Of the trio, the silver dial version is possibly the most attractive. In this version, the diamond-cut hour and minute hands, as well as the hands for the date, power, and day indicators are blued. A large chapter ring surrounds the dial on which there are applied Roman numeral indices for the hours, which are also blued. Finally, running around the periphery of the chapter ring is a railroad-style minutes track. Look closer still and you will also find blued indexes on the retrograde date and power reserve indicators. As I have said earlier, blue on white is an attractive color scheme and it is highly legible too. Finally, the various indicators and moon phase display are embossed with Clous de Paris for more visual pizzazz.
Like the Masterpiece Double Retrograde watch, there’s a print that says “Manufacture Movement” at 6 o’clock. It is not often that you see such a print on watches, but I can understand Maurice LaCroix’s eagerness to remind wearers that their movement is a little special.
The blue dial variant is nice too, and definitely more showy because of the bright blue dial. The layout of the dial is similar, but the finishing is different. The main dial, for example, has Côtes de Genève finishing. And while the indicators on the silver dial have Clous de Paris decoration, the blue dial version has guilloché made out of concentric circles. The hour and minute hands, as well as the hands for the indicators and various indices, are rhodium-plated. Overall legibility is just as good as the silver dial version.
The black dial variant (which we didn’t get to shoot hands-on, unfortunately) is more similar to the blue dial version rather than the silver one. Like the silver dial version, the black dial model has vertical brushing on the main dial. The indicators all have guilloché made out of concentric circles. The hands and indices are all rhodium-plated as well. The black dial version is easily the dressiest and most serious of the trio.
The Masterpiece Moon Retrograde is powered by the in-house ML192, a variant of the ML191 that drives the Masterpiece Double Retrograde. Like the ML191, the ML192 is a self-winding movement that beats at a leisurely 2.5Hz and has a power reserve of 52 hours. The finishing and decoration of the ML192 movement are similar to the ML191 too, with Côtes de Genève and diamond-cut edges on the bridges. Similarly, the large rotor is rhodium-plated, slightly skeletonized, and features Côtes de Genève decoration as well.
When we first wrote about these new watches earlier this year, there were a couple of comments that criticized the watch for its styling. As I have said many times before, never judge a watch from just press photos, and certainly, these watches look much nicer in the flesh. The overall quality of the case and the dial is really nice and top-rate, I doubt anyone would feel shortchanged.
I’m generally not a fan of retrograde displays so I’m afraid my verdict on the overall aesthetics would be a little biased. That said, I can definitely appreciate what Maurice LaCroix is trying to achieve with these new models. With a couple of dial variants to choose from, there seems to be just about something for everybody. Personally, I think the silver and blue dial versions are a little sporty and quite nice, while the black dial versions are ideal for anyone looking for something dressy.
But most of all, these new watches from Maurice LaCroix are mostly about offering something technically interesting for relatively affordable sums of money. I think you would be quite hard pressed to find another watch with an in-house movement and retrograde displays and indicators for the same price. Perhaps only Longines will have something to rival these. The Maurice LaCroix Masterpiece Double Retrograde watch is priced at 4,500 CHF, while the Maurice LaCroix Masterpiece Moon Retrograde is priced at 4,900 CHF. mauricelacroix.com