Louis Erard Introduces the Affordable Tourbillon Alain Silberstein

A well-priced proposition back in black.

Louis Erard returns to its flagship model, the Le Régulateur Tourbillon x Alain Silberstein, now in black. The tourbillon builds on the previous collaborations with the French designer but ups the ante on price and complexity. Louis Erard first tapped Alain Silberstein, known for his instantly recognisable Bauhaus-inspired aesthetic, in 2019 for a successful collaboration that led to a second collection in 2021.

This new 78-piece limited edition is the first time Le Régulateur Tourbillon is presented in Silberstein’s typical Bauhaus colours. The model initially debuted last year as part of a three-piece set in khaki green, followed by a 10-piece limited edition made for UAE-based retailer Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons.

Initial thoughts

Louis Erard has created an interesting niche for itself in the world of independent watchmaking with its ongoing string of well-priced collaborations with established independent watchmakers like Konstantin Chaykin and Vianney Halter.

And while the brand is arguably at its best when it challenges conventional expectations of watch design, such as its collaborations with designers from outside the industry like Oliver Mosset and atelier oï, the designs of Alain Silberstein have proven timeless in their own quirky way.

Le Régulateur Tourbillon features a 40 mm titanium case that is also surprisingly slim at just 11.8 mm. That said, it’s likely to wear larger due to the hinged strap loops that extend beyond the case. With a black nylon strap and matching titanium hook and loop fastener – plus an unexpected 100 m water resistance rating – the watch is surprisingly sporty.

While Louis Erard’s mainline products target a sub-CHF5,000 price point, including the Alain Silberstein Le Chrono Monopoussoir, the tourbillon extends the brand’s offerings to the low five-figure range. This reflects the increasing complexity and ambition of the model, explaining the CHF15,900 price of Le Régulateur Tourbillon. Despite the nominally higher price point, Le Régulateur Tourbillon is nonetheless a compelling value thanks to the high-spec movement developed by BCP Tourbillons in La Chaux de Fonds.

Importantly, the Louis Erard collaborations are the current are the only current Silberstein models priced comparably to the originals from the 1990s and early 2000s that are available on the secondary market. This tourbillon, for example, costs less than the same as the Tourbillon Volant (powered by an STT movement of similar quality to the BCP calibre). Consequently, Louis Erard collaborations are arguably the only ones that make sense.

Overall, Le Régulateur Tourbillon offers a mix of technical interest, originality, wearability, and value that is exceedingly rare.

Technically competent

The BCP T02 movement was developed by Olivier Mory, a veteran of Sellita and ValFleurier who launched BCP Tourbillons in 2016, with the goal of supplying low-cost tourbillon movements to independent watchmakers.

The BCP movement is noteworthy for a few reasons, the first being 100% of its components are Swiss made according to the company. This contrasts with the norm for low-cost tourbillons, which often rely on parts (or entire movements) outsourced to countries with lower labour costs. What makes this even more surprising is the premium nature of some of the suppliers. For example, the escapement components are manufactured by Atokalpa, a sister company of Parmigiani Fleurier and Vaucher Fleurier.

Beyond its Swiss origin, the BCP tourbillon offers a lengthy power reserve of 100 hours and features a free-sprung Gyromax-style balance. At a time when low-cost regulators are all too common even on simpler watches at higher price points, this technical competency is refreshing and significantly enhances the overall value.

Naturally, the targeted price point required some compromises, namely in the industrial, no-frills approach to its manufacture and decoration, with economical machine-applied finishing visible throughout. But even though the finishing is necessarily simplistic, it’s still attractive enough with circular Côtes de Geneve radiating outward from the tourbillon axis.

Key facts and price

Le Régulateur Tourbillon Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Black
Ref. 89356TT02.BTT82

Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 11.8 mm
Material: Titanium (grade 2)
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: BCP T02
Features: Hours, minutes, and 60-second tourbillon
Frequency:  21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Winding: Manual wind
Power reserve: 100 hours

Strap: Black nylon

Limited edition: 78 pieces
Direct from Louis Erard online
Price: CHF15,900

For more, visit Louiserard.com.


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Blancpain Introduces the Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42 mm

Scaled down for wearability.

Having marked the 70th anniversary of its signature dive watch last year, Blancpain is now adding the Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42 mm to the lineup. Maintaining the vintage-inspired style of its larger sibling, the new Fifty Fathoms has a more compact, 42 mm case that’s available in either red gold or titanium – both entirely brushed – a size that was first seen on the 70th Anniversary Act 1 limited edition.

Initial thoughts

The overall appearance of the new Fifty Fathoms stays close to the longstanding ref. 5015, but in a smaller package. While its predecessor was a chunky 45 mm, the latest model is 42 mm. It retains almost exactly the same design, and even the same cal. 1315 inside (now visible through a display back), but in a more wearable case. If you liked the earlier version but found it too big, then the appeal of the 42 mm model is clear.

More broadly, the CHF15,000-ish price point of the Fifty Fathoms is competitive given the build quality. The case and dial execution are good, while the movement is one of the more sophisticated amongst sports watches in this price range.

New packaging

The new Fifty Fathoms is essentially a compact version of the 45 mm model, which was launched in 2007, making it one of the longest tenured models in the catalogue.

The 42 mm version preserves the familiar design, but in a smaller format. So the dial retains the Arabic numerals at the quarters, sword hands, and the italic model name above six. Because of the reduced size, the proportions are arguably improved, with the date window in particular sitting in a more comfortable position closer to the bezel.

Likewise, the case retains the same design. Available in either Grade 23 titanium or 18k red gold, the case is entirely brushed in both versions, and matched with a sapphire-covered bezel. According to Blancpain, Grade 23 is purer than the typical titanium alloys used in watchmaking.

Both case materials are available with the same dial options, blue or grey, both finished with a sun-ray brushing.

The new Fifty Fathoms is powered by the cal. 1315, the same movement found in the 45 mm model. It has a generous 120-hour power reserve, equivalent to five days, thanks to three mainspring barrels.

It is visible through the sapphire back, which is perhaps the biggest difference between the 42 mm and 45 mm models aside from size. This reveals the grey-coated 18K red gold rotor inspired by the oscillating weight found in the original 1953 Fifty Fathoms.

Key facts and price

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatique 42 mm
Ref. 5010 12B30 NABA (titanium, black dial & fabric NATO-style strap)
Ref. 5010 12B30 B52B (titanium, black dial & sailcloth strap)
Ref. 5010 12B30 B64B (titanium, black dial & rubber strap)
Ref. 5010 12B30 98S (titanium, black dial & matching bracelet)
Ref. 5010 12B40 NAOA (titanium, blue dial & fabric NATO-style strap)
Ref. 5010 12B40 O52B (titanium, blue dial & sailcloth strap)
Ref. 5010 12B40 O64B (titanium, blue dial & rubber strap)
Ref. 5010 12B40 98S (titanium, blue dial & matching bracelet)
Ref. 5010 36B30 NABA (red gold, black dial & fabric NATO-style strap)
Ref. 5010 36B30 B64B (red gold, black dial & rubber strap)
Ref. 5010 36B30 B52B (red gold, black dial & sailcloth strap)
Ref. 5010 36B40 NAOA (red gold, blue dial & fabric NATO-style strap)
Ref. 5010 36B40 O64B (red gold, blue dial & rubber strap)
Ref. 5010 36B40 O64B (red gold, blue dial & sailcloth strap)

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Red gold or grade 23 titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 300 m

Movement: Cal. 1315
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 120 hours

Strap: Rubber, sailcloth, or fabric NATO-style; and bracelet for the titanium model

Limited edition: No
Availability: At Blancpain boutiques
Price: Starting from CHF15,300 or 23,900 Singapore dollars in titanium on strap

For more, visit Blancpain.com.


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Swatch Unveils the MoonSwatch “Snoopy” Mission to the Moonphase

The long expected MoonSwatch.

Swatch and Omega are once again dropping another collaboration that is bound to be a hit, the MoonSwatch Mission to the Moonphase. Inspired by the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch “Snoopy”, the new MoonSwatch features a moon phase along with an all-white Bioceramic case and matching white strap. Snoopy resides on the moon phase display at two o’clock, which features a hidden quote printed in Super-Luminova, “I can’t sleep without a night light!”, that is invisible except in the dark or when exposed to UV light.

The Mission to the Moonphase is not a limited edition and instead part of the permanent collection.

Initial thoughts

Although the MoonSwatch has been a massive hit in terms of units sold – the total sold to date is in the low millions – recent iterations of the model haven’t been particularly exciting, with most of them simply having the addition of a gold-plated seconds hand.

With the MoonSwatch Mission to the Moonphase, however, Swatch is bringing something more interesting to the table. While it certainly isn’t imaginative, the appeal of the watch is obvious. For one, it builds on the capitalises on the desirability of the actual Speedmaster “Snoopy”. At the same time, the all-white livery sets it apart from the other MoonSwatch iterations.

Like the other versions of the MoonSwatch, the new Snoopy edition offers decent value at US$310. It is inexpensive, though it does feel inexpensive since the case is essentially plastic mixed with ceramic. Brands like Seiko offer watches that utilise higher quality material and movement for the same money, but they lack the fun factor and Speedmaster cachet of the MoonSwatch.

Lastly, the MoonSwatch Snoopy might be disappointing to owners of the Speedmaster “Snoopy”, which was originally made in limited editions, then limited-but-regular production, and now as a Swatch.


Striking in all white – the Bioceramic case, dial, and velcro strap are white – the Mission to the Moonphase is also notable for Snoopy on the moon phase disc.

Located in the two o’clock register, the moon phase replaces the hour counter found in other versions of the MoonSwatch. The moon phase disc features mirrored images of Snoopy reclining on a crescent moon.

“I can’t sleep without a night light!” is printed in white Super-Luminova on the register, revealing the quote in the dark. The crescent moons and stars are also printed in luminous paint to match.

The rest of the watch is identical to the standard MoonSwatch. The case is 42 mm and made of Bioceramic, a plastic-ceramic composite, while the movement is an ETA quartz calibre.

Key facts and price

Swatch X Omega MoonSwatch Mission to the Moonphase
Ref. SO33W700

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: 13.75 mm
Material: Bioceramic
Crystal: Unavailable
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Quartz
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph

Strap: Matching bracelet with velcro clasp

Limited edition: No, but each customer is limited to one watch per day
Availability: Starting March 26th at Swatch boutiques
Price: US$310

For more information, visit swatch.com


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