Although fully engraved cases and bracelets have a long and illustrious history in the world of watch customization, very few fully engraved designs have ever been made by watch brands themselves. Maurice Lacroix is the latest brand to step into this bold visual space, collaborating with famed Parisian parkour expert Simon Noguiera to create a deeply textured and intricate take on its cornerstone integrated bracelet design. The resulting limited edition Maurice Lacroix Aikon Urban Tribe gives the Aikon line a more vibrant, street-inspired character while packing in an impressive amount of surface detail.
The 42mm stainless steel case of the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Urban Tribe is by far its most striking element. Rather than the standard Aikon’s blend of brushed and polished surfaces, nearly every surface on this sleek integrated bracelet design is given over to an intricately laser engraved tribal pattern. With repeated zigzag textures, concentric circles, stripes, and much more, the complex engraved texture feels vibrant and dynamic in images, calling to mind the patterns on a traditional West African dashiki shirt. Even the Aikon’s signature bezel claws join in on the design, with deep vertical striping along their top surfaces. With such a complex and predominantly matte texture covering most of the case, the polished segments like the sharply sloping bezel sides and the case side chamfer become important visual breaks in images, preventing the angular profile of the watch from being lost in the pattern. Like the standard Aikon however, the Aikon Urban Tribe offers a sapphire display caseback and a robust 200 meters of water resistance.
While the case of the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Urban Tribe aims for vibrant complexity, its dial instead opts for clean simplicity. This is nearly identical to the standard Aikon’s black dial, with the exception of a polished black 12 o’clock logo in initial images. The Aikon’s signature Clous de Paris hobnailed guilloche pattern is still present here, giving a luxe texture and a more dynamic personality to an otherwise minimal mix of pencil hands and applied baton indices. Like the standard model, however, the use of a white date wheel at 3 o’clock creates a notable visual hole in the dial in images.
Like the standard Aikon, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Urban Tribe uses the Sellita SW200-1 based ML115 automatic movement. The ML115 is handsomely decorated for this application, with perlage, snailing, and Côtes de Genève across the movement bridges topped by a rotor engraved with the case’s intricate tribal design. Performance for the ML115 remains identical to the standard SW2000-1, with a below average 38 hours of power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate. With a form that flows directly into the lines of the case, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Urban Tribe’s integrated five link stainless steel bracelet continues the engraved pattern of the case. This complex texture should make the Aikon Urban Tribe far less reflective on the wrist than its regular production stablemate, but the polished edges of each link will likely allow for some subtler light play.
While it may not be the brand’s most revolutionary release in recent years, the limited edition Maurice Lacroix Aikon Urban Tribe’s engraved texture offers one of the most unorthodox and eye-catching riffs on the established Aikon formula. Only 500 examples of the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Urban Tribe will be made, and the watch is available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $2,150. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.