Back in 2021, Maurice Lacroix introduced the original Aikon Urban Tribe, which was a limited-edition timepiece that featured unique engravings inspired by urban architecture adorning its case and bracelet components. Offering a striking appearance for a very reasonable premium above the standard model, the original Aikon Urban Tribe quickly sold out upon its launch, and for its latest new release of 2023, Maurice Lacroix is bringing back the Urban Tribe concept. However, rather than being based upon the standard 42mm version of the brand’s signature integrated bracelet watch like the original version, the new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe uses the current 39mm skeletonized version of the Aikon as its foundation, and just like the original Urban Tribe model, it will also be produced as a limited edition of 500 examples.
Given that the new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe (ref: AI6007-SS009-030-1) is based upon the Aikon Skeleton watch that was announced last year, the new model features the same 39mm stainless steel case with a bezel that includes the Aikon collection’s signature “claw” design, along with a display-style caseback that is secured by seven small screws. Just like the standard Aikon Skeleton, this new Urban Tribe edition features a signed screw-down crown at the 3 o’clock location, while water resistance comes in at a very respectable 200 meters, meaning that the Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe is more than capable of playing the role of a sports watch and surviving virtually any aquatic activities.
Realistically speaking, the only thing separating the new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe from the standard Aikon Skeleton model is the elaborate laser-engraved motif that covers the vast majority of its visible external surfaces. Consisting of lines and geometric shapes, the intricate pattern is inspired by the concrete, glass, and steel structures that form the world’s various cities. The engravings not only appear on the case and bezel, but they also extend to the model’s stainless steel bracelet, and while the engraved bracelet is an integral part of the Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe’s overall appearance, it connects to the case with the brand’s Easy Strap Exchange System, which allows users to swap it out without the use of any tools.
Looking past its unique engraved exterior, the dial and movement fitted to the new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe both appear to have been carried over from the standard-production Aikon Skeleton model. The dial is transparent with applied baton markers and a dark gray outer flange for the minute track, while the hour and minute hands receive an application of Super-LumiNova to provide them with increased visibility in low-light conditions. Given that the primary objective of a skeletonized watch is to showcase its internal mechanics, a transparent or open-worked dial surface is more-or-less mandatory, although it would have been nice to see some small update done to the dial to further set this Urban Tribe edition apart from the regular Aikon Skeleton model.
Powering the new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe is the same Cal. ML115 automatic movement that can be found inside the standard Aikon Skeleton watch. Given that this caliber is based upon the core architecture of the Sellita SW200, it offers the same familiar specs of an operating frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. With that in mind, the Cal. ML115 isn’t just the standard skeletonized variant from this highly popular Sellita series, and it instead features a different open-worked design that is produced specifically for Maurice Lacroix and intended to complement the Aikon’s aesthetic.
At the end of the day, the new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe is essentially just a limited-edition variation of the existing Aikon Skeleton that has been given the same engravings that originally appeared on the first Urban Tribe model from two years ago. That said, adhering to this proven format is ultimately a good thing for buyers, since the Aikon Skeleton was already a successful recipe, and this new version simply turns things up a notch with an even more striking overall appearance. With an official retail price of $4,250 USD, the new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe represents a fairly reasonable premium of $500 compared to the standard-production model without engravings, and given the number of requests that the brand received to create a follow-up Urban Tribe watch, the 500 examples of this latest limited edition will likely be quickly claimed by collectors. For more information on the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Skeleton Urban Tribe, please visit the brand’s website.