Louis Erard was founded in 1931 and has focused on creating watches that ‘meet wishes in a personal and honest way’ ever since. This mantra enables the company to keep its focus entirely on developing wristwatches tailored to a specific wearer. Company founder, Louis Erard was born in 1893 yet didn’t join forces with another partner, Andre Perret to form the company until he reached 30 years of age. The company, which originally went under the name “Louis Erard & André Perret” for the first two years, was based in La Chaux de Fonds in Switzerland. In 1931 Louis moved on from the partnership before creating his independent line of 5 watches under the name Louis Erard.
Louis Erard’s reputation as a creator of high horology watches grew and grew from this year onwards. In 1937 Louis Erard’s watches became available internationally. To grow the brand and keep up with demand overseas, the company took on a further 60 watchmakers which, for its time, was a significant increase in the size of the business. Alongside its success creating its own wristwatches during the Second World War, another particularly interesting route the brand went down was to collaborate with other Swiss watchmakers, providing them with cases for their wristwatches. This collaborative effort continued from 1948 through to the 1980s.
Le Noirmont in the Swiss Jura mountains became Louis Erard’s home from 1992 onwards. Financial difficulties became a reality for the brand, having suffered the aftermath of the quartz crisis and the increase in the value of the Swiss Franc. It would not be until private Swiss investors bought Louis Erard in the year 2003 that the company would undergo a new vision and be given a new lease of life. Having always been considered an expensive brand to collect, Louis Erard began focusing on creating more affordable timepieces while ensuring that premium materials and performance were never compromised. The company’s first in-house module was a collaborative effort with movement specialist Soprod in 2009, which set Louis Erard on a new path to Haute Horlogerie.
Just two years later and Louis Erard celebrated its 80th anniversary. To honour the milestone, the brand launched the Excellence collection which boasted a unique style that perfectly portrayed Louis Erard as a company, linking its heritage with modern timekeeping technology. The manufacturers 200,000th watch made in the Le Noirmont premises since moving 22 years prior, was celebrated in 2014. To showcase the brand’s horological developments, the company marked its 85th anniversary in 2016 with a revisit to one of its most popular lines, the Heritage Collection. The family of timepieces retained its original charm albeit with a movement whose performance exemplified the research, knowledge and development required of the brand. Qualities that point to where the brand now stands within the industry.
True to its roots, Louis Erard continues to develop Swiss watches equipped with high-end horological movements that show the journey travelled by the manufacturer since it started out almost a century ago. Some of the company’s most popular collections today are those such as the Sportive, the 1931 and the Romance collections – each one with its very own style yet still able to convey Louis Erard’s passion for superior timekeeping and premium aesthetics.