While a relative newcomer into the high-end watchmaking, Maurice Lacroix finds its roots in an old trading company, Desco, founded in 1889. Desco during the years grew more and more interested in the watch business and became a distributor for high-end brands like Jaeger LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Heuer, and Eterna.
In 1961, Desco acquired Tiara, an “établisseur”, a company that assembled watches for third-parties. The business was so successful that it became manufacturing its own brand, Maurice Lacroix, which quickly became prominent, as from 1980 the company worked exclusively for the in-house brand.
In 1989, Desco acquired Queloz, a case maker and so it laid the first stepstone to become a true watch "manufacture".
The evolution was quick, as the company developed higher-end movements, either based on ebauches acquired from the best movement manufacturers during the period of the quartz crisis, or developed internally.
The Les Mecaniques collection, later renamed Masterpiece, is the current high-end line of the maison, and includes movements offering diverse complications, like retrograde, power reserve indicators and calendar modules.
The first in-house movement of the maison was the ML106, introduced in 2006, and since then, many others, including an automatic movement in 2011, have powered up their exquisitely made watches, which today are distinguished in the horology panorama for offering great Swiss-made quality for a very affordable price.
Between the various lines of the maison, the most important is the Masterpiece collection, which groups the best movements, some of which offer an array of fascinating complications, like the retrograde indicators and the skeleton models. One noteworthy model is the Masterpiece Gravity, with the balance wheel made in silicon, and proudly displayed through the case.
The Pontos line, that displays a more sporty look, is also well-regarded and offers some no-nonsense watches with the potential of becoming a trusty daily beater. The Chronographe is a very popular reference, as are the fascinating Reserve de Marche and Decentrique.
The Miros is the collection that gives Swiss quality and finishings at a budget price, thanks to its use of quartz movements, in balanced and assertive watches offering a very favorable price/performance ratio.
1 - Masterpiece line
The Masterpiece line features some elegant, very balanced dress watches, with a generally traditional design, which is enhanced by the display of the interesting complications, between which the most notable are the chronographer, the retrograde and the moon phase.
The skeleton references offer a more contemporary take to the collection.
Between the cases, you may find the classic stainless steel ones, as well as the ones in precious metals. Often, the movements are perfectly visible through the glass case backs, as case-making has always been one of the main strengths of the company.
2 - Pontos line
The Pontos line features a more sports luxury than the classy Masterpiece. It is a bit less formal, but it packs a punch all the same as it offers a vast array of complications and features to please even the most die-hard horology aficionado.
The Chronographe, based on a modified Valjoux 7750 movement design, is one of the most popular models in this collection, as is the Decentrique, which mounts the usual time hands on one dial and a complication in another sub-dial at four.
The Pontos S is reserved for the more sporty models of the line, divers and chronographers.
3 - Les Classiques line
The Les Classiques is a sort of a specialist line of the Masterpiece and focuses itself on traditional-looking timepieces with a definite vintage look.
In this line, you also can find the “his-and-hers” concept watches: two similar timepieces, one of a larger size and the other one smaller. A style that was pretty much trendy during the Eighties, but nowadays it is far rarer.
4 - Miros line
The Miros line represents a high-end alternative to the traditional fashion watches from the major fashion brands, as it matches the quality of Swiss quartz movements with the perfect finishings that you would expect from a watchmaker like Maurice Lacroix, which has an important tradition in watch cases in its DNA.
This collection offers a very contemporary and refined outlook, with timepieces (including chronographs) displaying mostly integrated bracelets, with men and ladies references, the latter often decorated with a thin rim of crystals on the bezel.
In an era of changing trends and roles, Maurice Lacroix has decided to launch in July 2019 the Aikon 35mm, a reference that enters the line of watches dedicated to a new image of femininity during an event at Maison de l’Alsace, in Paris.
Designed specifically for women, the Aikon collection reveals modern, urban and elegant aesthetics to cater to all women's wishes.
It features white or black mother-of-pearl or an indigo blue dial with Clous de Paris finishings.
Stéphane Waser, Managing Director of the maison explains that "This watch represents the outcome of our teams' considerable commitment. We wanted to provide a solution for all women wanting a thoroughly contemporary, high-performance timepiece with high perceived value."
The launch was sparked by the collaboration with talented French fashion designer Adeline Ziliox. Models walked along the catwalk dressed in the designer's latest collection, wearing an Aikon 35 mm on their wrists.
Feb 2010 - You might not be aware of this fact, but a very young Roger Federer, that is, before he became an ambassador for Rolex, was sponsored by Maurice Lacroix.
The Swiss champion is one of the most prominent tennis players worldwide, and at 37 years old is still #3 of the ATP ranking.
This demonstrates how the Swiss watchmaker was right when he saw his qualities and his potential - exactly like the watches that it manufactures.
Jan 2015 - You might not readily recognize his name, but most probably, you are using what he did (and still does) regularly.
And we are talking of Jimmy Wales and his brainchild, Wikipedia.
Martin Bachmann, the former CEO of the maison, has clearly described this fitting match: “We admire Jimmy Wales for both his ambition and his accomplishments. Right from the beginning of his career, he had the confidence to believe there was a better, more revolutionary way to share knowledge. His visionary prowess is extraordinary.”
Never give up on your dreams, they say in Maurice Lacroix.
Current Most Popular Models
The Masterpiece is currently the higher end of the company models and is very well regarded worldwide for its affordable and beautiful timepieces.
The most interesting ones go in the Retrograde, Chronographe and Skeleton sub-lines.
Also, the Gravity, featuring a silicon balance, plays an important part, having been one of the first watches in the world to mount such a feature.
The Pontos also offer some interesting references for practical timepieces which are eminently wearable, mounting both metal bracelets and leather wristbands. The carré models, also available as chronographs, look quite distinguished.
The Decentrique are also quite lovely, with a modern and interesting design.
But you will also find references here which seem to come straight out from the excellence of the watchmaking tradition of the 1950s.
Current Approximate Price List By Line/Model
The Masterpiece line
Along with the simple three-handers, either with the central sweeping seconds hand or the small subdial, the current entry-level in the Masterpiece line is the Cinq Aiguilles, an interesting day/date watch where the indications come from five hands which dot the dial.
You might find a stainless steel Cinq Aiguilles from around $1,000 upwards, somewhat more for other editions, such as the ones featuring the Reserve de Marche and the Grande Date, which come at around $1,400.
The “advanced” complications such as the Moonphase, the Worldtimer, and the Chronographe also begin to be available around the $1,500 mark.
The Retrograde references start from $2,000 upwards, while the Skeletons have an entry point of $2,500 upwards. Among the most costly models of the line, you can find the Gravity, which mounts an inverted movement and a reserve charge indicator, and is available from around $6,000, and the Regulateur Roue Carree, displaying two gears of the wheel train made one like a trefoil, and the other is square. This unique timepiece is quite rare, and you can find it around the $8,500 mark.
The cases are available in bimetal combination, which quotations are slightly higher than the stainless steel, or in gold. Gold models add a significant amount to the expense, weighing in especially in the lower-priced references, which start from the $3,000 mark. Consider that on the average, a gold model costs from around $2,000 more than the same reference in stainless steel, upwards.
Available in men and ladies versions, the Pontos is the more sporty-oriented dress watch from Maurice Lacroix. Some references of the Pontos line, like the S Pontos, enter the category of the luxury sports watch.
You can find Pontos models, in stainless steel, with a three-hand setting and date from around $650 upwards, making them a very good buy, especially since many of the models you are going to find mount a metal bracelet.
Some of the Pontos around the $800 mark feature the GMT complication, which is quite handy.
Chronographs are not that far away, beginning at about $900.
You can find the Power Reserve models, with their nice asymmetrical subdial, for around $1,000. The Decentrique GMT instead starts around the $2,200 mark.
Talking about the Pontos S line, it is very clear that it is directed to a more active and technical crowd. The basic model is a handsome, technical chronograph, which is available from about $1,500 upwards, with special series like the Extreme selling for $2,500 and a special Regatta model edging the $5,000.
The S Diver is somewhat less diffused, with quotations starting from around $1.400 upwards.
type: dress watch
material: stainless steel, gold
functions: date/day, power reserve, GMT, chronographer, annual calendar.
The Les Historiques line
The Les Historiques collection derives its name from its inspiration - the tradition of horology in its golden era, the 1950s, and offers this beautiful inspiration in timepieces that look elegant and timeless.
Men’s models represent the typical, traditional dress watch, with ladies watches being their smaller version. The collection features watches with mechanical movements together with quartz-based ones, usually reserved for the ladies, mounted on cases that range from the stainless steel to the more precious bi-metal and gold.
As for the prices, they vary much because of the difference in movements.
The quartz-based ladies versions are definitely affordable, starting from around the $500 mark, while the mechanical based ones, especially when they mount complications like the chronographer and moonphase, follow the values of the Masterpiece line.
type: dress watch
material: stainless steel, gold, diamonds
functions: date/day, power reserve, moonphase, chronographer.
The Miros line
The Miros collection presents a business-like, trendy line of watches mounting simple, sturdy quartz movements. With references designed for men and ladies, it is the perfect accessory to accompany you through the daily chores - in style.
Some of the watches in this collection, which offers integrated bracelets, have a definitely Art Deco vibe, with a carré style, while some of the ladies references are decorated with crystals or diamonds on the bezels.
There are mainly two kinds of types of these models.
The basic stainless steel three-hander with date can be found as low as $300, while the chronographer version starts from around $700.
The most precious-looking references, with the crystals, are available from $700 upwards.
There are also a few gold references, jewelry watches with gold bracelet and diamonds, in the $6,000 range.
type: luxury sports watch
material: stainless steel, gold, crystals, and diamonds
functions: date/day, power reserve, moonphase, chronographer.
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