Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review

Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review

Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

I like to revisit the work of Maurice de Mauriac from time to time to check out what watch designer Daniel Dreifuss is doing in Zurich. His small shop is like Lego land for watch people, where you can visit and customize a pretty darn nice looking watch with his help. Though you only get that if you travel to Zurich; for everyone else there are his "collections" of watches that you can order. Today let's look at one of the Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Le Mans timepieces.

What Maurice de Mauriac thrives on is their options, but it is also a weakness. Most people are intimidated by the prospect of having to make their own design decisions in a luxury object. That their models come with so many options can be a problem, but for those who like to wade through the choices to make a decision that is right for them, these are good values and very nicely designed. What connects each of the Le Mans watches is the dial style, which includes blue and orange racing stripes and a number, even though they come in different sizes and colors.

Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

That number can actually be customized with any two digital numeral. The dial comes both in the silvered form seen here, as well as in black. This particular silvered dial is uniquely matched to a black PVD case, which might sounds odd on paper but actually works out quite nicely. The reason for that is two fold. First, the lighter dial matches will with the light tones of the NATO-style strap, and second because the black case matches the black metal elements on the strap. Together the colors meld well, even though this is not a color combination that we might recommend without a lot of tweaking to get it right (which was done in this case).

Racing stripes are a curious thing, and have seen their share of success and utter failure in watch design. That actually goes with cars as well. Some automobiles have perfectly centered racing strips, and others have them off to a side. The Le Mans watch has both. The strap has a symmetrical stripe, while the stripes on the dial are off to the left. In reality, what you are seeing is just a dash of color, but it goes to show just how powerful color is in design - something that Maurice de Mauriac is well aware of.

Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review   wrist time watch reviews

18 comments
marbstiu
marbstiu

A driving watch? I really dont see anything exclusively for racing here besides the colors

spiceballs
spiceballs

Well done MdM, I mean doing something that I personally think other watch builders (especially the larger ones?) could or should offer.  That is, allow customers to select their own watch features (and possibly even movements?) to suit their own personal tastes/wants/needs.  Looking at the large ranges of sizes, faces, hands, indices, crowns, casebacks, straps, etc that say, Tissot, Omega, Citizen, Seiko, etc have at their disposal would it be so difficult?  Of course the watch might turn out to be (a little?)  more expensive but if you got what you really (really) wanted  - - - ?

CG
CG

I tend to think very few people recognize racing team colors since they have been so integrated with sponsor product logos and colors since the late 70's ...the days of French Racing Blue are long gone and no one remembers or believes that Ford whipped Ferrari's ass 3 years in a row. But the watch is very nice piece of nostalgia.

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

The watch has the livery of the best Le Mans car ever (Ford GT), but all I see is Herbie the Love Bug. 

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

I like the sub-dial hands.  The rest is a monumental failure, the kind so monumental that as you lie on your back, looking at the sky in a tropical jungle you wonder how you ended up like this, before entering a code into your wrist computer as it counts down to a small but devastating nuclear explosion, hopefully taking out the guy who strapped this on your wrist, while cackling at the absurdity of life.

bnabod
bnabod

I like it, but the convoluted purchasing process and 4.4K seems like a lot to me to overcome. there is  a LOT of competition in that range for sure and may be I am paranoid but his he MON and 19 not aligned or just an illusion (see pic 12)??

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

The orange and powder blue colors are anything but arbitrary. These are the Gulf Oil colors used on the legendary Porsche 917s which won Le Mans in 1970 and 1971.

With this racing heritage, I'd have Daniel put a tachymeter bezel on it if I was getting one.

50 meters of water resistance is 165 feet for gosh sakes. Even slapping you arm in the water or thrashing about snorkeling, you would not exceed the water pressure limits of this watch. Swimming and even snorkeling (for the average swimmer)  would be OK with this watch.

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

@spiceballs I also like the customisability of Maurice De Mauriac, and I think most combinations look modern and stylish.  It's just this particular one I find terrible.  For whatever reason sports-themed watches end up looking crass and tacky more often than not.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@spiceballs Yep and Daniel Driefuss of MdM will even let your bring your watch back later to upgrade/swap out parts to change the look of your watch down the road. How many big brands could even consider offering that level of customer support? Plus, Daniel is a great guy and I'm sure a pleasure to work with as a customer.

LapYoda
LapYoda

@SuperStrapper Maybe from the asymmetric stripe, but they're the wrong color and "Ocho" was actually number 53 (as alluded to by @vmarks).  I still see Gulf livery, but what is discordant for me is putting a big number 8 at the 9 o'clock position.

vmarks
vmarks

@MarkCarson  Seriously, what are the great racing liveries that non-racing fans can identify at a glance? Gulf Racing, the Porsche Martini-Rossi... and the Porsche factory racing Pig-in-butcher-markings?

vmarks
vmarks

@MarkCarson  Before they were Porsche 917 colors, they were the Gulf Racing colors of the legendary (I sense a theme here) GT40 that swept LeMans four years running. When Ford made the Ford GT a few years ago, they sold several in that livery. John Mayer, watch nerd and musician, bought one. 


There's also the Steve McQueen connection, which ties us back to watches, the TAG Monaco, McQueen's Submariner... I digress.


I would also wear this watch with red, white, and blue stripes and the numeral 53 on the dial. I would smile every time I glanced at my wrist if I had that.

mcv1973a
mcv1973a

Could be worse, you know...

Could be NASCAR.

MarkCarson
MarkCarson

@vmarks You are absolutely right - the Ford GT 40 proudly wore these Gulf Racing colors also. I saw one of the new Ford GT 40s parked at my local shopping center about 2 years ago in the same colors. I have also seen a real (original) GT-40 about 4 years ago but it was not in Gulf livery. It did have the Dan Gurney bulge on the top of the drivers door - Dan was a tall guy for a 40 inch high car). Cheers.

vmarks
vmarks

@mcv1973a  Could be– but then I'd want to see a Ricky Bobby / Kurt Busch themed one.  That'd be more tasteful (!) than something like the old Jeff Gordon DuPont colors, I suppose.