Maurice Lacroix launched their first in-house calibre in 2008. Since then, the Saignelégier-based brand has upped its catalogue of in-house-made movements to 13. As well as focusing on in-house development, the company has been churning-out an impressive 90,000 watches a year. In light of such productivity, it’s nice to see they’ve still got time for the odd curiosity. Recently, we saw the release of the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Harrods Exclusive Limited Edition watch in London, which will be limited to just three pieces.
Now, that’s a mouthful of a name, but it seems to have been justified by the interest this piece has already received (rumour has it the watch sold out before it even went on display). We’ve seen watches created for Harrods before (check out the MeisterSinger Salthora Meta here), and they seem to sell like hotcakes. Limiting a watch’s run increases desirability automatically. Watch collectors go nuts for rare objects, especially those by established brands. But there is plenty to like about the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Harrods Exclusive Limited Edition watch aside from its scarcity-appeal.
The watch has a very sleek appearance from the front. This style of floating dials and exposed mainplates with decorated dial-sides is polarising, but well-executed in this instance. Maurice Lacroix Fiaba Price have chosen to keep things relatively simple with the functional elements that the open dial reveals. The balance wheel is proudly displayed on the left-hand side of the dial, visible from a multitude of angles thanks to the “glass-box” sapphire crystal. I’m quite a fan of these tall-sided crystals. I’ve seen them used to great effect on a couple of high-end Breguet watches, as well as on the case backs of a the new Omega Dark Side of the Moon range (hands-on here).
It really emphasizes the levels of chunky, architecturally bold movements like this. There isn’t much in the way of superfluous filigree to the Pontos S Diver Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Harrods Exclusive Limited Edition watch, but what does exist is incredibly solid. The dial side of the mainplate (or main bridge, as you might prefer to call it in the somewhat topsy-turvy context of this movement) is decorated with the exclusive “Vague du Jura” pattern and acts as a muted backdrop to the two blue dials by which the time is indicated. The pattern looks very much like a classic Côtes de Genève decoration and may only differ in name.
The top dial indicates the hours and the minutes, while the bottom dial is home to a running seconds hand, which partially obscures the back-end of the gear train. As well as the mainplate, the dial-side of the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Harrods Exclusive Limited Edition watch features four cocks including the balance cock. The cocks reach out towards the balance, like fingers pointing towards an object of interest. From the render made available to us, it is unclear what the cock immediately to the right of the balance cock is there for (it appears to be a phantom wedge), but the cocks around 6 and 5 o’clock carry the silicium escape wheel and the final wheel of the gear train.
The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity was the first timepiece to feature a fully silicium balance, and the calibre ML230 used in the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Harrods Exclusive Limited Edition continues that trend. The ML230 is visible through a sapphire case back, although there are, unfortunately, no images of this available. The in-house ML230 is an automatic calibre with 35 jewels, an 18,000vph operating speed, and a 50-hour power reserve. The plates, cocks, and bridges are rhodium plated. Aside from the main bridge, which is brought to life by the Vague du Jura decoration, all other surfaces are either media-blasted or brushed.
The case is 43mm wide and is made of stainless steel. The glass-box sapphire has anti-reflective coating on both sides. The case back screws down, boasts an edge-to-edge crystal, and is engraved with the serial number to indicate which in this ultra-limited range of three it is. The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Harrods Exclusive Limited Edition is water resistant to 50 metres and comes on a black alligator strap with a fold-over clasp in steel. With only three models available, this watch will likely sell out quickly. If you miss out on the chance to own or view it, you can check out the similar models from Maurice Lacroix, such as the version we went hands-on with here, and more on the brand’s website. Price for the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Harrods Exclusive Limited Edition is available on request. mauricelacroix.com
At Baselworld 2017 we watched the launch of the limited edition Maurice LaCroix Aikon Bronze watch. It is refreshing to find using bronze in something other than a dip watch (or athletics watch) and Maurice LaCroix is making a safe bet at the creation of 388 limited edition pieces of the watch. The watch is all about attainable sophistication and the romantic appeal of the growing patina of bronze. It is a whole lot of character at a fraction of the price of other bronze offerings from rivals. That being said, the design will be love it or abandon it and you’ll need to accept that it’s only offered in a quartz movement.Released in 2016 as a successor for their aging Calypso view, the Maurice LaCroix Aikon watch is an interesting value proposition from the manufacturer, albeit one that requires being on the right side of the polarizing design (true the brand touts(really). This is a space inhabited by watches such as the ubiquitous and often too small TAG Heuer Link watches you would see from the ’90s. This Maurice Lacroix Aikon Bronze watch however will move the needle forward for the line. Yes, the usage of Bronze is far from original or fresh but that doesn’t mean that the end product doesn’t succeed. The use of this sepia-friendly romantic bronze is all around the place and that’s not news to anyone, but it’s wonderful to find the material used on something which isn’t a diver but rather the sleeker and dressier Aikon. In fact, the contrast of dark and light color on the dial actually has me enjoying the horizontal stripes on the dial because they add to the total brooding “leather, cigars, and whiskey” bronze aesthetic the watch is about for.