Angus Davies recently had the joy of wearing a new watch replica from Maurice Lacroix, the Maurice Lacroix Gravity replica watch with its innovative silicon assortment. He provides an in-depth review of this remarkable watch.It seems to continue the company’s ever upward ascent with no signs that the inclined trajectory will head back to terra firma any time soon.
Indeed, as school children we are taught that “what goes up, must come down”. However, Swiss watchmaker Maurice Lacroix has made me reconsider this notion of late.Everyone is aware of Newton’s work and the laws of gravity.
Its latest model, the “Gravity”, recently launched at Baselworld 2014, is another breathtaking design from the young brand.
Indeed, the atelier in Saignelégier has been the birthplace of some remarkably innovative watches in recent years, some of which are clearly destined to be tomorrow’s classics.The Gravity is a new addition to Maurice Lacroix’s top of the range Masterpiece collection. Handsome aesthetics, cutting-edge technology, interesting complications, accessible pricing and Swiss craftsmanship have been successfully fused, resulting in some very appealing models coming to market. These high-end models have earned Maurice Lacroix critical acclaim over the years, with lots of silverware gracing the company’s crowded trophy cabinet.
For example, a few years ago Maurice Lacroix brought together two interfacing wheels, one clover-shaped and the other square, collaborating in unison to cleverly convey seconds. The timepiece is fascinating to observe and, thanks to the company patenting the ingenious know-how, totally unique. Initially, the model was called the Masterpiece Roue Carrée, but is now referred to as the Masterpiece Square Wheel.
An intrinsic strength of Maurice Lacroix is the company’s design prowess and ability to bring new concepts to market before the majority of its competition. The Gravity repeats this winning formula with delightful flourishes of style and a new silicon assortment (silicium for US-based readers).
The new model is available in limited numbers, 250 in anthracite PVD coated steel and a further 250 pieces offered in a more traditional stainless steel case, employing brushed and polished surfaces. It is this latter version which is my preferred choice and the focus of this review.
Maurice Lacroix has not sought to follow convention or emulate others. The design of the Gravity is very much its own work and playfully imparts time with a judicious blend of fun, grace and horological exhibitionism. I must qualify the word “playfully” as this is not a frivolous offering, quite the contrary, it harnesses much serious watchmaking expertise presented in a tantalisingly attractive format.
The off-centre dial floats above a delightfully decorated bridge, detailed with Clou de Paris. A key attribute of the dial is that numerous design elements coact to exploit depth and optimise available light.
Looking at the front of the Maurice Lacroix tourbillon copy watch, an off-centre, white lacquered dial plays host to the hour and minutes display. The blued hands stylishly point to black printed Roman numerals. Framing the dial is a chapter ring depicted in pale blue. Two polished screws punctuate the dial, providing a charming reminder that this is a mechanical ensemble of small parts expertly combined in splendiferous union.
The visual highlight of the dial is the openly disclosed oscillator, pallet lever and silicon escape wheel. The wearer is optically engaged with a plethora of dynamic details which pulse, rotate and interface. It is the fine detail which bestows joy with this stylish masterpiece.
A small seconds display, with brushed detail and red Arabic numerals, partially protrudes over the edge of the aforementioned bridge. It acts like a visual metaphor for the suspension of time and begs the wearer to stop and dwell, absorbing each element of the horological vista presented.
I have worn the identically sized version with anthracite PVD coated steel and found the 43 mm case to accord a comfortable fit. Moreover, the scale of the model provides a sufficiently large canvas for the talented team at Maurice Lacroix to artistically depict each element of this dial.
The glass-box sapphire crystal allows pupils to explore dial depths from the side of the timepiece. Furthermore, the absence of a conventional bezel and the resultant large opening helps showcase everything to comely effect.
The caseband is satin brushed with fine vertical lines running north to south. The lugs have polished bevelled edges, while the remaining surfaces of the case predominantly feature additional satin brush treatment.
Much of this design is new and fresh, but there are a few details which share the design language of other Masterpiece models. A perfect illustration of this is the crown design which has knurled detail on its horizontal flank, employing curving line and granting ease of adjustment.
Housed within this handsome timepiece is a self-winding movement presented in full Technicolor glory for watch replica lovers to enjoy.
The Maurice Lacroix Automatic Manufacture Calibre ML230 is the thirteenth Manufacture movement it has created since 2006. Some superstitious readers may be fearful of this fact. However, relax and be rest assured the Swiss maison is known for creating reliable watches and innovation has not come at the expense of dependable service.
Angus Davies and Sandro Reginelli
I recently had the good fortune to chat to Sandro Reginelli, Product and R&D Director for Maurice Lacroix, whilst attending Baselworld 2014. He patiently explained that the frequency of 18,000 vph (2.5Hz) is very deliberate, as it is the optimum rate for a silicon assortment.
In this instance, the Masterpiece Gravity is one of the first watches to feature an all-silicon assortment. Developed in-house by the creative minds who are based in Saignelégier, it stands testament to the cutting-edge know-how synonymous with this watchmaking company.
Silicon is becoming increasingly popular in the watch replica industry with its low-friction and anti-magnetic properties. The virtual absence of friction mitigates servicing requirements and reduces power consumption. Furthermore, it is not susceptible to corrosion.
Talk of cutting-edge design and state of the art watchmaking may lead some to assume that Maurice Lacroix has abandoned traditional Swiss watchmaking craftsmanship. However, I am pleased to report this is not the case.
By creating the Calibre ML230, Maurice Lacroix has expertly combined breathtaking invention with fine watchmaking craft. It is a wonderful movement and manifests the expertise of this ambitious, forward-thinking brand.
The escape wheel has a beguiling purplish hue which is most attractive.Returning to silicon, there is a further benefit its use has provided, namely its appearance.
Several of the jewels sinks, noticeable from the rear of the watch, are beautifully polished and bask in ambient light emitting a brilliant gleam. Circular graining can be seen on the fourth wheel of the gear-train, visible adjacent the escape wheel. The barrel cover and rachet wheel are decorated with snailing.The purist will appreciate the sight of the open-worked oscillating mass and bridges decorated with circular Côtes de Genève motif.
There were many watches at Baselworld 2014 which I adored and felt advanced the cause of watchmaking. Indeed, the Masterpiece Gravity, in my opinion, was one of the stars of the event. It wonderfully demonstrates the ambition of this Swiss brand and successfully blends creativity and craftsmanship, resulting in a competitive timepiece worthy of note.
By creating this latest Masterpiece Gravity watch replica I do not envisage that Maurice Lacroix will stray from an ever upward trajectory any time soon. Perhaps the irony is that this watch replica provokes thought and leads one to question the wisdom of Newton’s law.
- Model: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity
- Ref: MP6118-SS001-110
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43 mm; water resistant to 5 bar (50 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds
- Movement: Maurice Lacroix Automatic Manufacture Calibre ML230, self-winding movement; frequency 18,000 vph (2.5Hz), 35 jewels; power reserve of 50 hours.
- Bracelet / Strap: Brown crocodile skin strap presented on a steel folding clasp with push buttons
- Limited Edition: 250 pieces (a further 250 pieces available in anthracite PVD coated steel)
- Price: approximately £9500 (as at 14.5.2014)
I hope that the Swiss Maurice Lacroix watch replica company enters this model for this year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève as I feel, in my humble opinion, it would be deserving of a prize, such is the brilliance of its conception and subsequent realisation.