It is a bit odd that not so far ago mechanical watches occupied a big role in precision time keeping, I mean time is essential even more so by todays standards but the peak of mechanical pieces is long gone thanks to atomic clocks and even smaller devices like our smartphone. That doesn’t mean that there isn't something nice about a well crafted precise piece on your wrist. There are many complications that watch enthusiasts are drawn too but the more vintage the piece is the complication becomes more romantic, take for example the moonphase, no body know why is so important to calculate the position of the moon with a time piece in today's world but it sure looks beautiful. Another classic complication or we can also call it layout, is the regulator dial, this type of configuration has existed since the 18 century and the idea behind this is precision. A regulator dial has the hours, minutes and seconds all separated from each other, this gives the user the ability to calculate by the second the exact time with another watch (usually a central clock in the town center). The peak of regulator watches came into force when railroads were in full swing, a dead beat second (which looks like a Quartz watch) was also implemented so it could be as precise as possible. I have been fascinated by this complication for a bit now, many watches have all their hands on the center axis and other have a sub seconds dial but all separated? This is very unique and I wanted to get my hands on one. There are limited pieces with this old age complication but suddenly I came across the Louis Erard Excellence Regulator, it blew my mind, it had everything I was looking for and luckily I was able to get a demo unit to describe why I feel so attracted to it, lets begin.
Being a watch which is based on a vintage look the Excellence Regulator does the job admirably, it takes you back to that era when jeans and shirts were un existing (I did wear the watch with shorts and a t shirt and it was awesome), this watches were usually big and sometimes not even wrist watches,
but the example we got has a 40mm polished steel case with an incredible grey fume dial, you can just look at the pictures, it’s a masterpiece. The watch houses a manual ETA 7001 with a Louis Erard RE9 complication with 42 hours of power reserve which you can keep track with an indicator at 9o clock beautiful and simple. The movement is also visible trough the sapphire case back and I am glad it does, manual movement are made to be seen specially when is decorated with blued screws and Geneva stripes.
On the wrist:
The Excellence Regulator is a watch that has a tremendous visual impact, is subtle don’t get me wrong but is created to be a legible and precise as possible. As a regulator watch all the time keeping indications are separated from each other, at 12 o'clock you have the sub dial for the hours in roman numerals, at six o'clock the seconds dial with separated in intervals of fifteen seconds and the in the center you have the minutes represented by a long hand looking like very sharp sword ready to cut anything that comes on its way.
Last but not least there is the 4th hand at 9 o'clock which lets you know how much power of the 42 hours the Regulator has. Everything is layout in the beautiful grey fume dial which really gives lovely visual effect of a much smaller watch, a classy and round piece ready to be worn in the city for fancy Saturday night dinner.
It took me a while to get my hands on this lovely complication but it was worth the wait, I got to tried one of the oldest tool watches styles out there and got to discover Louis Erard. The current catalogue from the brand is magnificent and I have to say that I will be looking more into what is being offered, they have some great chronographs and time only pieces that I would like to try but to be honest the Excellence Regulator was the best experience I could ask for, vintage with modern construction, classy but versatile and with quality that can only be matched by watches costing 4 times the price.
I am glad that precision is still in the minds of watchmakers today, otherwise we all be wearing an Apple watch, there is nothing wrong with that, but I am not the person who wants to wear just a product, I want to wear something special.
More info at www.louiserard.com
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