The Maurice de Mauriac L2 watch is 42mm wide, which is a bit wider than the dressier L1. Again, the L2 case is water-resistant to 300m and has an automatic helium release valve. Case thickness is relatively standard at about 13mm with a domed sapphire crystal. Lug-to-lug distance is 52mm, which makes for a solid, well-rounded size for many wrists.
The rotating diver’s bezel is one of the key “minimalist” design elements of the L2. Rather than having a full set of 60 minute markers around the rotating bezel, the bezel insert has marker graduations for only the first 15 minutes. This design element will bother some people, but it’ll also delight others, as the minimalism of the bezel makes the L2 much more distinct and unique. In fact, Maurice de Mauriac has actually released watches in the past with totally clean rotating bezels—that means no markers at all. Style-wise, they look killer, though I’m sure a few tool watch purists cried a bit on the inside upon first seeing them.
The L2 dials are similar to those on the L1 with only slight changes, which include slightly bolder hands and hour markers as well as different text on the dial. Legibility is very good, even if the hour and minute hands could be a touch longer. Blue-colored Super-LumiNova is used as the luminant material. For the black dial versions of the L2, I think the white hands and hour markers are especially ideal, but they still work well with the blue and green dials. Once you factor in the color of the bronze case, though, I start to wonder what the L2 would look like with similarly-toned hour markers and hands. An interesting next step the L2 could take is to play around with the hand and marker colors.
Inside the L2 is a Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, a decent movement found in many dive and sport watches. They’re very reliable and easy to fix and maintain all over the world. Maurice de Mauriac uses a black-colored date disk, which minimizes the look of the date, though I’m sure some watch lovers would prefer a cleaner, “no date” dial. As I mentioned in the review for the L1 watch, the dial text is extremely small, and it’s part of what I see as sort of a “minimalist joke.” The same applies to the L2. You wouldn’t really need to ever read the dial text, but it’s still an essential part of making the dial feel “complete.”
The most challenging part of owning any Maurice de Mauriac watch is choosing what strap to use. Maurice de Mauriac uses a select network of suppliers, so they custom order pretty much all the straps they offer. From rubber to textile, you have a good assortment of 22mm wide straps to choose from for the L2, which includes those sold directly by Maurice de Mauriac as well as others you might decide to pair to the watch. I chose the green textile strap that would likely best match the green-dial version of this watch, but it also happens to look really nice with the bronze case.
Maurice de Mauriac watches aren’t cheap, but you get what you pay for—a boutique Swiss timepiece which is produced in very limited numbers. The L2 is a simple watch, but not a basic one. I find that wearing well-designed minimalist watches often has a calming effect thanks to their straightforward design and execution. The L2 isn’t the dive watch for everyone, but it is a well-done member of the rather small niche of minimalist dive watches that come from interesting Swiss brands. Prices for L2 watches with the standard straps and without a metal bracelet are 3,770 CHF in steel, 4,680 CHF in DLC-coated steel, and 4,900 CHF in bronze. mauricedemauriac.ch
>Brand: Maurice de Mauriac
>Model: L2 Bronze
>Price: 4,900 CHF (in bronze)
>Size: 42mm wide, 13mm thick, 52mm lug-to-lug distance
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Experienced high-end watch owner who wants something more discreet and is focused on design from a hip, small watchmaker.
>Best characteristic of watch: “All-in” use of bronze is cool. Comfortable, versatile design makes it suitable for many occasions. Customization options help owner choose a design that is right for them.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Despite the boutique nature of brand, prices are still higher than that of some of the competition. Website doesn’t allow you to easily mix-and-match strap, case, and dial options to allow you to find the right fit for you. An all-bronze case isn’t for everyone.