at a high frequency of 4 Hz.

Key facts and price

Bulgari Bulgari 38 mm
Ref. 103967 (yellow gold)
Ref. 103968 (rose gold)

Diameter: 38 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: 18k yellow or rose gold
Water resistance: 50 m

Movement: BVL 191
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours

Strap: Leather strap with pin buckle

Limited edition: No
Availability: At Bulgari boutiques and retailers starting in February 2024
Price: US$13,200

For more, visit Bulgari.com.


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The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Tourbillon Gets a Jade Dial

Rose gold and lustrous green.

H. Moser & Cie. is back with another Streamliner to kick off the year. The Streamliner Tourbillon Wyoming Jade sports a dial crafted from the mineral stone – mined in the American state – and a rose gold case, while retaining the other elements from the original Streamliner Tourbillon with a Vantablack dial released in 2022.

Initial thoughts

Like most mineral stones, jade has a natural pattern that varies across examples. As each piece of jade has a pattern that’s slightly different from the next, no two dials are exactly the same. This unique variance is one of the key attractions of natural stone dials. Here it is paired with rose gold, a combination that works particularly well.

Because it is identical in size to the earlier Streamliner Tourbillon, it also wears well. The 40 mm case sits well on my 6.5 in wrist, being neither too big nor too small thanks to the lug-less case design.

This is a pricey watch in absolute terms, with a retail of CHF 109,000. That said, the value proposition is actually decent. The comparable Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon in pink gold, for instance, costs almost double. While Moser is a niche brand compared to establishment names, it offers watches that are relatively more unusual, while being comparable in overall quality.

The only downside of this is arguably the edition size, which at 100 is substantial for a watch of this nature. Moser has been steadily increasing the variety and quantity of its high-end Streamliner models, namely precious metals, gem-set, or stone dials, making them not quite “very rare”.

The Jade Lobster

The new Streamliner Tourbillon has a case and bracelet in 5N red gold that has a strong copper tint. Finished with satin brushing and polished accents, the case flows seamlessly into the integrated “lobster” bracelet. The contrasts between the brushed and mirror-polished surfaces add refinement to the aesthetic.

As is often the case with Moser, the key element of the design is the logo-less dial, which is a disc of jade stone from Wyoming. Minimalist in a typical Moser manner, the dial has only three applied rose gold hour markers at the quarters. The rose gold hour and minute hands feature inserts of “Globolight”, a polymer-ceramic composite infused with Super-Luminova that has a long-lasting glow in the dark according to the brand.

The dial is a rich olive green, with its natural grain revealing traces of white and black inclusions. It begins as a small block of jade that is milled a CNC machine with lots of liquid lubricant, resulting in a thin slice of stone. The slice is then glued into a metal plate for stability and to prevent cracks.

The slice is are then milled once again to obtain the round shape required for the dial and to form the aperture for the tourbillon. The finished dial blank is then polished to remove imperfections and leave it with a glossy finish. Finally, it is removed from the plate and a layer of varnish is applied on the back of the jade before it is mounted on a brass dial base. The varnish prevents the brass base from showing through the translucent jade, while the base is necessary for robustness.

The jade dials are thin enough to be translucent

Milling the dials

The Streamliner Tourbillon Wyoming Jade the HMC 804 calibre, the same self-winding movement found in several Moser tourbillon models.

The tourbillon cage forms a wide “V” that is a defining feature of the brand’s tourbillons, and inside is Moser’s signature double hairspring. The movement bridges are decorated with the brand’s trademark decoration of double Côtes de Geneve, essentially striping with alternating widths.

Key facts and price

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Tourbillon Wyoming Jade
Ref. 6804-0406

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 12.1 mm
Material: 18k 5N red gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 120 m

Movement: HMC 804
Functions: Hours, minutes, and flying tourbillon
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Integrated bracelet in red gold

Limited edition: 100 pieces
Availability: At H. Moser & Cie boutiques and retailers starting January 2024
Price: CHF109,000

For more information, visit h-moser.com.


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