Introduced in the early 1990s, the Masterpiece family is Maurice Lacroix’s top-of-the-range collection, and offers complications at an accessible price point. At Baselworld this year, the brand unveiled new versions of its Masterpiece Chronograph Skeleton – an intricately executed openwork chronograph based on the Valjoux 7750. The 2017 models are presented with a steel case with blue dial and a limited edition blue PVD steel case with matching dial.
The Masterpiece chronograph skeleton case is large (45 mm) and it is available in steel, steel PVD or steel with a gold bezel. The design is in the typical Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece style, and a thin sloped bezel frames a slightly domed sapphire crystal. Dynamic pushers flank the knurled, screw-down crown giving the watch a water resistance to 100 m / 330 ft. The case features alternate brushed and polished finishes, with a nice bevel along the tapered lugs.
The laser-cut, open work dial is presented in different colours and finishes depending on the versions (blue for 2017 models). The ‘skeletonization’ imparts a modern, technical look. The openwork dial and movement allow the wearer to discover the interplay of the gears and the watch inner workings, including the balance wheel and the barrel on full display. The two subdials feature skeletonized discs/wheels instead of hands. The one used to display the small seconds is shaped to form the brand’s ‘M’ logo, while the chronograph minute counter uses a turbine-like design. The hours and minutes hands are diamond-cut with luminescent material. The flange is circular brushed and the brand logo is transferred on the sapphire crystal.
The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece chronograph skeleton is powered by an automatic chronograph calibre based on the trustworthy cam and lever Valjoux 7750. The chronograph movement operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of 48 hours. At the rear of the watch, visible through the exhibition caseback, the movement features a silver-tone finish with Geneva stripes on the bridges and on the openwork rotor.
The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece chronograph is paired with a blue alligator strap and fitted with a security steel folding buckle for the steel version and pin buckle for the PVD-steel limited edition.
The Valjoux-powered Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece chronographs are not as interesting as the versions that were fit with column-wheel movements a few years ago. But these are indeed handsome watches. The ubiquitous Valjoux is precise and reliable ally and it has allowed Maurice Lacroix to go back to a pricing more coherent with its brand positioning. For more information, please visit www.mauricelacroix.com
Technical specifications Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Chronograph skeleton
- Case: 45 mm – stainless steel – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating – see-through case back – water resistant to 100m.
- Movement: calibre ML 206-7 mechanical with automatic winding – 48h power reserve – 28’800 vibrations/h – 25 jewels – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph (central second and 30 minute counter).
- Strap: alligator leather strap with security folding clasp (steel version) or pin buckle (blue PVD version).
- Price: CHF 6,900 (Steel) – CHF 7,500 (PVD Steel)
- Reference: MP6028-SS001-002-1 and MP6028-PVC01-002-1 (limited edition of 100 pieces)