maurice lacroix masterpiece skeleton
Translated from the original French text

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece: the perfect balance

For a seasoned amateur, a watch is never as beautiful as when it has advanced mechanical features, as well as an affordable price. This is what fuels desire, satisfaction and the flame... of passion.

By Vincent Daveau

Executives at Maurice Lacroix were clearly thinking of fine mechanical watchmaking fans conscious of quality and price when they chose to transform the Masterpiece family into a perfect statement of balance. Balance, that is, in terms of graphics, mechanics and, of course, price. 

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Double Retrograde

This 43 mm diameter watch in steel revisits the history of the Masterpiece line by appropriating the mechanics of the 2003 model. At the same time, it reinterprets the graphical codes of the product to perpetuate the legendary family line, but with an added modernistic twist. You will immediately note the clean graphics and ultra-elaborate distribution of two retrograde displays, which lend an unusual density to the face of the dial.

Any fine watchmaking enthusiast will know that if they wear a timekeeper that displays not only the hour, but also the date at 6 o'clock via the tip of a retrograde hand, the time in a second time zone, likewise via a retrograde hand, as well as a power reserve indicator in a semi-circle at 3 o'clock, they are sure to be the envy of other enthusiasts. Similarly, thanks to such features being rarely observable on the same dial, they may even run the risk of being considered experts. And not just any old experts either, because this piece, priced at CHF 4,500.00.- inclusive of taxes, powered by a mechanical calibre with workshop-crafted automatic winding (ML 191) beating to the classic rhythm of 18000 vibrations an hour, also boasts the extraordinary feature of affordability, given the sheer complexity of its achievement.

The addition of a smooth bezel and the exclusion of the push-piece originally positioned at 2 o'clock (see 2003 version) afford a purity of design that is bound to satisfy collectors seeking a timeless product. It offers complicated functionalities, as well as the best compromise on the market when it comes to ROI.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Moon Retrograde

This 43 mm diameter model in steel, which attaches to the wrist with a plain alligator strap, is just one of the timekeepers that got a lot of journalists' tongues wagging on its roll-out in 2005. The use of a retrograde hand for the calendar, the inclusion of a moon phases indicator and the clever arrangement of the multitude of time-telling information on the watch all add to the perceived quality of the piece. This iconic model, which appealed instantly to a technically fixated public, is back to offer fine watchmaking enthusiasts a masterpiece of mechanical craftsmanship at a price that defies all competition. You cannot fail to note that this gem, which displays the date on the perimeter of the moon aperture, also boasts a pleasingly attention-grabbing design. For not only it is edgy, but also the supreme harmony of each detail lends it a timeless classicism. 

Powered by a mechanical calibre with workshop-crafted automatic calibre reference ML192, this timepiece of extraordinary quality owing to the painstaking attention lavished on its adjustments (18000 vibrations an hour and 5 positions of settings), also boasts a power reserve indicator at 2 o'clock. The ultimate finishing touch to a superb dial available in black or blue. It has the added advantage of selling at an affordable CHF 4,900.- inclusive of taxes.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Skeleton

Impressive for its simplicity and sophistication, this 43 mm diameter steel watch is noteworthy for the highly modernised approach to its skeleton work. It is specifically this type of treatment that led to the highly advanced techniques within the industry of creating openwork movements. This contemporary approach to openwork contributed to a fresh new look at visible mechanics. Here, calibre ML 134 with manual winding is magnified and each component is left open to view by a technique that requires the painstaking efforts of the master craftsmen in accurately calculating the different pressures and constraints to which the movement might be subjected.

At the end of the day, this simple and demure timekeeping instrument belongs to that breed of timepieces that possess dials of a rare and unusual, eye-catching beauty. Albeit a detail, painstaking care has been taken with the elements comprising the crown piece. All too often rough and unfinished in appearance in competitors' models, here they are in no way attention-seeking, but instead meld seamlessly into a delicate ensemble created by the web-like metal structure.

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