August 7, 2010
by Ariel Adams
I am talking about this watch because people are going to notice it and wonder, “what is going on here?” Well nothing really fancy to be honest, aside from some engineering gear fun. While the concept of a clover and square shaped gear might be odd, it works. You can see in the video exactly how if you aren’t too mechanically minded. Maurice Lacroix talks about the watch as though they just invented a time machine – but luxury brands are all about hyperbole, so I can forgive them (to an extent). Ahem, have a listen: “Maurice Lacroix has chosen its flagship Masterpiece line to open a new dimension in watchmaking” (I giggle and snicker). “This is a response to the brand’s ambition to take design and the mastery of watchmaking even further.” Wow… OK Maurice Lacroix all this for a few gears? I mean the watch is neat looking, but it doesn’t really offer a dynamic change to the game.
Movement is a Maurice Lacroix made ML 153 manually wound movement which is in-house made. It has 48 hours of power reserve, is a regulator with a power reserve indicator, and a gear/disc for reading the hours. The clover gear moves the square gear that has an opening and small SuperLumiNova tipped hand in it that points to one of the hours on the hour scale. Minutes are read by the centrally mounted hand, and there is a subsidiary seconds dial below. The dial is a cool looking etched surface that has been cut using some pretty fancy techniques.
Case is 43.5mm wide and in steel, with polished and satin surfaces. It does actually look quite nice, as does the dial – that would look good if they were to give it a bit more of a traditional looking watch face. There is also a fair amount of lume for actually reading the watch – which is good. Does a piece like this fit into Maurice Lacroix brand DNA? A bit, but many of their pieces go right outside the box.
It isn’t my favorite watch, but it is fun to see in action, although I wish that the gears moved a bit faster. Can’t the external gear system have been part of the seconds hand, and not the hour indicator? Oh well. The Maurice Lacroix Regulator Roue Carree watch will be limited to just 99 pieces, and I have a feeling will cost significantly more than I would want to pay give its designer status and coming with an in-house movement.
Technical specs from Maurice Lacroix:
Model: Masterpiece Régulateur Roue Carrée, limited edition of 99
– Steel, ? 43.5 mm, satin and polished finish
– Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
– Screwed case back with wide sapphire crystal, limited edition number
– Water-resistant to 50 m / 5 atm
-The unequivocal design respects the Maurice Lacroix House fabrication style “Contemporary re-interpretation of Swiss watchmaking”; going straight to the essentials, everything steps aside without disappearing in order to reveal this world-first “Square Wheel” guided by a cloverleaf wheel. To arrive at this result on a “black gold” color base, we have created music with different finishes, playing with the contrast between raw satin, sandblasted and engraved finishes
-In order to highlight the Square Wheel and cloverleaf making up the principal cogs in the movement, it was decided to create a dial on the main plate itself (dial side)
-The Square Wheel and cloverleaf mesh to transfer power with the same precision as the cogs in their circular counterparts; in addition, the wheel is used to indicate the hours, giving birth to the “Regulator” complication
-The hour and power-reserve indications at 3 o’clock are engraved on the main plate
-The small seconds hand at 6 o’clock, just as the Square Wheel and cloverleaf are highlighted through a circular opening in the main plate itself and decorated with a sandblasted background.
-Available exclusively in “black gold” with a vertical satin finish
Power is transmitted between the cloverleaf and square wheels with an efficiency equivalent to that of a traditional wheel.
-Trailing Square Wheel for the hours display, circular satin-finish upper part and polished circumference, hours pointer coated with white C1 Superluminova (blue luminescence)
-Diamond-polished and faceted minutes hand, coated with white C1 Superluminova (blue luminescence)
-Diamond-polished and faceted seconds hand
-Diamond-polished and faceted power-reserve hand
-Real large-scale black crocodile-skin strap, lined with black calfskin, with black over-stitching
-Folding steel clasp with push buttons
-Satin and polished finish
-ML 153 complication module, created, developed and manufactured by Maurice Lacroix
-Patent pending after design submission
Technical data for the ML 153 movement: Manual movement
-12 hour display by means of the square wheel
-Minutes indicated by means of a central hand
-Small second hand at 6 o’clock
-Power reserve hand at 3 o’clock
Frequency:18,000 vibrations/h, 2.5 Hz
Power reserve: 48 hours
Jewels: 32See Maurice Lacroix watches on eBay here. See Maurice Lacroix watches on Amazon here. [phpbay]maurice lacroix, num, “14324”, “”[/phpbay]