Launched in the early 1990s, the Masterpiece family is Maurice Lacroix flagship collection. It offers small complications, yet with creative displays and with relatively accessible prices. At Baselworld 2017, the brand unveiled new versions of two models with retrograde indications, a speciality of the brand since 1999. Based on the same design introduced by the Masterpiece Double Retrogade we reviewed, here is the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Moon Retrograde, with yet another interesting display.
The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Moon Retrograde elegantly combines 4 complications. It features three astronomical indications – a retrograde calendar (automatically flipping back to the beginning after 31 days) and a moon phase and a day-of-the-week display – as well as a power reserve. A classic in the collection for several years, it is now offered in new versions, and the 3 new dial colour options, each distinctive and appealing, include silver, black or blue.
Each version comes with a different finishing, playing with colours and textures: “Clous de Paris” and sandblasted for the silver dial; vertical brushed for the black dial (not photographed here); vertical Geneva stripes and guilloche (known as azurage in French) for the blue dial.
Despite the numerous indications, the dial looks balanced. The Roman numeral hour markers on the chapter ring framing the dial are either blued or rhodium plated. The faceted, diamond-cut hands come in matching colour.
The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Double Retrograde is powered by the calibre ML192, produced in-house in the brand’s manufacture in Saignelegier. This self-winding movement displays the hours and minutes via central hands. The power reserve is indicated at 2 o’clock. The calendar indications comprise a retrograde date display at 10 o’clock and the day of the week indication at 6 o’clock. Lastly, a mirror polished moon is waning and waxing in a window at 6 o’clock.
What is a retrograde hand?
In most cases, hands are running around a dial on 360 degrees, making a full revolution. This is true for the hours and minutes, as well as so-called pointer dates, where a hand points the current date on a circular track. A retrograde indication also runs in a circular way; however, it doesn’t do a full revolution. It has a starting point and an ending point, usually on a semi-circular on a track. Its motion isn’t continuous. Once reaching the end of the track, the hand jumps back to the starting point. Compared to a standard hand at 360 degrees, such mechanisms require more parts.
At 43mm in diameter, the steel round case wears well thanks to its curved lugs. The rather large diameter provides optimum space for displaying all indications. It comes with alternate satined and polished finish. The fluted crown is emblazoned with the brand’s logo, and three recessed correctors allow to adjust the different complications.
Operating at 18,000 vibrations per hour, the ML191 calibre can store up to 52 hours of power reserve. At 37.2 mm in diameter, it is a large movement (something pleasant as the movement fills the case) and it comprises no fewer than 344 components. Visible through the sapphire exhibition case-back, the bridges and openwork rotor are rhodium plated with Geneva stripes drawn with a distinctive spiral pattern. The crown wheel and barrel are decorated with snailing.
The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Retrograde moon is paired with a black crocodile strap with black calf lining, secured with a steel folding buckle. All in all, a pretty good and distinctive “complication package” for CHF 4.900. I can thoroughly recommend that you go hands-on with the model, if only just to check it out in person. For more information, visit www.mauricelacroix.com.
Technical specifications – Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Moon Retrograde
- Case: 43mm diameter – stainless steel – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating – see-through case-back – water resistant to 50m
- Movement: calibre ML192 – automatic winding – 37.2mm diameter – 52h power reserve – 18,000 vibrations/h – 59 jewels – hours, minutes, retrograde calendar, day of the week, power reserve and moon phase indications.
- Strap: crocodile leather strap with folding clasp.
- Price: 4.900 CHF