Last month, Louis Erard and Massena LAB debuted a regulator timepiece, in two versions, with either a 2N gold-plated or rhodium-plated dial.
The Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Massena LAB is delivered in a 42 mm x 12.25 mm stainless steel case, with a 49.6 mm lug-to-lug measurement and 22 mm lug width, with a clear caseback, and 50 meters of water-resistance. The appeal of this watch is not so much the derivative-styled circular case, or the fact that the movement is visible through the open caseback — it’s all about the dial.
Traditionally wristwatches have two or three hands mounted on the cannon pinion, whereas, in contrast, a highly distinctive regulator dial watch has all its hands mounted on independent pinions. As you can see at 12, a blued-leaf-shaped hour hand points to the index/Roman numeral, denoting the hour. In the center of the dial is a large blued leaf-shaped hand that indicates minutes. And below that is a third blued leaf-shaped small seconds hand that continuously sweeps the slightly sunken subdial every 60-seconds.
Available in a choice of 2N gold plated or rhodium plated dials, the primary plate used to create the dial has a frosted texture. This type of surface can be achieved in a number of different ways, although it’s unclear which method was used to achieve this look. Considering the cost, it’s unlikely it was hand-hammered, nevertheless, the result is attractive. Surrounding each of the regulator displays are rhodium-plated, circular satin-finished rings that nicely contrast the knock-down surface of the main dial, and which utilize hour, minute, and seconds scales to clearly indicate the time. This type of layout is what a regulator is known for and allows for precise time-setting and viewing.
The underlying caliber which drives the three hands is an outsourced automatic 4Hz Sellita SW266-1, in the elaborate grade finish, with 38-hours of power reserve. Apart from the Louis Erard emblem being placed on the rotor, it appears to have no further customizations, but remember, as I mentioned above, this watch is all about the dial. There’s no indication that the movement has been adjusted to chronometer specifications, so even though the dial is highly legible and made for precise time reading, the timekeeping likely falls below chronometer levels.
The Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Massena LAB is available in a 178-piece limited edition, each caseback engraved with “Limited Edition 1 of 178.” The retail price is $3,900 and the rhodium-plated version is sold out but the gold-plated version is still available at Massenalab.com.
Photos by Louis Erard/Massena LAB.