Skip to main content

INTRODUCING: Louis Erard Excellence Marquétrie

The Louis Erard Excellence Marquétrie in stainless steel.

Louis Erard is making classic crafts accessible to every watch collector.

Artistic crafts in watchmaking are typically reserved for what the industry considers fine or high watchmaking. From enamel to stone dials, these techniques require expert artisans and specialised skills, usually limited to a small number of watch maisons in the industry.

The Louis Erard Excellence Marquétrie features a wood marquetry dial by Bastien Chevalier.
The Louis Erard Excellence Marquétrie features a wood marquetry dial by Bastien Chevalier.

So, when Louis Erard announced a new watch that features miniature marquetry, it surprised all of us. Marquetry is the art of cutting individual pieces of material and piecing them together to create a particular design. A few watchmakers have used this technique on watches: Patek Philippe, Cartier, Hermès, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. And now that list includes Louis Erard.

Wood marquetry expert Bastien Chevalier, from Saint-Croix.
Wood marquetry expert Bastien Chevalier, from Saint-Croix.

The idea for this watch occurred when the director of Louis Erard, Manuel Emch, met miniature marquetry specialist Bastien Chevalier, who’s based in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland. Emch, best known for his work at Romain Jerôme and Jaquet Droz, has introduced several collaborative projects since he began working with Louis Erard in 2019.

A completed dial for the Louis Erard Excellence Marquétrie.
A completed dial for the Louis Erard Excellence Marquétrie.

On the dial, a three-dimensional checkerboard pattern is set on a wood display. Two hands on the dial indicate the time, with the brand’s logo at 11 o’clock (on the sapphire crystal) and Chevalier’s signature at the base of the display. Each dial comprises over 70 pieces of wood that are carefully sliced by hand, matched by colour and then glued on a base. Each colour presented on the dial is from different types of wood: three different shades of blue from the blue-tinted tulip tree and grey-tinted willow burl. Finally, the front side of the dial is sanded down and smoothened.

The blue sapphire caseback of the Louis Erard Excellence Marquétrie.
The blue sapphire caseback of the Louis Erard Excellence Marquétrie.

The 42mm case is in steel with a domed sapphire crystal and an exhibition caseback in blue sapphire crystal. It’s equipped with a Sellita SW261-1 automatic movement and matching leather strap. Limited to just 99 pieces, this stunning artistic timepiece is available at just S$6,110 from Watches of Switzerland.   

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL


Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.