Louis Erard 1931 Chronograph *REVIEW*
1931 was an important year for the Swiss manufacture Louis Erard. That same year, the respective watchmaker introduced its first watch and to this day the majority of their collection is based on a very traditional approach with a touch of modern design. As is the case with most of the manufacturies, we may occasionally encounter some specific models that go beyond the scope traditional design, such as the Louis Erard Black Regulator which we also reviewed, but the basic philosophy of Louis Erard brand is based on models like the 1931 Chronograph, which has just arrived for testing.
Chronograph "1931" model ("78 225 AA 01") is actually a limited edition of 500 produced watches, presented in probably one of the most unusual packages with whom we have met so far. As the designers at Louis Erard are obviously traditionalists, they equipped the box with interesting additions that include a set of old paper and envelopes, a block of red wax seals with Fleur-de-Lis symbol. Too bad that the kit does not include the fine-point pen, but if you are considering this set, we assume that you already have one.
Louis Erard 1931 Chronograph is actually based on the 40 'and 50' design which is present today in many modern versions, especially from the IWC and Breguet manufactories. Elegant case is both curved and sharp, depending from which angle you are looking at it. 42mm diameter (excluding crown) is optimal for typical dress-sports chronograph although its lug-to-lug length could be a little shorter. But despite the length of 50mm, the watch was just right on the 18cm (ie approximately 7 inches) wrist, so if you wrist falls into a lower category, we recommend that you try it out before buying. Interesting details are visible along the casing from sharp angles of polished lunette, to design of pump chronograph pushers whose inner tube has almost identical relief as the outer surface of the crown, which brakes a bit the classic design that can be seen on a multitude chronograph models of very similar design.
As with every other watch, the dial is an element that we must "buy". If you are a traditionalist or an old watches collector, then you would especially appreciate the way in which this dial is made. Arabic numerals and indicators font is taken from the old railroad pocket watches and we particularly liked the sub-dial and the outer ring edges that remind of railroad tracks (a term often referred to as railroad chapter ring). But definitely the finest detail are the hands, which acquired blue-purple hue due to the thermal treatment. The hands are of also very traditional design, especially the hour and minute chronograph hand and considering they stand on a white background, they provide a very good contrast. 'Three-Compax " type dial in 9-6-12 order is typical for this type of movement (more about it later), but the two opposing chronograph sub-dials are bigger in diameter in relation to the on-going small seconds sub-dial, to provide easier reading of the measured time intervals. Day of the week and month are also displayed on the dial (luckily indicator at 3h is still here) and the date changes just before midnight (for the day of the week), while the 'jump' date takes place at exactly 00:01h.
If we flip the watch on the back, we shall notice back case with basic information of the watch as well as unique limited number. In the back, as well as on the front there is a sapphire crystal through which you can enjoy in ETA 7750 movement. Although it is one of the most popular and frequent mechanical chronographs in the market, it is a nice feeling to take it of the wrist from time to time to look at the balance wheel which beats at 28,800 beats per hour. The movement has almost no decoration at the main plate or the bridges, but there is a little detail that enhances the overall impression – gold colour rotor with Côtes de Genève decoration. The test also showed a pretty accurate movement, where its daily deviation (when wearing) was in the range of a few seconds per day, which is for a movement that is not certified by the COSC, a very satisfactory outcome.
1931 Chronograph is equipped with matte black leather strap, but in the typical Louis Erard style of 21mm size, so please pay attention to this detail when trying out a leather strap for this model. We recommend semi matte leather strap with alligator pattern that would be a perfect fit for the white dial.
In short, this is an elegant, high-quality and classic mechanical chronograph which is, with its timeless design fully customisable to your style, especially if you plan to equip it with several types of leather straps. Louis Erard 1931 Chronograph can be bought via Dicta web shop, where in the same location you can also take a look at the entire Louis Erard collection.