If you are in the mood for a sporty GMT watch with a lot of character and a decent price, then the still-fresh Swiss Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer GMT 43mm should be something to take a close look at. The Maurice Lacroix Aikon is the popular integrated bracelet watch that has been doing very well for the brand over the last few years. It later released the Aikon Venturer, which was a diver’s watch-style product extension of the Aikon family. Now, the Aikon Venturer GMT takes the core look and feel of the Aikon Venturer and adds a useful GMT complication to the mix.
One of the most interesting visual design elements of the Aikon Venturer is the bezel. The steel bezel has a black ceramic insert, and on top of that, it has another steel layer that forms six raised points that give the overall design a stronger feel and add even more visual depth to the face.
The worst thing you can say about the Maurice Lacroix Aikon is that its case and bracelet are trying to emulate the Royal Oak, and the best thing you can say about the Aikon is that its case and bracelet are trying to emulate the Royal Oak. The level of style, detailing, and features you get in the Aikon Venturer GMT is a lot for the money. Audemars Piguet doesn’t offer anything at even remotely this price. The dial of the Aikon Venturer is also relatively distinctive and actually looks better in person than in images.
Maurice Lacroix currently offers the Aikon Venturer GMT 43mm with a sunburst black or silver dial, and each comes with both a black rubber strap and matching steel bracelet. The silver-dial Aikon Venturer GMT has an orange-colored GMT hand, while the black-dial model has a red-colored GMT hand. 24-hour markers for the GMT second time zone complication are located on the unidirectional rotating bezel.
Powering the watch is a Swiss Made automatic movement that Maurice Lacroix calls its caliber ML 165. I believe it is an ETA 2893 automatic with a GMT complication and date (or equivalent movement). This is a decent movement that operates at 4Hz with about two days of power reserve. Some people call it a non-traveler’s GMT watch because rather than having an independently adjusting local time hour hand (main hour hand) you can only adjust the GMT hand in one direction. So, this style of GMT movement is a bit less suitable for regular travel. There really aren’t many GMT watches with independently adjustable hour hands at this price point that I’m currently aware of, but I like this watch enough that I would like to imagine it with a different movement that offers a slightly more adventure-friendly GMT complication for those who want to keep their home time when traveling, and rather adjust the local time.
Legibility is one of several things the Aikon Venturer GMT does very well, despite the fact that the dial has a lot of reflective elements. The sapphire crystal has a good volume of AR-coating, and the dial is designed in a way so that shiny elements don’t distract much from the reading experience. Also good is how the hands and hour markers feel a bit familiar but are also unique for this collection. Seeking something novel in a watch that aims to be modern (which is the case with the Aikon Venturer) is very important, in my opinion.
The case has a lot of fine detailing when inspected from the side. It is quite comfortable on the wrist at 43mm-wide. Given that it is based on the Aikon Venturer diver, the GMT is also water-resistant to 300 meters, making it a capable diver’s-style watch in addition to a traveler’s watch. Maurice Lacroix likely envisions someone taking their Aikon Venturer GMT with them anywhere that they will need a watch for sporty activities (with the rubber strap) and then with a swap to the metal bracelet, the watch becomes a dinner or cocktail hour timepiece. In my opinion, the Aikon Venturer GMT delivers that type of fashion and functional versatility.
Both the included steel bracelet and custom rubber strap are affixed with quick-release systems that do not require the use of tools. You do need to get proprietary Maurice Lacroix straps if you need more, but the ability to easily swap out the bracelet with a strap in a few seconds is a game-changer when you truly want to get the most out of your sport-luxury timepieces. Normally, I’d mostly wear the bracelet with a watch like this (because the bracelet is just so cool), but the rubber strap is stylish and also really comfortable and not to be dismissed as a decent part of the value proposition of this product.
What works best in the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer GMT collection is how the watches are conservative but also add a slight flavor of modernity to allow them to feel like wristwatches of today, rather than past designs. That makes them uniquely relevant, especially at this price point where this much character and product detailing can be harder to find.
A solid performer across the board with a comfortable wrist presence and a versatile look, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer GMT is a strong contender in this category and an excellent symbol of what Switzerland’s Maurice Lacroix is great at doing today. Price for the Maurice Lacroix reference AI6158-SS00F-130-A (silver dial) or reference AI6158-SS00F-330-A (black dial) is $2,690 USD. Learn more at the Maurice Lacroix website here.