While the integrated bracelet, Gerald Genta-inspired sports watch trend is currently dominating the upper echelons of the luxury watch market, the style has only recently begun to wend its way into more affordable price brackets. Maurice Lacroix is something of an early trailblazer to this trend, with the stylish integrated Aikon forming the backbone of its lineup since 2016. With its central position in the brand’s stable and the integrated design hype showing no signs of slowing, it’s only natural that the brand chooses to update the Aikon as its first major release of 2021. This time around, Maurice Lacroix expands on the more sporting focused Aikon Venturer sub-line, bringing together a popular complication in two new colorways. The new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer GMT offers a surprisingly distinct character from the base Aikon series, refocusing the design as an interesting blend of traditional and avant-garde sports watch elements.
The 43mm stainless steel case of the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer GMT is on the larger side for the Aikon line, but stays in line with the initial Aikon Venturer dive watch release from 2019. Likewise, the general form is carried over from the three hand Aikon Venturer, adding gently sloping attached crown guards and a completely reworked rotating bezel to the angular integrated design. This bezel still features the Aikon’s signature six claws, along with an aggressively toothed coin edge, but has been revamped with a 24 hour GMT scale. The integration of engraved numerals on the claws alongside the polished black ceramic insert is a nicely streamlined touch, changing the visual character substantially from the standard Aikon while putting its most iconic elements to functional use. To drive home the GMT functionality, Maurice Lacroix dedicates the caseback to a simplified engraved world map and time zone chart. This solid caseback and screwdown crown help propel the Aikon Venturer GMT to a robust 300 meters of water resistance.
Maurice Lacroix offers the Aikon Venturer GMT with a pair of dial options. The first and most classical of the pair is a sunburst black dial with a deep red GMT hand. The second, higher impact option opts for a silvery off-white sunburst dial paired with an arrow tipped GMT hand in blazing orange. Both versions use the rounded and beveled modernist take on classic applied diver indices, paired with a pointed paddle handset. To aid contrast, dial hardware for the more traditional and conservative black dial variant is brightly rhodium plated, while the hands and indices for the white dial are plated with an aggressive black finish. One minor potential drawback to the white dial model is the lack of a matching date window, leaving the 3 o’clock display with a shared black date wheel.
Inside the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer GMT beats the Sellita SW330 based ML165 automatic GMT movement. While equipped with a quickset GMT hand rather than the coveted quickset hours of a “true GMT,” the ML165 is a solid performer with a 42 hour power reserve at a 28,800 bph beat rate.
Maurice Lacroix equips the Aikon Venturer GMT with two distinct strap options. For those that prefer bracelets, the brand offers the Aikon Venturer GMT with the Aikon’s standard five link integrated bracelet in stainless steel, featuring polished chamfers and a punch of three-dimensionality thanks to raised mid-links. Those looking for a more sporty, contemporary character can choose the integrated strap option in textured black rubber. Featuring a ridged center section and embedded Maurice Lacroix emblems near the lugs, this gives off a decidedly meaner, more purposeful look in initial images. Both strap options are fitted with the brand’s EasyChange quick release spring bar system, allowing for tool free strap changing on the go.
Offering solid functionality and a marked departure from the look of the standard Aikon, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer GMT offers one of the line’s most charismatic and original designs yet. The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer GMT is available now through authorized dealers at a starting MSRP of 2,350 CHF. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.