Maurice Lacroix has produced 500 pieces of a limited edition automatic chronograph in the AIKON collection. If you like a watch that doesn’t follow the traditional lugs/circle dial/tachymetre bezel recipe, this is the one.
The AIKON collection is really an interesting story for me. When I first saw one, I said, ‘what is that Royal Oak lookin’ thing?’, having barely seen it from the side and bracelet clasp.
What’s so interesting to me is that it wasn’t inspired by the AP, as much as it descended from a 1990s collection in Lacroix’s catalogue named Calypso.
The Calypso line was never that large or angular. Instead, I’d like to talk about AIKON and what makes this a great watch.
Even if it comes from a different heritage than the Royal Oak, or a Nautilus, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s converged on that sort of design.
Here’s where the AIKON Limited Edition Chronograph really shines: It has a beautiful gray grid-cut dial, diamond cut indices, and blue sub-dials.
The outer ring of the dial is a deep blue chapter marker. The sub-dials are recessed below the surface of the dial and their edges are ringed in silver. The hands of the sub-dials and the central chronograph seconds are all red. The hour and minute remain diamond cut silver with lume.
The movement is the very competent Swiss ETA 7750 chronograph, in this case, nicely decorated with stripes and perlage. It is visible through the display sapphire case back. Maurice Lacroix calls it their ML112 automatic movement, although it’s not clear how much or little they’re doing to modify it.
The crowns on the case are all screw-down, including the pushers with their hexagonal screw locks. This is worth praising â€“ they’ve really done this properly. I can’t overstate it: these hexagons for the pusher screw locks are really lovely, and I like them a lot.
The strap material here is a blue calf leather strap, and it’s fantastic. It’s got a vents in it to keep it comfortable, and it’s soft, not over-finished like some straps. The stitching is red to match the subdial hands, and it uses a machined deployment clasp that’s particularly lovely, with engine turning on the inside of the clasp surfaces. But that’s not even the best part of it: it has Maurice Lacroix’s easy strap exchange lugs.
Normally, with an integrated bracelet or strap, it’s very difficult to change straps. Here, Maurice Lacroix have put dual-quick release bars in the strap lug end, so that you can quickly pinch them together to release the strap from the watch case. The strap has an embedded silver colored ‘M’ symbol for Maurice Lacroix. This really is fantastically well executed.
The sides of the case are finely brushed. The top surfaces are a mix of brush and polishing, which play nicely in the light. The star as you look at it is the bezel, with its twelve raised polished blocks protecting the crystal. Arranged in groups of two, the six groups make the bezel something more than just another circular watch; they make it distinctive, in a good way.
The excellent ML112-powered AIKON Automatic Limited Edition Chronograph is a treat to wear. The strap is among the best we’ve ever worn, the color combination between hands and dial and the blue outer chapter ring is just what I like to see. If you like it too, it’s available for $2990 USD from mauricelacroix.com
- Brand & Model: Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Limited Edition Chronograph AI6038-SS001-133-1
- Price: $2990
- Who we think it might be for: You want a chronograph, you want screw-down crowns, and you don’t want to be like anyone else.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: That strap. That blue on white dial, with red hands. Hexagonal pusher locks? You bet I would.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I wish instead of the grid-cut dial, that the horizontal stripe-cut dial of the quartz AIKON collection were available.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s all there. The subdial recess lined with silver, and tasteful color choices. I like the combination of all of these design elements.
Tech Specs from Maurice Lacroix
- Case size: 44mm
- Case material: Stainless steel
- Crystal: sapphire
- Strap: Calfskin strap
- Movement: Swiss-made ML112
- water resistant to 200m
- Central hours and minutes
- Small second at 9 o’clock
- Chronograph second indicated by central hand
- 30-minutes chronograph counter at 12 o’clock
- Vibrations: 28’800 vph / 4 Hz
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Number of jewels: 25
Decorations: Perlage and Vertical CÃ´tes de GenÃ¨ve on bridges and rotor