The Affordable Luxury of Louis Erard

Louis Erard watches: the history of creation and development. The ups and downs of Louis Erard. The uniqueness of Louis Erard watches. Louis Erard accessories as a status symbol.

Louis Erard is one of the classic Swiss watch brands. The brand is younger than other well-known manufacturers. Its history does not even count a hundred years, but all this time the company has been faithful to its principles. Therefore, today the Louis Erard brand is well known in the world thanks to unshakable traditions.

The Founder of the Brand

The brand was named after its founder, Louis Erard. At that time, he was a 36-year-old watchmaker, in whose family the secrets of craftsmanship were passed down from generation to generation. True, during the period of creating their own production of watch cases (1929), another partner, Andre Perret, took part in the business, but the cooperation ended two years later.

Louis Erard
The founder of the Swiss watch company Louis Erard

Louis Erard, the founder of the family watch brand, did not choose his profession by chance. He was born on February 16, 1893 in a family of hereditary watchmakers and from childhood he was interested in this industry. In addition, he studied the intricacies of the craft for a long time in special schools. A legendary craftsman, he considered his business not as a way to earn money. This was his calling, without which his life would have lost its meaning. The manufacture of Louis Erard watches has long been a family business. In the mid-1940s, the founder’s sons, René and Jean-Louis, began working for the company, and later his grandson.

Louis Erard Manufacture
Production of the first Louis Erard watches at the beginning of the last century
The history of the development of Swiss watches is also interesting from the point of view of the approach to business. Mandatory rules for the marking of movements, as well as standards for training in craftsmanship, were approved by the Geneva watchmakers' guild as early as 1601. It is not surprising that with such high demands on product quality, the reputation of Swiss watches has stood the test of centuries.

By 1956 Louis Erard had acquired the right to manufacture and modify watch movements at his factory. In addition, from that moment on, the manufacturer could use his own brand on products. Thus a new era of brand development began. With official recognition, Louis Erard’s classic, high-quality Swiss mechanical timepieces began to gradually gain prominence.

Louis Erard from Heritage collection
Louis Erard Minimal Heritage Collection – 13900PR15.BRC102

Louis Erard on the Rise

A radical reorganization of the work of the Swiss watch company was carried out by the grandson of the founder – Paul Erard. The young ambitious businessman worked for some time in the banking sector and was able to strengthen the commercial approach in the business of his predecessors. In particular, his ideas, embodied after 1969, led to the rapid development of the company. He focused on more assertive marketing and adapting the company’s structure. As a result, Louis Erard watches have gained popularity in new markets, mainly in Europe and Asia.

Louis Erard men's watch
Louis Erard Excellence Steel Men’s Watch 53230AA12 (caliber: ETA Peseux 7001)

The rise in popularity and sales of Louis Erard watches in the last third of the 20th century was based not only on marketing strategies that were relevant at that time, but also on loyalty to the old classical traditions in production. This is an impeccable quality, which is so appreciated by connoisseurs, as well as an original design at a reasonable low price.

Historical background

With the onset of the industrial revolution in the 19th century, Swiss watchmakers had to compete with American products. Due to the fact that it was produced in large mechanized factories, it was possible to create inexpensive devices. In addition, the US watch industry used standardized parts. Of course, this approach made it possible to keep the cost of watches low. Swiss watchmakers did not consider it necessary to compete with their overseas competitors, reducing the price of their mechanisms. They concentrated on impeccable quality and high accuracy of watches. At the same time, a large-scale advertising campaign took place around the world. In fact, she focused the attention of a potential buyer on the advantages of Swiss products. One of the successful marketing moves was the "Chronometer" marking, which symbolized the high precision of Swiss watches. As a result, they became not just meters of time, but the subject of prestigious consumption.

The Uniqueness of Louis Erard

In 1993, the factory for the production of watches and movements for them, Louis Erard moved from La Chaux-de-Fonds to the town of Le Noirmont in the canton of Jura, in the northwestern region of Switzerland. The end of the last century was not very successful for the company. In fact, it was resold several times, as a result of which its position in the market was partially lost.

Louis Erard Heritage mechanical watch 78104AA11; water resistance – 50 m, fastening type – belt,
sapphire watch glass

Since 2003, a new rise of the Louis Erard watch brand has begun. This happened after it was bought out by one of the leaders of the Swatch Group, Alan Spinedi. An experienced specialist did not radically change the main principles of the acquired company – exquisite design and uncompromising quality at reasonable prices. He completed the firm’s activities with important details, namely: attention to marketing and a well-functioning network of distributors. At the same time, Alan Spinedi retained the original performance, presented in limited quantities.

Louis Erard Women's Watch
Louis Erard Excellence Date Women’s Watch 68235SE04 with 33mm Stainless Steel Case Water Resistant to 50m

The uniqueness of Louis Erard watches allows the brand to maintain its leadership in the affordable luxury segment. Recently, all collections have been completely updated, and key models have been modernized in an original way.

Louis Erard in and post Crisis

The Louis Erard watch brand has gone through two of the worst crises in our century. The first of these came in 2007, when the company was experiencing production difficulties. At that moment, she could not acquire the necessary mechanisms in the required quantity. This circumstance forced the brand to break its rule – to keep the cost of products in the range from 700 to 2000 CHF. For this reason, watches for 3000 CHF appeared in the assortment of the company. Products were equipped with complex mechanisms (or, in the case of ladies’ models, were decorated with diamonds). That is, Louis Erard and in this situation offered the buyer for his money more than competitors.

Louis Erard
Louis Erard luxury watch for women from the Emotion collection – model 64603PR36.BARC66. Jewels: 26, power reserve: 38 hours, caliber: Sellita SW-200

The next test was not limited to Louis Erard. It is known that the financial crisis of 2008-2009 had terrible consequences for the entire watch industry. In total, the export of watches from Switzerland decreased by about a quarter. Alan Spinedi, the owner of the company, is proud that, thanks to effective management of production and sales, it was possible not only not to lose the conquered markets, but also to strengthen its positions in some segments. Despite unfavorable circumstances, the Swiss company was able to sell more watches, and at higher prices. At the same time, Louis Erard took advantage of the decline in production at other enterprises and began to purchase the required number of movements. The skill of managing the company during the crisis of 2008-2009 allowed the Louis Erard brand to return to the basic values ​​that the founder of the business laid down.

The Traditional Ways of Louis Erard

President of Louis Erard Alan Spinedi continues to adhere to the basic principles of the Swiss watch company Louis Erard. He believes that the brand should keep prices affordable for people for quality watches and is convinced that the task of the brand is to produce devices of uncompromising quality without unnecessary complications. To date, Louis Erard watches are not equipped with tourbillons and repeaters, as these are too expensive options. The head of the company is sure that if they are installed, the price of watches will inevitably increase. Then the products will come out of the market segment that Louis Erard watchmakers have chosen for themselves.

The revival of the Swiss watch brand Louis Erard after the relative failure at the end of the last century happened quite quickly. This happened after the company was resold several times. But in the end, it fell into the hands of private investors not related to the family of the founder of the company. The release of new collections dedicated to the anniversaries of the company were successful marketing moves. Without a doubt, they once again demonstrated that every detail of the watch is thought out by the manufacturer to the smallest detail, and any model is a true masterpiece.

With the collection of Louis Erard 1931 – the founding date of the watch workshop – a new rise of the brand began. The first models of this line began to be produced in honor of the 75th anniversary of the start of production of Louis Erard watches. They were released in limited quantities, but were so successful that they turned from a collector’s series into a flagship series. Over time, the watches of this line have improved, additional functions have been added to them – a power reserve indicator, a time indicator in a different time zone, etc.

Louis Erard 1931
Louis Erard 1931 collection, created to celebrate the company’s 75th anniversary

Louis Erard and the New Challenges

The president sees the competent construction of marketing as the key to the success of the company – and this strategy is fully justified. Having spent a lot of effort on the development of the distribution network, Alan Spinedi has achieved the growth of popularity of the Swiss brand Louis Erard. Moreover, he strengthened the position of Louis Erard watches in the mid-price segment. Now the company produces not only mechanical, but also quartz watches. This is due to the desire of Louis Erard to intensify and deepen relations with existing distributors, to increase the popularity of their watches. In addition, financial and legal aspects required the manufacturer to take drastic measures to keep the brand in the originally defined price range. For this reason, Louis Erard has supplemented the line of watches with products that are cheaper than mechanical ones.

Louis Erard as a Status Symbol

Strict, laconic classic design of Louis Erard men’s and women’s models are the hallmarks of the brand. More affordable than competitors, the price of watches made to high standards of Swiss quality makes the brand popular in many countries around the world. The watchmaker Louis Erard uses reliable and precise Dubois Depraz or ETA movements. After installing the “heart of the product”, professional watchmakers carry out final processing and equip the watches with additional original functions, such as, for example, a lunar calendar.

High standards of quality control ensure the long-term reliability of Louis Erard watches, so appreciated by connoisseurs. Louis Erard chronometers are a symbol of status and, at the same time, rationality. Undoubtedly, this is a reliable investment in your own image, a luxurious accessory that everyone can afford!


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