Louis Erard La Sportive Limited Edition Bronze Watch An inviting colorway makes for an interesting aesthetic on the wrist by Rob Nudds June 15, 2020 MIN READLouis Erard La Sportive Limited Edition Bronze Watch
Brown is a contentious color when it comes to luxury watchmaking. A strap staple, moving the color to the dial has had some remarkably successful runs in the past, but it isn’t as easy as classics like the Rolex “Root Beer” watches of old made it look. Here, Louis Erard employs a warm shade on the dial of its La Sportive Limited Edition Bronze Watch. The result? Find out below…
Whether bronze is “here to stay” or not, isn’t really the point. The point is that the “trend” has, by now, hung around long enough to have carved itself a definite niche in the industry. Plenty of people were skeptical of its longevity. Those voices are quieter now. And for good reason. Brands are becoming more and more adept at finding aesthetically pleasing uses for bronze beyond deploying it on dive watches and dive watches alone.
An artful application
Bronze made perfect sense when it came to nautical-inspired time instruments. But, oddly, within that comfortable bracket, it was at risk of becoming a caricature. It was only when bronze started being used in watches that one might not have expected that its potential as an aesthetic embellishment really came to the fore. Previously, it had deep, cultural connections to the style of watch for which it seemed a most fitting choice. For chronographs, time-only sports watches, and, rarely-but-occasionally, formal watches it brought a new vibe. The Louis Erard La Sportive Limited Edition Bronze watch expresses this potential very nicely and the use of bronze here is an artful application.
Bronze’s emergence as an alternative case material was really perfect timing. For the first ten or 15 years of this century, rose gold (a very reddish rose gold) was popular. It had all but buried yellow gold during that period. We were used to seeing Hublot Big Bangs, Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks, and Patek Philippe Nautilus watches in rose gold. Understandably, this aesthetic became desirable on every level of the industry.
Entry-level brands started producing rose gold-colored watches. Either plated, capped, or PVD coated, these cheaper imitations sort of looked like the real deal, but as with cheap imitations of anything, the lack of class is obvious even if the eyes are momentarily tricked.
What the advent of bronze did was bring a warm, inviting hued metal into the realms of affordability. Bronze is genuine. It is real. It is a flawed material that will age with its wearer. But because it is its own thing (and not the cheap imitation of something better) it has class. It has both class and character and both come to the fore with the Louis Erard La Sportive Limited Edition Bronze watch.
A digestible silhouette
To me, the Louis Erard La Sportive Limited Edition Bronze looks like it is related to the TAG Heuer Carrera. I find the case silhouette, bezel layout, and dial format comfortingly familiar. I very much like degradé dials and think this brown/black fade is executed very well. The black sub-dials provide enough contrast while the surface gradient keeps things interesting visually.
The brown works really well against the bronze, especially fresh out of the box. It would be really interesting to see how the material ages as should it turn a murky green, the contrast with the dial would become more interesting still. That largely depends on your skin and wearing habits and, after all, patinas can be removed if you really want.
The Louis Erard La Sportive in bronze (with a titanium case back and buckle) is limited to just 250 pieces and is priced at CHF 2,950. Learn more about it and the brand here.
Brand Louis Erard ModelLa Sportive Limited Edition BronzeReference78119BR16.BVD71DialShaded off brown/black, sunburst satin finish, Super-LumiNova on the hands and appliquesCase MaterialStainless steelCase Dimensions44mmCrystalSapphire crystalCase BackTitaniumMovementETA 7750 ValjouxWater Resistance50 metersStrapBrown vintage calf leather without perforationPriceCHF 2,950 Watch of the Week
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About the author
Rob’s first exposure to the watch industry was a part-time retail role for the Signet Group at the age of 17. An obsession with watches soon developed. Following an ill-advised BSc in Archaeological Science, he applied for sponsorship to undertake… read more
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