Inside Look: Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein Le Régulateur And La Semaine For Stephen Silver (Live Photos)
If there’s one thing that enthusiasts love, it’s access! Whether it’s show passes, factory visits, or the opportunity to buy limited edition goods, access is the benevolent sibling to exclusivity: it’s much more about “I’m just happy to be here” than “I can have something you can’t.”
As a long-time customer, friend, and adviser to the team at Silicon Valley’s Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry (SSFJ), I’ve been fortunate to gain access to several of the company’s independent watchmaker events over the years. And, likely of more interest to you, to handle, photograph, and share online a variety of newly released and pre-release watches, most recently including a set of two limited references by Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein developed in collaboration with Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry and released on November 17, 2022.
Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein: spoiler alert, I’m a fan and owner
The opportunity to shoot and share these two watches came up on short notice before I had the opportunity to write my “Why I Bought It” article: I am already the owner of a Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein watch, the Monopoussoir.
I’m still planning to put together a full Why I Bought It – with a twist – on that watch in the coming weeks, so I’ll spare you the full description of why I’m so fond of this watch line until then. Simply know that when it comes to Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein, as well as Mr. Silberstein’s work under his own brand prior to 2012, both DrMrsG and I have plunked down our own hard-earned cash to add them to our watch drawers.
The Stephen Silver U.S. Exclusive watches: what’s the same and what’s different
This new introduction is a two-tier affair. The top offering is a two-watch “Diptych” box set containing the aptly named regulator dial Le Régulateur and smiley-face “smileday” of the week La Semaine, limited to 28 sets. The SSFJ Semaine is additionally available separately in a limited offering of 72 examples for a total of 128 watches available to 100 buyers.
Overall, a total of 178 pieces of each watch will be made in this color combination, but only the 128 Stephen Silver examples are triple signed by maker, designer, and retailer and presented in a special-edition box commemorating the design collaboration.
We’ve seen each of the underlying watch models before: first, in the classic red-yellow-blue-black Bauhaus Silberstein look, in limited editions of 178 examples each of the Semaine and Régulateur; and more recently, a second offering of “Blanche” watches with white dials, again limited to 178 each.
While all the earlier versions used the same color cues of red for the hour hand, blue for minutes, and yellow for seconds, the new versions change things up by using white for the minute hands. The white theme continues to the raised hour markers, in contrast to the blue and yellow used in the earlier series.
The most striking difference on the face of the watch, though, is the use of an iridescent blue chapter ring as seen in the photo above. It plays a big role in creating an identifiable red-white-and-blue “American” look for each watch, and SSFJ’s president Jared Silver tells me that it is also intended as a reference to the Silvers’ long-standing business in shimmering sapphires and other fine gems.
As far as I know it’s also Silberstein’s first departure from the use of matte primary colors for major design elements, and the way the shiny blue dances in the passing light makes these pieces quite distinct from other Silberstein designs. I also found that the presence of a contrasting ring makes these 40 mm watches wear a bit smaller visually than the all-black look of my identically sized Monopoussoir.
Other key design elements, including the use of blasted and polished titanium for the case, the bright red outer surface of the crown, the quick-fit nylon strap, and the external brancard structure framing the round main case are carried over from previous editions, but an additional distinguishing feature for this collaboration is the Stephen Silver logo engraved on the rear crystal of each watch.
On the wrist
I did sneak each of these pieces quickly onto my wrist to capture some impressions, and to no surprise they wear comfortably and pop visually. The soft strap with hook and loop fastening feels good, is very easily adjustable, and in combination with the titanium case makes the watches seem almost weightless on the wrist. And the brancard structure frames the view well without making the watch unwearably big.
There’s enough red and yellow visible to, in combination with the hallmark hand shapes, make it clear that this is a Silberstein design; but the primary use of white as the accent color along with the shiny blue ring give these watches a crisper look to my eye than prior versions.
The perfect watch has not yet been made! On these pieces, my one choice if I’d had my druthers would have been for a closed case back with the Erard, Silberstein, and SSFJ logos rather than the small rear crystal revealing the movement, but that’s a matter of personal taste.
A limited watch that is actually for sale
While some of these watches and sets have already been reserved for long-time Silver customers, others have been held aside for public sale, avoiding the “thanks for asking, but we already sold them all” launch day phenomenon that has been so distasteful in many other recent watch launches.
As of the launch date of November 17, Silver is accepting expressions of interest and will then allocate the remaining watches.
If you are intrigued, here’s your own opportunity for access. Visit shsilver.com/pages/louis-erard-collection to join the interest list for either the diptych set of two watches or just La Semaine. In the comments field on the form, please tell them that GaryG sent you!
Quick Facts Le Régulateur Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein for Stephen Silver
Case: 40 x 9 mm titanium case with polished and micro-blasted elements and conical crown; brancard structure framing the case; front and rear sapphire crystals
Dial: black dial with silver hour subdial and iridescent blue chapter ring; printed numerals, logo, and raised five-minute indices
Movement: automatic Caliber Sellita SW266-1 élaboré grade; 38-hour power reserve; 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency
Functions: regulator display of hours, minutes, and seconds
Limitation: 28 examples with SSFJ logo on rear crystal and commemorative box as part of a two-watch diptych box set with the SSFJ edition La Semaine
Price: $8,888 (box set of two watches)
Production year: 2022
Quick Facts: La Semaine Louis Erard x Alain Silberstein for Stephen Silver
Case: 40 x 11.6 mm titanium case with polished and micro-blasted elements and conical crown; brancard structure framing the case; windows for date and “smileday” displays; front and rear sapphire crystals
Dial: black dial with iridescent blue chapter ring; printed numerals, logo, and raised hour indices
Movement: automatic Caliber Sellita SW220-1 élaboré grade; 38-hour power reserve; 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, central seconds, day, date
Limitation: 28 examples with SSFJ logo on rear crystal and commemorative box as part of a two-watch diptych box set with the SSFJ edition Le Régulateur; 72 examples available as single watches
Price: $8,888 (box set of two watches); $4,590 (individual La Semaine)
Production year: 2022