Roll The Dice: Our Five Favorite Maurice Lacroix From COUTUREtime
Maurice Lacroix came to COUTUREtime ready to play. Not only have they extended and tweaked their popular Aikon family, but they've also tested out new finishes on old favorites.
Maurice Lacroix is best known for producing high-quality timepieces that look good and represent good value. But for years, the brand has flown under the radar in America. Now it’s their time to take center stage with these five show stoppers.
New to the brand’s Aikon collection, the Venturer is based on a divers’ watch from the 1990s Calypso collection. This 44 mm version features a unidirectional bezel, with an inlay made of ceramic and the overlying tabs and bezel made of steel and either a blue or black sunray-brushed dial, with applied round and rectangular hour markers coated with Super-LumiNova.
The Venturer is more than just a pretty face. It‘s water resistant to 300 meters. And comes with a solid, five-link brushed steel bracelet and a robust rubber strap. Both use an “EasyChange system,” which allows the wearer to quickly switch out straps without tools.
Inside, the Venturer is powered by the automatic ML115 caliber. Best of all, this handsome dive watch is competitively priced at $2,390.
At Maurice Lacroix, the company has challenged itself to create new complications that never existed before. This year, the brand brought out the Aikon Mercury.
One of the things we love about Maurice Lacroix is that its watches always have many layers, and the Mercury is no exception. The 44mm case has a subtle texture. The indices appear to be sandwiched between two sapphire crystals. The elements of the skeletonized dial are formed of matte black, arcs.
But tilt the timepiece ever so slightly and the center hour and minute hands spin freely until the Aikon Mercury is turned back upright when they quickly jump back into correct time mode. A supremely cool complication!
The goal was to show a new way to look at the time. It took the brand more than three years of engineering to create the patented time memory module. The in-house, automatic ML225 caliber for the Aikon Mercury ensures it's not a delicate watch, but rather an everyday wearer. This horological wonder is priced at $7,690, which is an amazing value for an example of watchmaking savoir-faire.
While Maurice Lacroix has paid a lot of attention on its Aikon line, they have not been neglecting their high-end Masterpiece collection. The most modern looking Masterpiece is this Gravity — a futuristic looking object that pays tribute to the traditions of Swiss watchmaking.
Initially introduced in 2014, the Gravity family is noted for its use of silicon for the balance spring, pallet level, pallet staff, escapement wheel, and escapement wheel pinion. This long-wearing material makes it extra dependable because it’s low friction, non-magnetic, and three times lighter than steel balances.
Another hit at COUTUREtime was the Aikon Automatic Skeleton Manufacture. It serves as a bridge between the Aikon and the Masterpiece collections in that Maurice Lacroix has fitted a unique new movement — the ML234 caliber — into the recently refreshed Aikon case.
The Masterpiece represents the upper echelons of Maurice Lacroix watches, and the Gravity is especially exclusive.
ROLL THE BONES
Lacroix’s dedication to engineering has paid off big time with the Aikon Automatic Skeleton winning a 2019 Red Dot Design Award — the prestigious international competition with a focus on innovation in product design presented by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen.
This skeleton comes in either stainless steel ($5,990) or in a black PVD finish ($6,190).
Maurice Lacroix has proven that it does disruptive very well, but with the new Aikon Automatic Date series, the brand shows that it can also play with the big boys when it comes to classically elegant timepieces as well.
What’s most alluring about the sport/dress hybrids that we saw at COUTUREtime is the gradient Clous de Paris dial. They had us at hobnail, but to make it sun-brushed as well sent us straight to the moon!
Lacroix showed many variations on this theme, including versions in black PVD over or an anthracite and steel model with either a brown calfskin strap or steel bracelet.
Priced between $1,890 (for the leather strap version) and $1,990 (for the stainless steel bracelet and black PVD coated models) these Automatic dates project a lot of prestige at an affordable price point.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)