Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Daniel Dreifuss, who owns Zurich-based watchmaker Maurice de Mauriac, is as manic as he is passionate about timepieces and design. Daniel is a self-proclaimed strap fetishist (which I will second as probably being true), and voraciously continues to add options to what are essentially made-for-you timepieces put together quasi-Lego style in his shop. At some point, Maurice de Mauriac watches will come in series, with proper names and families. Until then, it is a brand for the somewhat advanced watch lover who is keen on trusting their instincts, probably travelling to Zurich, and working with this special man to make something unique for you.

What you see here is a version of the Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern that I call the Travel Timer. It is a sweetly sexy military-style watch with a red-tinted sapphire crystal and green khaki canvas strap. In all honesty, it is as quirky as it is cool, and is something that could only have come out of the industry of boutique Swiss watchmakers. Items like this mix the care of a watch maker employed to put these watches together, with a haphazard philosophy towards design that allows for some truly interesting luxury timepieces to be produced minus design committee meetings and an analysis of consumer demand. Daniel runs your local neighborhood watchmaker - and there are scant few of him left in the world.

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

"Chronograph Modern" is direct translation to English of "modern chronograph" in probably German - Deifuss' mother tongue. He isn't actually a man of many words, but more of images, colors, and gesticulations. Watches in their own right are an extension of kinesthetic communication. And of course a major form of fashion communication. Your watch not only says a lot about you, but allows you to say a lot. Some people wear their timepiece loose like a bracelet dangling as they move around. Others strap their watches tight to their wrist with a purpose. Dreifuss prefers the latter. He uses his hands a lot and anything but a snug watch will not do. Perhaps that is why he loves NATO-style straps so much.

The red colored crystal adds a certain "wow factor" to the watch. It hampers legibility just a little bit because it actually prevents some light from entering the dial to charge the lume. It is a small price to pay for the aesthetic in my opinion. If you don't want the red crystal, it certainly isn't required. A stickler for details, Dreifuss once illustrated to me how the difference between a domed versus flat crystal made a watch look. I was stunned at the difference. Our first look at a Maurice de Mauriac watch with a colored crystal was with the Chronograph Modern Tactical Vision with its rather impressive coloration.

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Chronograph Modern comes in a few case sizes that Maurice de Mauriac has available. Those include 39mm, 42mm, and 45mm in width. This watch represents the latter size of 45mm wide and it wears boldly on the wrist. Back in 2010 we reviewed another Chronograph Modern with a 42mm wide case and 18k rose gold bezel. 42mm is a great size overall, but I think I will stick to the larger 45mm size case thank you very much. In this case, the watch is titanium and PVD black in color while it has screw-down pushers (and a crown) for water resistance. Water resistance by the way is 300 meters.

The typical rotating diver's style bezel has been replaced with something else on this piece - hence the title of "Travel Timer" that I assigned to it. Somewhat oxymoronically, this watch has a world-timer bezel. No, it doesn't have a GMT hand or other world time feature. Why is it here? Good question. Allow me to first interject that you can of course order a piece like this without the Travel Timer bezel and opt for something more traditional - but will you? Technically speaking I think there is a use for the bezel. By aligning it to your current time you can read the time in another time zone. But to do so you need to adjust the bezel each time you want to read it. So at least it isn't totally there for no reason. In most watches, you will find that a justification exists for pretty much everything.

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern Travel Timer Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I have to admit that the world timer bezel does have a certain understated pizazz to it. Why? I can't quite state it. But Maurice de Mauriac is clever in their design to the extent that while their watches look very standard at a glance, a fair amount of small details give them a refined, classy look that you don't find elsewhere. To me, they have soul where others simply have "history." This is the type of watch a guy in an urban cafe who comfortably left the house without tying the laces on his military boots can wear - but also something for the tool watch guy who wants something a bit more boutiquey and different.

Brands like IWC and Bell & Ross won't customize watches for you, but Maurice de Mauriac will. You can try to order online if they'll hear you out, but better yet, stroll into their shop in Zurich and find Daniel there (hopefully not busy). I swear that you'll have no trouble spending at least an hour or two looking through straps. Inside Chronograph Modern watches are decorated Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movements (visible through a sapphire crystal case back window), and I suggest you go for a colored crystal if you want something really interesting. Price is 4,500 Swiss Francs.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Maurice de Mauriac
>Model: Chronograph Modern Travel Timer
>Price: 4,500 Swiss Francs
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we'd recommend it to first:  A boutique brand lover who enjoys arranging their own designs.
>Worst characteristic of watch:  Odd use of bezel design and crystal hampers lume.
>Best characteristic of watch: Satisfying fashionable design that looks unique yet still military-themed.

What do you think?
  • I love it! (4)
  • I want it! (1)
  • Thumbs up (1)
  • Classy (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • MarkCarson

    Without a GMT (24 hour) hand I don’t see how rotating the bezel will help you tell time elsewhere. But whatever. 
    Daniel is indeed passionate and a truly nice guy and generous person. Very down to earth and a straight shooter. He is not afraid to tell you what he thinks of, ahem, well known figures in the Swiss watch industry. In short, this is a guy you can trust to make a watch for you. There is no marketing B.S. going on.
    As John Biggs is fond of  encouraging Americans to “go see Roland and have him make a watch for you” (meaning Roland Murphy of RGM), Ariel is hereby suggesting those who can make it to Zurich to go see what Daniel can make for you. And I concur.
    I think he uses Concepto movements in some watches as well as the ETA/Val Joux 7750 series movements.

  • Lesthepom

    My chance of getting to Zurich are as good as me getting one of the Patek Philippe 6002r so I will have to have a look at the website as I think the bezel is out of place on this watch ( pun intended ) the red I do like it looks like the watch of a sniper who wants no sparkly bits to give him away the black titanium works for this, never had a PVD coated watch all ways been a bit scared of scratching the watch and ending up with a hideous silver scratch on it I think titanium has a good look for this type of watch and as I wear my watches to do some brutal things I may pass on the PVD for now
    Being able to customize the watch sounds like a fab idea

  • cortotin

    Nice Review

  • Ryan B

    Wow this is the best use of the color red in a watch that I’ve ever seen, it makes the dial resemble the instruments of a fighter jet. Added with the black case, an excellent choice of military nato and a 7750 , this watch is going on my wish list…. in the 45mm version of course.

  • ripshop

    Great looking watch!

  • Kris C

    I would have liked to have seen the tinted sapphire over the movement as well: that would probably look pretty cool. I’m a fan of tinted sapphires, I think they are a minor advancement that makes a really big impact: my favourite is probably the colour-changing on that MDM was using a few years ago. Still on my hit list…

  • droo

    I personnaly own an early Maurice de Mauriac chronograph, since 2006, strangely enough I am wearing it today. It remains my favorite combination of hands and dial (similar to what you see on pictures). I feel like I will never get tired of this model. There is a killer in the collection : a black PVD shadow type dial. This new model you are showing is a true member of the family but I would have been convinced if it was running with a 7754 instead of the 7750 (by the way my 7750 is really well tuned +2 to 4 sec a day 7 years after). Thanks to Daniel Dreyfuss for manufacturing so cool watches.

  • slam2464

    Where can I purchase this watch in the US?

  • Emperius

    Wow, this is an instant looker. Very professional looking, and mature, no fuss. Wow…