Maurice Lacroix has been active since the mid-1970s with a consistent motto: accessible luxury and high perceived quality. The true change within this company occurred at the end of the 1990s, with the creation of the Masterpiece collection and in-house complication modules: the famous retrograde watches. Since then, the brand continues to offer these complex yet accessible displays (and more) however, something was missing. Another emblematic, easily recognizable “entry-level” collection, something truly contemporary and in line with customers’ expectations. This is the story behind the new Aikon collection – and mostly the automatic versions, Maurice Lacroix’ take on the luxury (affordable) sports watch.
Maurice Lacroix is taking the luxury sports watch to another price range
Luxury sports watches… Possibly the hottest pieces now on the market. These children of the 1970s have never been so in demand than today, with the steel Royal Oak or Nautilus selling at premium. But what is a luxury sports watch after all? If there’s no official definition, we, at MONOCHROME, like to see it as an elegant, refined, flat but robust watch with a thin automatic movement, a shaped case with raised bezel (usually with a different shape than the case), a simple time-only or time-and-date display, a textured dial with luminous hands and an integrated steel bracelet – not hard to understand that we are defining the Royal Oak, the Nautilus, the Overseas or the early Ingénieur. Sporty but elegant watches with highly luxurious elements. But (and that’s a big BUT) most of these watches are today unreachable – their prices are north of EUR 20,000 or they are simply not available at retailers. Problematic for most of the watch enthusiasts.
Since its inception, Maurice Lacroix focused on high perceived quality watches with reasonable prices – mostly in the CHF 1,000 to CHF 5,000 range. Nicely crafted cases and dials, complex displays, in-house manufactured parts and modules… The Masterpiece collection, with watches like the Moon Retrograde or the Double Retrograde, perfectly summed that up – at least on the higher side of the collection. But the brand was missing something strong, recognizable and sporty on the other side of the range, in the highly competitive CHF 1,000-2,500 bucket.
After some market researches and talks with clients and retailers, the idea to create a luxury sports watch with an attainable price was found – and its source of inspiration too, by looking at the archives and a specific model, the Calypso. Certainly, this very-1990s watch needed to be fully redesigned bu some elements were there. Using the sporty appearance and the signature 6 arms on the bezel, the Aikon was born. First released in 2017 in quartz versions, some automatic models followed in 2018, with a time-and-date and a chronograph.
The Aikon Automatic is an impressive piece, considering the price. Certainly, it doesn’t have all the refinements of the 20k-plus luxury sports watches, however, it features most of the required elements: a steel tonneau-shaped case, a strong, raised bezel with 6 arms, a textured dial, an integrated (and truly high-quality) interchangeable steel bracelet, nice details on the case/dial/bracelet and, to reduce the price, an outsourced automatic movement – which keeps the price and the thickness of the price quite low.
Since its introduction, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic and its multiple evolutions (self-winding chronograph, Bronze edition) made a strong impression on us. One of best surprises of 2018 in the sub-2K Euros category and a watch that is now fully explained by Stephane Waser, the CEO of the brand, in the video on top of this article. Enjoy!
More on the Maurice Lacroix Aikon topic here:
- The Automatic Aikon – introducing article
- The Aikon Skeleton
- The Aikon Chronograph Automatic “Chase Your Watch” Edition
- The Aikon Automatic Bronze
More details on www.mauricelacroix.com.