The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Skeleton is undoubtedly one of the most attractive pieces of the collection, alongside a few other pieces such as the Gravity, the Mysterious Seconds or the Pontos S Diver. Playing on the modern side of open-worked watches (not these rather old-fashioned skeleton watches full or arabesques and engravings), the Masterpiece Skeleton evolves this year by being full black-coated and revealing something actually useless but rather cool on the back side of the case…
Skeleton watches offer a great opportunity to watch aficionados: enjoying the view on all the parts of a movement, even from the dial side, when the watch is worn. Admittedly, this mechanical attraction plays a huge role in our love for watches (and by that, we mean real watches, with a mechanical movement). If you pay a fairly important extra to have a hand-wound or automatic movement in your watch, it actually sounds rather fait to be able to enjoy it in most situations. This is the raison d’être of skeleton watches. Yet, for years, open-worked watches have been somehow baroque and rather demonstrative: engravings, complex lines, movement that were often shiny and old-fashioned. Not very modern.
The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Skeleton plays on contemporary trends, while still offering a great view on its hand-wound movement’s intricacies. Skeletonization here means bold design, straight lines, modern finishings and executions. The bridge on top of the movement, which holds in place all moving parts, is somehow radiating from the center and feels almost sporty in its look. The “arms” of this bridge are straight, matte looking, with a 3D effect. The upper surfaces are finishing with a colimaçonnage (snailed), while sand-blasted on lower surfaces, to bring contrast. It also show diamond-cut edges on all bridges. This movement, which could look like a Unitas but which is manufactured in-house by Maurice Lacroix, offers a great depth, a strong design and a nice view on the moving parts.
The caseback isn’t left aside either. The bridges have been cut in the same way as the front ones, so the view remains clear. The finishing is pleasant, with entirely black coated plates and bridges, some large jewels on the great train and nice execution of the wheels and gears. The movement features a large screwed balance, which beats at a slow 2.5Hz frequency, and boasts 45h of power reserve. it displays the hours and minutes on the central axis and a small second at 9.
One detail though makes this Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Skeleton quite appealing. In fact, skeleton watches have one issue. Because they are transparent, they sometimes let wrist-hairs appear through the dial – admittedly not very elegant. To counteract this, Maurice Lacroix features its Masterpiece Skeleton with a partially tinted caseback, which is darker and reflective on the voids, and transparent below the moving parts (wheels, barrel and balance) to let the light come through. Yes, it’s just a detail, but actually one I like.
For 2017, the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Skeleton dresses its 43mm stainless steel case in black-PVD, with a full sandblasted finish, for a cool stealth look. The strap is in black alligator leather and combined to a black PVD-coated pin buckle. More details on www.mauricelacroix.com.