Maurice de Mauriac has a range of hands to choose from and for this piece they went with skeletonized hands for the subdials, and traditional lumed hands for the hour and minute hands. I also like how the dial uses black discs for the date and day of the week windows that again are an element that matches the case.
Over the dial is a domed AR coated sapphire crystal, with another crystal being used on the caseback for the exhibition window looking at the movement. This particular Le Mans watch comes in a 42mm wide case, but Maurice de Mauriac also offers the Le Mans in 45mm wide cases. It is funny because some Mauric de Mauriac cases I prefer in 45mm wide cases and others in 42mm wide cases. It feels like a larger watch with the black case and silver dial matched to the NATO-style strap, so in this instance I think I prefer the 42mm wide version.
Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. Common yes, but Maurice de Mauriac only uses highly decorated “top” versions of the movement. Interestingly enough you are finding less and less of these available. A few years ago ETA more or less stopped supplying these to outside Swatch Group brands. Notice that you simply don’t see 7750s in that many timepieces any more. One downside of having a NATO-style strap is that it blocks the back of a watch case. So while the Le Mans does have an exhibition caseback window, you needed to loosen the strap a bit in order to see the movement.
Speaking of the case, I wish it were a bit more water resistant. Maurice de Mauriac does have a 300 meter water resistant dive watch, but the Chronograph Modern case is only water resistant to 50 meters. I actually don’t perfectly understand why given that the crowns and pushers are screw-down, and it has a screw-down caseback. Having said all that, the Le Mans should be suitable for anything expect actual swimming.
We’ve said this in the past, and we will say it again, but Maurice de Mauriac is an absolute (and self-described) watch strap fetishist. The ones they choose are usually of a very good quality and always good looking. It is true that not all NATO straps are created equally. This one has a signed Maurice de Mauriac buckle as well as black hardware. The colors are bright, and even though they are bold, the otherwise conservative nature of the case makes baby blue and orange an acceptable color for most men to wear.
Maurice de Mauriac timepieces aren’t simple to purchase, but they are satisfying. Despite the many options available, there is a designer look to their watches that mixes fun colors with conservative designs in a way that makes them feel entertaining yet mature. They also have the DNA of a “serious watch” so they never feel like a toy. If the Le Mans is not your cup of tea, then keep looking as one of their timepieces probably will be. Prices for the Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans watches start at 1,550 Swiss Francs for a three-hand model and go up from there for the chronograph movement and various options. Priced here at 3,950 Swiss Francs (about $4,400). mauricedemauriac.ch
>Brand: Maurice de Mauriac
>Model: Le Mans Chronograph
>Price: 3,950 Swiss Francs
>Size: 42mm (also available in 45mm wide size)
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Fashionable yet conservative guy who can’t fathom not wearing a mechanical watch and likes a bit of color.
>Best characteristic of watch: Great mixture of Swiss design, sport watch style, automotive heritage, and price.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Brand continues to have less than straight-forward purchasing process and many consumers are confused by all the options.