It was back in 2013 when Swiss Maurice Lacroix India first released one of the most beautiful contemporary dive-style watches with the Pontos S Diver. The sporty “Pontos” watch collection has had a number of members over the years, and arguably Maurice Lacroix would be well-advised to clarify the collection’s naming conventions, as, in my opinion, there have been too many “Pontos” watches. With that said, the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver that now comes in a few versions is a great mini-family of Pontos watches unto itself. Let’s check out what I liked about wearing the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver for a while.
In 2014, Maurice Lacroix and aBlogtoWatch offered a Pontos S Diver as a giveaway item and the winner offers a nice “winner review” here. Now, even after all has been said and done regarding the Pontos S Diver on aBlogtoWatch, I am offering my own personal take on this appealing diver, having spent a good deal of time with one. Is this just a pretty-looking dive watch with otherwise generic elements, or is this modern, yet vintage-inspired sport watch a special item in a crowded sea?
I’ve said this before, and I will say it again – contemporary dive watches are hard to come by. Today, the sleek simplicity and nostalgic value of retro or vintage-inspired sport (or otherwise) watches in a sense overshadows the need to have timepieces which look as though they are spawned from today. Modern dive watches represent a look and feel which evokes today, rather than yesterday or tomorrow. Thankfully, the popularity of dive watches makes them a good target for all manners of designs, but the vast majority of modern, contemporary dive watches come from smaller brands, distinct from what most of the bigger brands are offering.
For example, even though Rolex’s Submariner, Sea-Dweller, and DeepSea watches are all modern in their construction, their designs are all based on historic models. Omega has a mixture of vintage and modern-styled dive watches, while the rest of the market mostly leans toward vintage senses of style. So with that said, I was happy wear the Maurice Lacroix 7228 Pontos S Diver as not only coming from an established medium-sized brand like Maurice Lacroix, but also as something which, in my opinion, felt like a dive watch of today (albeit mechanical).
At Baselworld 2017 we watched the launch of this limited variant Maurice LaCroix Aikon Bronze watch. The Aikon line was surfaced in 2016 and Maurice LaCroix is wasting little time in getting in on the trend of using bronze. It’s refreshing to see using bronze in something aside from a dip watch (or sports view) and Maurice LaCroix is making a safe bet in the production of 388 limited edition portions of the watch. The watch is all about attainable sophistication along with the intimate appeal of the evolving patina of bronze. It’s a lot of character at a fraction of the cost of additional bronze offerings from competitors. That said, the style will be love it or leave it and you’ll need to accept that it’s only offered in a quartz movement.Released in 2016 as a successor to their aging Calypso view, the Maurice LaCroix Aikon watch is an interesting value proposition from the manufacturer, albeit one which needs being on the right side of the polarizing design (true the brand touts(really). While not innately avant garde or outrageous, the 6 “arms” that appear as though they are almost clasping the bezel into place, horizontal dial stripes, and also a tendency to promote the versions with Roman Numeral markers (although there are versions using indices, though again, these are not the versions the brand puts forward) all make for a wristwatch that still reminds me of the early 1990s. This is a distance inhabited by watches such as the omnipresent and often too small TAG Heuer Link watches you’d see from the ’90s. This Maurice Lacroix Aikon Bronze watch nonetheless will move the needle forward for the line. Yes, the usage of Bronze is far from original or fresh but that does not mean that the end product does not succeed. The use of the sepia-friendly romantic bronze is all around the area and that’s not news to anybody, but it’s nice to see the material used on something which isn’t a diver but instead the sleeker and dressier Aikon. In fact, the contrast of light and dark color on the dial actually has me enjoying the stripes on the dial because they add to the overall brooding “leather, cigars, and whiskey” bronze decorative the watch is about for.
That doesn’t mean the Maurice Lacroix Gravity Review Pontos S Diver tries to reinvent what a dive watch is all about. Look at the case and dial design closely, and you’ll notice vintage-inspired elements throughout ranging from the text and markers on the inner rotating bezel as well as the overall dial design proportions. With that said, I can easily say that the vintage-inspired elements are mere nods to the larger corpus of dive watches out there and less about defining the timepiece as a whole.
At 43mm wide in steel (also offered in a PVD-coated black version), the case of the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver is produced in a few parts with various brushed and polished surfaces. Apologies for the lack of case-back image – but it is a solid screw-down caseback with some machine-engraved graphics. The case isn’t the thinnest in the world, but it does offer 600 meters of water resistance (as opposed to the more traditional 300 meters of many other “professional” dive watches), and it contains an automatic helium release valve (a feature that nevertheless has arguable utility) at 9 o’clock on the side of the case.
With its AR-coated domed sapphire crystal, the Maurice Lacroix Hodinkee Pontos S case has a handsome, high-end look that is large but not at all unduly so given the 43mm-wide size. Heavy, with a well-made feeling, the watch looks equally handsome on the chunky milled-link steel bracelet (with its attractive contrast polishing) or the black or brown leather NATO-style strap.
When Maurice Lacroix added the PVD-coated black version of the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver, they unfortunately didn’t add a bracelet option – and thus that version comes on a rubber strap. Quite good-looking in a more stealthy manner, the matte-finishing of the black-colored Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver unfortunately hides some of the mixed polished and brushed surfaces that help make this “natural” steel model a lot more visually interesting.
Dial-wise, the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver offers an interesting exercise in modern instrument design. While not inherently minimalist, the dial is free from superfluous elements and ensures a high degree of legible precision thanks to a full scale of both hour and minute markers. The more simple, raised outer ring is the 60-minute rotating timing bezel, and it offers a welcome sense of open space as it moves to the more crowded minute and hour scale on the outside on the inner dial.