The New Le Régulateur Louis Erard × Konstantin Chaykin — A Glorious Collaboration That Is Pure Fun
Sometimes watches are serious technological instruments, and sometimes they are serious style items. Other times, though, watches can be just pure, unadulterated fun. With the new Le Régulateur Louis Erard × Konstantin Chaykin, the two brands mentioned in the name of the watch have created just that. This new collaboration combines Louis Erard’s signature Régulateur timepiece with Konstantin Chaykin’s trademark Joker style. But is it really that simple? You already know that it isn’t. This collaborative effort is an impressive duo of timepieces that hide serious watchmaking behind a funny face. Time to find out more about the Le Régulateur Louis Erard × Konstantin Chaykin.
Louis Erard is one of those brands that I keep a close eye on, especially after having the chance to wear and greatly enjoy the Louis Erard × Alain Silberstein “Le Triptyque” Le Régulateur II. That watch and the overall trio it was part of were some of the best collaborative efforts of recent times. Everything about that series was impressive. The brilliant and unique titanium cases fit Silberstein’s funky signature style perfectly. The collaboration led to a trio of watches that had a lot of people talking and sold out in no time. Funnily enough, I missed the white-dial versions of the same watches that came out in April 2022. Those looked maybe even more impressive than the initial black-dial series. Now there is the new collaboration with Konstantin Chaykin that has resulted in two impressive pieces. Time to find out more!
The stories of Louis Erard and Konstantin Chaykin
When most watch fans think of Louis Erard, the first things that come to mind are the brand’s collaboration with artists and other independent watchmakers that lead to unique designs. On top of that, Louis Erard is known for its signature regulator watch, a common thread in the story of its many collaborations and affordable prices.
When we think of Konstantin Chaykin, the first image that pops up is the Wristmons collection and, specifically, its famous Joker model. For this collection, Chaykin invented a spectacular regulator dial with separate hour- and minute-indicator discs complemented by the Joker’s now-signature smiling moonphase indicator. Considering how these watchmakers operate — and especially knowing the watchmaking brilliance of Konstantin Chaykin, which has led to him holding 94 patents and being a prominent member of the AHCI (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants) — a collaboration between them is a logical step that would probably lead to anything-but-logical watches. When I heard about this collaboration, I was excited to find out more.
The story of Le Régulateur Louis Erard × Konstantin Chaykin
For this collaboration, the brands decided to create two separately available timepieces in a limited run of 178 pieces each. For the true fans, 28 box sets known as Le Diptyque Louis Erard × Konstantin Chaykin will be made available. So what’s the story of these two timepieces? It started with Louis Erard’s regulator. The new design to be created by Chaykin needed to respect the architecture of Louis Erard’s signature watch, featuring a central minute indicator, an hour indicator at 12 o’clock, and a seconds indicator at 6 o’clock.
As mentioned, the Konstantin Chaykin Wristmons collection is the perfect candidate for this request as it is a series of regulator timepieces. But because of the architecture of the Louis Erard regulator, Konstantin Chaykin had to create a face with one eye. He found inspiration in the evil eye of Slavic tales, also known as Likho. As Konstantin Chaykin explains it himself, “Every Halloween, I created a new type of monster, i.e., wristwatches with a Halloween theme, such as the pumpkin head watch and the Dracula watch. Looking for ideas for this story, I turned to the one-eyed Likho character from fairy tales.”
The solutions to the challenge
So Chaykin’s challenge was creating the face with one eye. He made the hour indicator into the Likho’s eye as a kind of protective amulet against evil spirits. For the small seconds/running indicator, the watchmaker created a red circular mouth-like shape with sharp teeth. Chaykin took inspiration from multiple sources for this design solution. He explains, “I remembered Francisco Goya and his Saturn devouring one of his sons. I [also] thought of a Stephen King short story, The Langoliers, time eaters.”
The central minute hand serves as the arms of Likho. If you look closely at the design of this hand, it looks like both ends have hands with fingers in a specific configuration to point to the minutes. One end has a single finger outstretched, while the other shows two, resembling horns. Chaykin adds, “It is up to each person to interpret the meaning.” Whatever meaning you give it, the fact remains that the result is a fun and technical solution to the challenge that Louis Erard presented Chaykin.
Two different versions of this special regulator
As mentioned, there will be two versions of this watch. The first comes with a three-piece 39mm stainless steel case that is 12.82mm thick. This case has a 45.9mm lug-to-lug length and a 20mm lug spacing. It is also water resistant to 5ATM and features sapphire crystals on both the front and the back. The display case back gives a nice view of the regulator movement. You can obviously admire Chaykin’s newest creation on the front through the domed sapphire crystal.
The dial of the 39mm version comes with a silver lower plate with a sunray wave pattern and a shiny purple minute track on the outskirts of the dial. The purple circle also shows the two brand signatures in white at 12 and 6 o’clock. The hour indicator at 12 o’clock features an anthracite circular-satin-finished flange with white transfers. Inside it, we find a shiny white rotating “eyeball” disc with a circular black transfer for the pupil. The seconds/running indicator features a shiny red flange with a matte black 13-point rotating disc. Finally, the minute hand is executed in matte black. The watch comes with a black toad strap with purple stitching, a purple rabbit-leather lining, and a steel pin buckle, creating a quirky overall look.
The 42mm version is not just bigger but also has a different color
The second version comes with a three-piece 42mm stainless steel case, which is slightly thinner at 12.25mm thick. The watch has a 49.6mm lug-to-lug length with a proportional 22mm lug spacing. Just like its smaller brother, it has a 5ATM water resistance rating and comes with a Konstantin Chaykin signature crown and a case back engraved with the unique limited-edition number.
The dial of the 42mm version has an identical silver lower plate with a sunray wave pattern. This version, however, features a shiny green minute track on the outside of the dial. As you can see, the brand signatures are transferred in black on circular-satin-finished cartouches. The hour and seconds indicators are executed in the same way as on the smaller 39mm version. And the minute hand is also executed in matte black, creating the finishing touch on a similar but different monster. The black toad-leather strap features green stitching, a green rabbit-leather lining, and a steel pin buckle.
The Sellita SW266-1 regulator movement
Inside the cases of both models, we find the same Sellita SW266-1 caliber. The automatic regulator movement operates at 28,800vph, has 31 jewels, and provides a 38-hour power reserve. The movement features an open-worked central rotor with the Louis Erard logo in black. While it is interesting to see the movement in action, the front is undoubtedly the real spectacle here.
Impressions of the Le Régulateur Louis Erard × Konstantin Chaykin
I have to say that I love seeing these two timepieces. They are a perfect example of how two brands with similar creative mindsets can complement each other and come up with spectacular results. The two brands are simply a great match, and these watches are the perfect proof of that. On top of that, this collaboration makes it possible to own a Konstantin Chaykin creation for a lot less than the brand’s regular prices.
Both Le Régulateur Louis Erard × Konstantin Chaykin models will be available in a limited run of 178 pieces each for CHF 4,000 (excluding taxes). The special run of 28 limited-edition box sets called Le Diptyque Louis Erard × Konstantin Chaykin will be available for CHF 7,900 (also excluding taxes). While this is definitely a substantial amount of money, I have zero doubts that these spectacular pieces will sell out quickly.
For more information, visit the official Louis Erard website.