Presented in a slightly oversized (though almost impeccably proportionate) stainless steel body, the new Louis Erard Excellence Ladies Chronograph (ref. 82 234 SE 01) automatic wrist watch has its thin bezel set with dozens of diamonds and is animated by a rather rare Swiss made caliber. In fact, the new timekeeper seems to be one of the most elegant chronographs designed with women in mind.
It takes just a glance to see (with a certain pleasure) that the new watch is designed around the same lines that were introduced by the Swiss watchmaker last year when it first presented its current Excellence collection of luxury timekeepers.
Coming equipped with classically shaped hands that seem to be crafted from blued steel and featuring more or less standard dial layout, the watches could look generic, if only they weren’t that beautiful.
This particular model, for example, was presented in a rather large stainless steel case around 36 millimeters in diameter.
Since the timepiece is powered by a rather small ETA 2094 self-winding ebauche, which is less than 24 millimeters in diameter, the watch seems to belong to the “huge by choice” class of gadgets.
By the way, the caliber is based on a well-known ETA 2004-1 ebauche, which is fact a more compact version of the good old ETA 2892-A2 ebauche designed to power ladies watches.
This is not a natural-born chronograph: the tiny engine is simply equipped with a chronograph module that rides atop of it increasing the total jewels count to 37 stones.
Small movements rarely look good inside oversized cases, this particular watch produces a very good impression, mainly because the extra dial real estate was used wisely with a set of 12 long and thin Roman numerals. Visually dominating the dial, the numerals successfully divert your attention from the three recessed sub-dials effectively making the face of the timekeeper look less cluttered.
As I have already mentioned, the thin bezel of the Louis Erard Excellence Ladies Chronograph is decorated with seventy TW F-G VS-SI diamonds together weighing around 0.7 carats. As usual, the chronograph function of the watch is operated by means of two pushers placed at 2 and 4 o’clock.
I don’t know how much Louis Erard plans to ask for this beautiful piece, but it seems to be worth a look when it comes to a boutique near you.
The watch is expected to be officially presented in flesh in March during the upcoming Baselworld 2012 show.
Photos: Louis Erard
Louis Erard Excellence Ladies Chronograph Automatic (ref. 82 234 SE 01) watch specification
Movement: Automatic, ETA caliber 2094, modular chronograph, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 37
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, chronograph, date, small seconds
Power reserve: 40 hours
Case material: Stainless steel, polished
Bezel material: Matches case, set with 70 diamonds
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 36.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Mother-of-pearl, white
Hour markers: Black
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: White leather strap with stainless steel pin buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Transparent