Alain Silberstein’s work is recognizable from a mile away. The man’s specific use of colors and geometric shapes is — in every nanometer and sense of the word — unique unto himself.
Until 2012, the man created mechanical timepieces — which can only be described as whimsically quirky — with his signature aesthetics, but always in very limited numbers.
But just before things for his own watchmaking effort went south, he made waves by collaborating with the powerhouse that is MB&F, to add his take to a special variation of the Horological Machine No. 2. His creation, the HM2.2 Black Box, was striking black silicium PVD-coated-titanium Horological Machine, made alive by his signature colors on the dial markers and hands.
Later in 2015, Silberstein joined forces with Romain Jerome to create the Subcraft. And this is perhaps where we can find a connecting dot, in figuring out how his latest creation with watchmaking brand, Louis Erard came about.
You see the gentleman who has taken a keen interest in injecting new life into Louis Erard, is one and the same whom Silberstein worked with to create the Subcraft: industry veteran, Manuel Emch. Emch was heading up Romain Jerome when the Subcraft came together.
The watch Silberstein’s designed for Louis Erard, comes in two variations. The first is a stainless-steel piece with a matt white dial. The dial itself is a regulator-type — a signature of Louis Erard’s — consisting of an hour sub dial at 12 o’clock, running seconds at 6 o’clock, power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock and the central minutes hand. All of which is set ablaze thanks to Silberstein’s use of primary colors and the manner in which he uses his signature shapes for the watch hands; non-traditional to say the least.
The second version of the watch is a black PVD-treated stainless-steel piece with a matt black dial that has its hour sub dial in white. Otherwise the watch is the same 40mm diameter powered by the same Louis Erard modified ETA Peseux 7001 movement.
Both variations will be limited to 178 pieces each, with the stainless-steel piece priced CHF 2,800 and the black PVD piece priced at a hundred Francs more (CHF 2,900). Why 178? According to Louis Erard, 178 “in the language of numbers, symbolically represents ‘strong together’; a perfect figure to represent our collaboration with Alain Silberstein.”
The watch will be available as of November. To start, directly from [email protected] and then eventually with selected retailers (online and offline).
For all the attention that the watch has garnered on the interwebs, it’s clear to see that Alain Silberstein has a strong following. For Louis Erard, the brand has said that the collaboration is step one towards bigger and more impressive things to come from the Jura based watchmaker, specializing in regulator-type timepieces, while still making a conscious effort to remain within their price bracket. Safe to say, Louis Erard all eyes are on you for your next move.
Manual ETA Peseux 7001 movement with Louis Erard regulator complication; hour, minute and running seconds; power reserve indicator; 42-hour power reserve
40mm stainless steel and stainless steel with PVD-coating; water resistant to 50m
Black calf leather with signature stitching in red or brown calf leather with signature stitching in blue, pin buckle in stainless steel or stainless steel + black PVD
Limited edition of 178 pieces in each version; stainless-steel version: CHF 2,800, black PVD version: CHF 2,900.