A couple of years ago, Maurice Lacroix introduced its Aikon collection with automatic movements, a watch with a clear ‘luxury sports watch’ connection, yet with an accessible price. And the recipe proved successful. Offered in multiple variations and materials, it wasn’t enough for the brand that enlarged its collection with another, more robust and sportier edition, the Aikon Venturer. Today, this adventure/diving-oriented piece receives new colours and materials, with the launch of the Aikon Venturer Two-Tone and Bronze.
The luxury sports watch category is ruled by some perennial icons such as the Royal Oak and the Nautilus – two watches born in the 1970s, almost unchanged since then and that defined the genre. Fast forward to now and the luxury sports watch has never been so popular, but still out of range for most watch enthusiasts (even more considering the shortage of steel models). Some brands, however, saw an opportunity here, by offering the taste of this category in a far more affordable price range. Maurice Lacroix, specialized in accessible luxury, unveiled its answer to this issue with the Aikon collection – a shaped steel watch with an integrated steel bracelet and textured dials with a clear 1970s inspiration. Well-designed and well-crafted, this model became a hit for the brand.
One year later, Maurice Lacroix adapted this concept in a more robust, adventure-like watch with diving credentials, the Aikon Venturer – a bit like Audemars Piguet created the Offshore version of the Royal Oak, as a more masculine, more robust iteration of its iconic model. Larger, thicker, bolder, it made quite a statement on the wrist too but was still well executed and fairly priced.
The Venturer relies on the base design of the Aikon Automatic watches but evolves most of its features. The case sticks to the tonneau shape but has been reinforced in specs and style, with a 43mm diameter, a combination of brushed surfaces with polished accents, a solid crown-guard module screwed to the side of the case and, the defining feature, a highly raised, unidirectional bezel with a 60-minute diving scale. The design codes of the collection are respected, with some additional elements to give some robustness and sportiness.
For instance, the six claws that defined the design of the Aikon when it was launched in 2018 are still present in the Venturer and used as part of the graduations – for the 10-minute marks. Contrasting with the rest of the case, the bezel insert is made from scratch-resistant ceramic and matches the colour of the dial. Finally, the water-resistance has been beefed up to a very respectable 300m.
The Aikon Venturer Two-Tone
One recurring theme with luxury sports watches is their capacity to take on colours and materials. The modular conception of the cases and bracelets makes it easy to play with contrasts and tones to create new editions. This is exactly what Maurice Lacroix has done here.
First in line for 2020 is a two-tone edition of the Aikon Venturer which combines steel and gold and an integrated metallic bracelet. Being focused on accessible watches, the brand avoided solid gold elements, which would have potentially doubled the price of the watch. Here, the bezel and its claws, the crown and the centre links of the bracelet receive a 10-micron yellow gold plating, so the increase in price compared to a steel model remains very reasonable.
To contrast with this steel-and-gold attire, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Two-Tone comes with a blue dial and a blue ceramic bezel. The applied indexes and hands are also yellow gold-plated, resulting in a striking version of this watch.
This version is only delivered with a steel and gold-plated bracelet, however, it is still equipped with the brand’s EasyChange system, meaning that you can add a rubber strap easily.
The Aikon Venturer Bronze
Second new version for 2020 is the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Bronze. For this version, the brand goes adventure/military-style all the way, with a case and bezel fully executed in bronze, which will develop a green patina over time. As you can see on the watch we’ve photographed, the golden colour when new has already faded to become more brownish/green.
For this version, the brand opts for a dark brown ceramic insert on the bezel and, matching the patinated case, a sunray-brushed green dial with gold-plated accents on the hands and applied indexes. As with all Aikon models, this bronze version is equipped with the super-practical EasyChange system, allowing you to change the strap without tools in a minute. For this reason, the watch is delivered with two straps; green rubber and brown calfskin, both with a bronze folding clasp.
As mentioned, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is a robust watch with a 43mm diameter and a height of 12mm. Still, the case is well designed and feels more compact than expected on the wrist. To guarantee the 300m water-resistance, the caseback is closed and the crown screws-down. The dial is protected by a sapphire crystal.
To power the Venturer, Maurice Lacroix relies on a tried-and-tested automatic movement, the calibre ML 115 (based on the Sellita SW 200-1), boasting 38 hours of power reserve and beating at 4Hz. It displays the time with central H-M-S and the date at 3 o’clock.
The new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Two-Tone will be priced at CHF 2,700. The Bronze version, with two straps included, will be priced at CHF 2,490. More details at www.mauricelacroix.com.