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Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Dive Watch

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Dive Watch Watch Releases

Since the quiet demise of the super-underrated Pontos S Diver, I’ve been keenly awaiting Maurice Lacroix to fill the void in its lineup with a proper modern dive watch. And just ahead of Baselworld 2019, we’re getting exactly that, in the form of an expansion to the Aikon line of sports watches, called the Venturer. This is the first formal addition to the automatic Aikon, mixing existing key design signatures with a few new elements to yield an entirely new, and markedly more capable watch.

One thing that made the automatic Aikon pretty unique (go hands-on right here), was that it blended modern design and a dressy dial aesthetic with a sleek, angular case that was actually water-resistant to 200 meters, making it a surprisingly smart sport-luxury choice whose capability stood well above many of its peers. Though the Aikon has traditionally drawn criticism for an aesthetic vaguely resembling that of a Royal Oak after a few weeks at the gym, a closer inspection reveals very few elements that are actually as derivative as the comment sections might suggest. But for those who couldn’t see past the comparison, the new Venturer is an Aikon in case and bezel only — with nearly every aspect of the watch being re-tooled to better serve as a dive watch.

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Dive Watch Watch Releases The Venturer is an important watch for Maurice Lacroix, as it not only carries the torch for the brand’s signature sports watch line, it also gives watch fans another reason to consider the Aikon as a serious alternative to comparably priced sport-luxury lifestyle watches from Swiss brands like Oris and Longines. But while the aforementioned generally lean towards more classic stylings, Maurice Lacroix has its design language set firmly on “modern.” And that’s not a bad thing; precious few brands are deviating from their mid-century icons anymore, which leaves MLX in unique territory all its own.

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Dive Watch Watch Releases

As mentioned, the new Venturer utilizes a stainless-steel case footprint similar to the three-hand Aikon automatic, but it ups the size to 43mm and comes with an additional 100 meters of water resistance, bringing this diver to a solid 30 atm, or 300 total meters of water resistance. Slightly flat and rectangular in shape, the case is most unique for its super-comfortable downward curved lug design where either an integrated rubber strap or a five-link bracelet can be easily attached, thanks to its interchangeable strap system. The fixed circular bezel with its six, raised ten-minute “claw” markers has been replaced with a visually similar unidirectional rotating dive bezel, thick in height, serrated on its edges, and fitted with a ceramic insert that features a graduated dive scale for the first 20 minutes and finished with a fat luminous pip at 12 o’clock. Unlike the current Aikon, the case is flanked by a pair of screwed-on crown guards, adding a bit of visual weight to the overall design, but leaving little doubt that this Aikon is a dive watch, through and through.

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Dive Watch Watch Releases

But the biggest changes to the Venturer are in the dial, which skips the admittedly derivative hobnail pattern found on the traditional Aikon watches in favor of a smooth, sunray finish that plays nicely with its aquatic inspiration. Its applied hour markers are circular in shape, but each features a deep rectangular cutout that neatly mirrors the long stripes of luminous paint on the sword hands. This interplay between curved and straight surfaces echoes a neat theme throughout the Aikon line, and it’s quite cool that MLX designers have managed to further incorporate it in a diver. There are, after all, only so many ways to execute a classic waterman’s watch, but the Venturer does just enough to distinguish itself from a visual standpoint without rocking the dive boat too hard (unlike the “Calypso,” its predecessor back in the nineties). Which is to say, it’s presented as a safe, semi-familiar product, but one that still feels fresh enough, thanks to the interesting design DNA of the Aikon’s angular, multi-faceted case.

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Dive Watch Watch Releases

Unlike the wild new Aikon Mercury, which exhibits some interesting in-house designed movement innovations, the Venturer uses the far more standard Sellita SW200 (Maurice Lacroix calls it caliber ML115), a three-hand date movement hidden beneath the engraved caseback which beats at the familiar 4 Hz. delivering around 40 hours of power reserve. Coming in just under $2,000, the Aikon Venturer has a starting price of $1,890 on a rubber strap, and $1,990 on the bracelet, though serial strap-changers might want to take advantage the Venturer’s easy interchangeable strap system with a special package that includes both rubber strap and bracelet for $2,190. All told, the Venturer’s price is only a small premium over the standard Aikon, which starts at a price of $1,750. Learn more about the Maurice Lacroix Aikon collection over at mauricelacroix.com

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  • Raymond Wilkie

    Sorry. I just can’t take this company seriously. I’ve tried.

  • I like the design features. Looks like they have done a good job with the case and bracelet finishing. Very fair MSRP. I would like to see one in person.

  • cluedog12

    A fresh-yet-safe take on the classic desk diver. This is a good looking watch, but it misses out on being an excellent product due to the location of the date window.

    The economics-oriented marriage of an oversized dial with the Sellita SW200 is anxious union that works best if the couple commits to a child-free lifestyle. The child is, of course, the date window.

    In an aesthetically-pleasing sports watch, where should the date window be? It should be exactly in-line with the index markers, as it was on most watches in a more enlightened era. The date window and index markers should make a perfect circle. The degree of freedom should be diameter of the dial or the choice of movement, not the normalized location of the date window. Is this a quality timeless Swiss watch or a disposable premium object, the entry-point watch you consign to the drawer when you discover micro-brands or can afford a proper 40mm Rolex Submariner?

    So much effort is placed in the development of operational efficiency. We all have to put food on the table, I understand. I wish more brands were willing to make the uncompromisable beauty of their dials part of their brand story. Lean into the timelessness of Swiss watchmaking. Educate the client on why the 40 mm version looks better to both the trained eye, why the 43 mm version is like a poorly scaled enlargement. That is what I’d like to see.

  • DanW94

    All the vampires
    Walking through the valley
    To the watch shop
    Down Venturer Boulevard….

  • Beefalope

    They all are.

  • Ahh, you’re absolutely right – very good comparison with the Aquaracer.

  • I get where you’re coming from Tony, but nothing sponsored here. I’ve been rooting for MLX to figure it out for a long while now, and as a fan on the fence, I’m glad to see they’re taking steps in a more cohesive direction from a design standpoint, because the quality is absolutely there.

  • There are a good bunch of brands that just haven’t understandably ‘hit’ with the community, and MLX is definitely one of them. I can see why any positive commentary on them might be easily misconstrued, but I borrowed one for a review a few years back, and was genuinely surprised at the level of quality. So while the designs might not be for everyone, I’m pretty comfortable with the opinion that they’re wildly underrated.

    • Independent_George

      You’re preachin’ the the choir, Zach.

  • •L•E•O•

    Quite nice, better on the rubber by the way. But a Sellita SW200 is not very exciting… we have far too much of this.

  • Jon Heinz

    One of the nicer desk divers I’ve seen in a while. The interchangeable strap/bracelet thing is cool too. Not a crazy price either.

  • What fresh hell is this?

    Makes a bit more sense with the dive bezel at least

  • Swiss_Cheese

    Design wise, it looks like the watch you’d get if you took a sprinkle of Submariner, a pinch of Seiko Diver, a fistful of Royal Oak and a dash of Seamaster. Reminds me a bit of the thought process behind that H Moser Swiss Icons abomination. While it ain’t for me, I can see this probably becoming ML’s biggest seller.

  • This should sell. My wife has a masterpiece moon phase and it has amazing quality, although it is a lot pricier than this.

  • Paul Goebel

    If the bezel rotates, then why are the 20, 30 and 40 minute markers flipped upside-down rather than facing inward like the 10 and 50 minute markers? The number placement implies that the bezel does not rotate (like the Rolex Explorer II).

  • Ulysses31

    MLC make some beautiful watches, but this one feels like a generic hybrid of other watches. The most unpleasant part for me is that bezel ring. The six accentuated decade markers just look silly to me, an immature attempt at looking more rugged.

  • WINKS

    Uninspiring mall watch design. Trying too hard to be different… ended up looking quite generic.

    • Centric Locus

      Anytime a person says “mall watch” I know they have no clue what they’re talking about.

      • WINKS

        Relax. Add some fibre to your diet!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    12.50mm ( sorry for the delay )

  • Jonathan W. Fink

    Reminds me of the TAG Heuer Aquagraph and Super Professional from the late 90s and early 2000s.

  • Centric Locus

    What do you think the purpose of this is?

  • Centric Locus

    I like it. Looks classy.

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