Le Chronographe Monopoussoir Louis Erard x Massena LAB. The second collaboration between Louis Erard and Massena LAB, two platforms dedicated to accessible collector’s watches. An air of the 19th century. A concentration of classic codes in a resolutely contemporary model equipped with a 21st-century monopusher chronograph calibre.
Limited series of 178 pieces, CHF 4,250.
This is not the first time that Louis Erard has opened the door to classical watchmaking and taken a look back at the 19th century. His aim is to demonstrate that a watch is also – and above all – a means of expression, a wrist notebook in which small mechanical stories can be written.
Nor is this the first time that Louis Erard has invited Massena LAB to co-produce a creation. After Le Régulateur, shortlisted for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the four-handed collaboration this time focused on the monopusher chronograph. A highly technical speciality – a single pusher to start, stop and reset the chronograph – which is expressed with great simplicity by Louis Erard: a single 30-minute totalizer on a separate dial at 12 o’clock.
Now for the Massena LAB touch. As its name suggests, this is a laboratory, with a laboratory technician, William Massena. He is a leading figure in the world of collector’s watches. A collector himself, William Massena ran Antiquorum for several years before launching his own label in 2018, not a brand but a platform focused on collaborations.
With a single idea in mind: to promote the watchmaking he loves and “democratise a style usually reserved for wealthy collectors”, historical watchmaking from the 18th and 19th centuries, in his own way following in the footsteps of Antide Janvier and marine chronometry.
Making the exceptional accessible. Meeting Louis Erard was a logical and natural step. Manuel Emch, CEO and creative director of the Franches-Montagnes-based brand, has made watchmaking culture his hallmark, opening up his collections to everything that haute horlogerie had previously reserved for itself: métiers d’art, cutting-edge collaborations, independent watchmakers, creative people, artists, craftsmen; Alain Silberstein, Vianney Halter, Konstantin Chaykin, atelier oï, seconde/seconde/, Eric Giroud, Bastien Chevalier – and all the others to come.
“Together we are stronger” has become the motto of Louis Erard, the new signature of this historic manufacturer, born in the Great Depression of 1929. And it’s not just a posture, as Louis Erard is proving, exploring every area of expertise, from collaboration to collaboration, each time pushing the quest for excellence as far as possible.
How does this excellence reveal itself? In the style, which is thorough, meticulous and detailed. In the finishing, of course. This monopusher chronograph is a striking example: rhodium-plated outer flange and counter with circular satin-finish and diamond-cut corners, rhodium-plated or 2N gilded lower plate with grained finish and silver opaline counter centre, black transfers with Louis Erard symbol and Massena logo at six o’clock. And from this quest for excellence comes exclusivity: sophistication is always achieved by hand, and hands are not made for mass production.
Like all the other collaborations, Le Chronographe Monopoussoir Louis Erard x Massena LAB is therefore produced in a limited series: 178 pieces – a figure that symbolises “together we are stronger”. 178 pieces in two variations: rhodium-plated or gilded dial.
“To be successful, says William Massena, a collaboration has to make sense”. Duly noted. And there are more meaningful beauties to come.