Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Chronographe Automatique

maurice lacroix logo

Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques

Maurice Lacroix – I had always wanted to own a watch by this Swiss manufacturer since I came across someone wearing one in 2006 when he came over to my office to do a presentation.

Over the years, I’ve kept a close eye over this brand, their releases and developments. A small solid steel emblem of the Maurice Lacroix resembling a Greek-letter “m” used to be emblazoned on the leather strap just below the lower lugs of the casing but sadly, this has been removed from all watch models [Update: I’ve found it!].

Nevertheless, the sleek and clean lines of these watches have always appealed to me as much as their simple elegance. As far as watches go, they are very reasonably priced for their pedigree.

So on 30th December 2011, about 5 years after that first encounter, I decided to reward myself with a Maurice Lacroix and satisfy this overdue longing.


Shortlisting a Selection

I had shortlisted a number of choices: Les Classiques Chronographe Automatique, Les Classiques Jours Retrograde Automatique, and Pontos Chronographe – ML’s all-time best seller.

I finally settled with the newer Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Chronographe Automatique, a model released in 2011. I liked it for the complications on its face, the clean straightforward scale on the subdials, the juxtaposition of polished and brushed finishes on the stainless steel case, the beautifully-designed lugs, and the calf-leather strap and stamped deployant buckle – a jeweller’s artistry in a horlogerie package!

The Maurice Lacroix Story

Here’s a little history about this brand extracted from Wikipedia:

Maurice Lacroix was founded as part of Desco von Schulthess of Zurich in 1975. Founded in 1889, Desco von Schulthess (Desco) is an older company with roots in the silk trade. Since 1946, Desco has also been a representative for luxury watches including Audemars Piguet, Heuer, Eterna, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Over the years, Desco became more interested in the watch business, and in 1961 Desco acquired an assembly facility named Tiara in Saignelégier, in the Swiss Canton of Jura. There it produced private label watches for third parties. In 1975, Desco started marketing watches under the brand name Maurice Lacroix. Like other Swiss watch brands, including Rolex and Omega, the brand Maurice Lacroix does not correspond to any one individual.
By 1980, Maurice Lacroix had become so successful that the facility in Saignelégier ceased production for third parties. In 1989 Maurice Lacroix acquired the case maker Queloz S.A., also based in Saignelégier. This ability to produce watch cases in-house makes Maurice Lacroix unusual compared to other luxury watch companies.

During the 1990s, Maurice Lacroix experienced a “rocket-like ascent” with the launch of their high end “Les Mécaniques” line, later renamed the “Masterpiece” line.

During this time, the company elevated itself to the high ranks of Swiss watch manufactures, by both maintaining traditional ‘Swiss watch making art’ and by creating their own movements for its Masterpiece Collection.

As of 2010, Maurice Lacroix, has a total of approximately 220 employees worldwide, and is represented in around 4,000 shops in more than 60 countries all over the world.

“I liked it for the complications on its face, the clean straightforward scale on the subdials, the juxtaposition of polished and brushed finishes on the stainless steel case, the beautifully-designed lugs, and the calf-leather strap and stamped deployant buckle – a jeweller’s artistry in a horlogerie package!”

My Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Chronographe Automatique (now that’s a mouthful!) was purchased at Sincere Fine Watches at The Pavilion Kuala Lumpur on 30th December 2011, then retailing at RM7,300.00. The price has since risen to RM8,600.00 as of mid-2012, just six months after I had bought it.

In fact, just a few months before the actual purchase, the people in the trade were already telling me of an impending 10% increase, to be expected some time at the start of 2012. That was a slight underestimate as it had actually gone up by 18%.

UPDATE: As at February 2015, this model is currently priced at an RRP of RM9,300.00.

Get It on eBay

The Unboxing

Allow me to present the unboxing of the watch…

maurice lacroix watch box
This is how the box looks like from the outside.
Simple cardboard box that often comes with most watch brands.
elegant wood veneer box
Lift up the box cover and you’re greeted with a polished wooden veneer box that spells LUXURY in capital letters. Know what’s stashed at the back end of the cardboard box? Let me pull them out for you…
maurice lacroix les classiques
…well, there’s the little manual, international warranty details, and wiping cloth. Let’s put these extras aside for now and remove the wooden case from the cardboard box entirely…
elegant wood veneer box
A nice off-centre view of the wooden presentation case, with the trademark on the front.
Could easily pass off as a jewellery box, really. Let’s open it!
elegant wood veneer watch box
Ahhh, the star of the show. Come on, zoom in…let’s take a closer look!
maurice lacroix les classiques
There, better! Nice – clean fluid lines with understated complications in the subdials, housed within a simple yet elegant platinum-like stainless steel casing and bezel on the outside.
maurice lacroix les classiques
Taking the watch out and placing it in front of the box, the watch and its leather strap takes a good stretching.
maurice lacroix les classiques
A deployant buckle (DB) attaches to one end of the leather strap. Upon closer inspection…
maurice lacroix les classiques
Well-polished DB with the brand name Maurice Lacroix blasted onto the surface. A two-sided push button releases the folding clasp catch. Let’s take a closer look at the watch…
maurice lacroix les classiques
Cradling the watch in hand, the weight feels fine – neither too heavy nor too light, and the calf leather strap packs an adequate padding. Turning it over…
maurice lacroix les classiques
Would have been nice to have a transparent sapphire crystal back, but that’s not really an issue. The stainless steel case back reveals some details about the watch: serial number, sapphire crystal front, stainless steel casing, water resistance rating of 3 atm – that’s about a depth of 100 feet, or 30 metres. Some rain and only brief splashes of water that is.
maurice lacroix les classiques
Time to set up the strap and bring the watch up to wearable use.
I see a little pin. Should be easy enough to figure this one out.
maurice lacroix les classiques
For my wrist size, the pin should go into the third hole – a fit just about right!
Let’s flip it over and look at the other features.
maurice lacroix les classiques
From this angle, you can see that the brand is also engraved into the inner surface of the leather strap.
The protrusions on the casing sides are pretty standard for a chronograph watch – a winding crown in the centre flanked by two push buttons for the stopwatch function. Let’s take a look at the stopwatch feature represented by the subdials on the watch face.
automatic chronograph swiss watch
Try to imagine the watch the right side up, ok? This is a common Valjoux 7750 movement, modified and personalised to ML 112 calibre for precision, with the elapsed 30-minute chronograph counter on the 12 o’clock subdial and the elapsed hour on the 6 o’clock subdial. The chronograph’s stopwatch elapsed second is shown by main central second hand, and the watch’s elapsed small second is shown on the 9 o’clock subdial. The date is shown on the little window at 3 o’clock.
maurice lacroix les classiques
The bezel diameter of 41 mm fits my petite girly but manly hairy wrist just fine! The watch also features a dome sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inside, a velvety finished dial, diamond-cut applied rhodium-plated hour-markers and hands with white Superluminova SLNC1 for night visibility.
storing an automatic watch
This is how I normally keep and lay my watch to rest, with the crown touching the table surface. Simple reason: the embossed Maurice Lacroix emblem on the crown doesn’t get scratched as easily as the brushed steel surface of the casing on the opposite side at 9 o’clock. That’s one of the ways I keep my watch in pristine condition. Unless you wear your watch everyday, the best place of course would be back in its original box. Also, at this position, I have found the average deviation to be about +5 seconds per day, which falls within COSC certification specs and considered quite accurate for a mechanical watch.

Purchasing this Watch and others in the Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques series

To purchase this particular model or take a look at others in the Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques series, click here or see the links below.






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Micah Grafsgaard
8 years ago

This watch looks great! I also appreciated your other post about swapping out the band. The older Maurice Lacroix band with the silver emblem definitely has a more sophisticated look.