Louis Erard, @TheHorophile Reinterpret Art Deco for the New La Petite Seconde Metropolis Limited Edition

The ‘Empire’ baton hands of the 39 mm watch present a motif of universal significance: Manhattan’s Empire State Building, a timeless Art Deco skyscraper
Louis Erard, @TheHorophile Reinterpret Art Deco for the New La Petite Seconde Metropolis Limited Edition
August 28, 2023
Louis Erard, @TheHorophile Reinterpret Art Deco for the New La Petite Seconde Metropolis Limited Edition
Available in three renditions of slate, salmon, and tobacco

Louis Erard has always masterfully blended tradition with innovation in collaborations, paying homage to its horological heritage while reshaping watchmaking's future. Their latest collaboration with watch influencer Amr Sindi introduces the exclusive La Petite Seconde Metropolis series, a fusion collection that is focused on the iconic Petite Seconde model.

5N red gilded "Empire" shape (skeletonised stepped baton) hands

Consisting of three distinct references, inspired by the New York Art Deco style, these watches are available in slate, salmon, and tobacco colour variations. Manuel Emch, the director of Louis Erard, and Amr Sindi, known as @TheHorophile, contribute their expertise and 15-year camaraderie to this partnership. Apart from its role in timekeeping, the collaboration represents convergence of intellectual minds and diverse cultures. 

Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides

Each watch is housed in a meticulously crafted 39 mm stainless steel case, featuring the brand's insignia, exclusively on the distinctive "LE" crown. This melding of past and present seamlessly bridges the Roaring Twenties' spirit with modern aesthetics, resulting in an innovative "neo-deco" style. The Metropolis watches pay tribute to Louis Erard's origin during the peak of the Art Deco movement, particularly in 1929. It also celebrates its Jura region roots: the Franches-Montagnes, La Chaux-de-Fonds, revitalising the "fir tree" Art Deco motif with a metropolitan flair.

Brown, circular satin-finish exterior and counter, gadrooned centre, 5N red gilded transfers

Typography provides the design foundation. The Art Deco numerals embody an architectural aesthetic, resembling openworked façade elements while creating visual intrigue around their application or engraving. Notably, the small seconds are indicated by a single dot instead of indexed markers. The "Empire" baton hands present a motif of universal significance: the Empire State Building, an iconic Art Deco skyscraper that is synonymous with modernity. Attention to detail prevails in capturing the building's proportions, floor by floor, from its base to its spire. This precision extends even to the central skeletonisation. The outcome is a moveable skyline, adorning a pristine, logo-free disc.

See through caseback

The circular dial follows suit, appearing as though it is positioned upon a disc. This disc concept is extended visually in two dimensions, highlighting the two time display areas: the main hour-minute dial and the secondary seconds subdial. At the centre of the watch, the disc takes on a three-dimensional form, adorned with concentric, gadrooned grooves that add a tactile dimension to the dial, capturing and reflecting light. 

Black grained calf leather with tone-on-tone stitching, black grained calf leather lining

The design comes in three variations: slate (Ref. 34248AA44), salmon (Ref. 34248AA64), and tobacco (Ref. 34248AA66), each embodying a distinct mood, warmth, and contrast. The 5N red gilded hands and numerals create a contrast against anthracite and brown dials while anthracite and black accents accentuate the salmon dial. This harmonious tonal interplay is also spotted on the grained calfskin straps: cool brown for anthracite, black for salmon, and chocolate for tobacco/brown.

Functional catch spring bars enabling the strap to be changed quickly

Each watch is run by an automatic movement, the Sellita SW261-1 calibre, with a three-hand setup and small seconds at 6 o'clock. Its élaboré grade movement includes a unique openworked oscillating weight, featuring the black lacquered Louis Erard symbol. The timepiece offers around 38 hours of power reserve.

This watch – these watches, in fact, because there are three of them – is conceived as a collection within the collection. “A base on which other special series could be built,” says Amr Sindi.

The Metropolis watch is a limited edition of 178 pieces: three sets of 59 units, plus an exclusive model for The Horophile.

Image Credits: Louis Erard