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Hands-on review: Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel: our review of the first regulator model of Louis Erard featuring a Grand Feu enamel dial. Price CHF 4,500
Louis Erard is well known for its distinctive Le Régulateur models, wristwatches characterised by a regulator-type arrangement of indications, with the hours counter at 12 o’clock, the central axis bearing the minutes hand only, and the seconds sub-dial at 6 o'clock.

Hands-on review of Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

The brand, based in Le Noirmont in the Swiss canton of Jura, is now announcing its first regulator model adorned with a traditional Grand Feu enamel dial.

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

We had the opportunity to preview and wear the newly unveiled Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu enamel, and we are delighted to share our firsthand pictures and impressions.

The watch comes in a classic round case in polished stainless steel, measuring 39 mm in diameter with a total thickness of 12.82 mm, including the domed and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, coated with anti-reflective treatment on both sides. 

The typical fir tree crown is engraved with the Louis Erard symbol.

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

The ideal size and the curved lugs ensure comfortable wearability on average wrists. For reference, the wrist in our pictures measures 17.8 cm / 7 inches.

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel wristshot

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

The ivory-coloured dial in grand feu enamel has been crafted using the traditional techniques of Donzé Cadrans S.A., an art enameller based in Le Locle.

The hour and seconds counters at 12 and 6 o'clock respectively add an extra touch of elegance, highlighting the two-tone enamel details. The light, fine and discontinuous numerals add a contemporary touch to this classic configuration.

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Patiently made piece by piece in the Donzé Cadrans kilns, these Grand Feu enamel dials have a unique glowing texture that cannot be matched by any other technique. The colours are permanently bonded to their metal base. 

The signature fir tree hands in blued steel, which change hue depending on how the light hits them, complete the beautiful ensemble.

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

With this centuries-old Grand Feu enamel method, the dial has to be built up little by little, with a mixture of silica, metallic oxide and potassium applied in successive layers to a metal disc repeatedly fired in a kiln heated to more than 800°C, hence the name "grand feu".

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

The mixture is transformed into glass by fusion. To obtain a smooth, uniform surface, several successive coats and firing cycles are required.

Working with enamel is challenging and requires years of practice to master. The material is unpredictable, so even experienced craftsmen face uncertain results. Each firing can cause imperfections like roughness, cracks, bubbles, and unexpected color changes. Typically, 5-7 layers of enamel are needed to achieve the desired result.

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

The inscriptions on the dial are also made from two-colour enamel, fused together by the final firing, which explains why this process has become so rare. Unlike traditional dials, which will fade over time, the colour of an enamel dial is unalterable.
 
Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

The caseback displays the movement through a transparent sapphire crystal. 

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Based on a Sellita SW266-1, this self-winding regulator-type calibre beats at the frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hours) with a power reserve of 38 hours. 

The special openworked oscillating weight is enhanced by a black lacquered Louis Erard symbol. 

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Water resistant up to a pressure of 5 bars (50 metres / 165 feet), the watch is matched to a soft grey grained calf leather strap featuring tone-on-tone stitching and equipped with a stainless steel pin buckle engraved with the Louis Erard logo along with ergot bars for swift strap changes. The lug width is 20 mm. 

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Grand Feu enamel, exclusive and limited, defies mass production. Each dial is meticulously hand-crafted, making every piece unique and artisanal. For this reason, enamel dials are generally associated with highly exclusive and expensive timepieces.

Louis Erard breaks this exclusivity barrier, offering Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel (ref. 85248AA54.BVA153), a limited edition of 99 pieces, at the attractive price of CHF 4,500.

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Once again, Louis Erard has successfully combined luxury craftsmanship with affordable watchmaking in a beautiful way. louiserard.com

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel

COMMENTS

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Smith,1,Rolex,72,Romain Gauthier,12,Romain Jerome,1,Royal Oak,39,Rudis Sylva,1,sapphire,4,Schwarz Etienne,1,Seamaster,10,Seiko,41,SevenFriday,25,SIHH,3,SIHH 2012,4,SIHH 2013,25,SIHH 2014,36,SIHH 2015,43,SIHH 2016,44,SIHH 2017,41,SIHH 2018,43,SIHH 2019,53,Simon Brette,2,Singer,7,Singer Reimagined,11,single hand,30,single-hand watches,35,Sinn,16,skeleton,35,smartwatch,9,solar energy,1,Sotheby's,8,Speake Marin,6,Speake-Marin,6,Speedmaster,37,split seconds,24,sport,1,sport watches,963,sportwatches,1,Spring Drive,2,square watches,3,squelette,59,steampunk,1,Steinhart,1,Strehler,1,striking time,16,SuisseMecanica,1,sunrise,2,sunset,2,Swatch,9,Swatch Group,23,Sylvain Pinaud,2,table clocks,4,Tag Heuer,178,tantalum,1,technical insight,3,terra Cielo Mare,1,Theo Auffret,1,Tiffany,17,Tissot,9,titanium,12,top news,429,Torsti Laine,1,tourbillon,374,Trilobe,4,Tudor,37,Tulloch,1,Tutima,3,ultra thin,36,Ulysse Nardin,40,Unimatic,1,Union Glashutte,14,Universal Genève,1,Urban Jurgensen,29,Urwerk,22,Vacheron Constantin,83,Van Cleef & Arpels,7,Vauchier Fleurier,1,Vianney Halter,5,video,1,vintage watches,3,Vulcain,11,wandering hours,1,watches,1,Watches & Wonders,42,Watches & Wonders 2020,19,Watches & Wonders 2021,28,Watches & Wonders 2022,35,Watches & Wonders 2023,38,Watches & Wonders 2024,47,Watches&Wonders,10,WatchesandWonders2022,35,WatchesandWonders2023,39,WatchesandWonders2024,48,Wilhelm Schmid,1,Winnerl,1,worldtime,58,YEMA,4,Zannetti,1,Zeitwerk,2,Zeitwinkel,1,Zenith,112,Zodiac,9,
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Time and Watches | The watch blog: Hands-on review: Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel
Hands-on review: Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel
Le Régulateur Louis Erard Grand Feu Enamel: our review of the first regulator model of Louis Erard featuring a Grand Feu enamel dial. Price CHF 4,500
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