Nick L. was the fortunate winner of the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S watch after our November 2014 aBlogtoWatch giveaway. After receiving his watch, he was kind enough to snap some pictures and offer this winner watch review. This month you can enter to win a Swiss Claude Bernard Chronograph Automatic watch here. There are also still a couple of days left to enter to win a Tudor Heritage Chrono from TrueFacet here. Here is Nick’s Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver watch review:
I was extremely excited to find out that I had won this watch. I’ve entered almost every aBlogtoWatch contest in the past 5 years or so, and to win one of the nicest watches that has been given away was quite a treat. I’ve liked the vintage yet modern styling of this watch ever since seeing the initial reviews of it, and I was looking forward to seeing one in person.
Apologies that I do not have photos of the packaging, but I am in the middle of three weeks of back and forth traveling. I was home just long enough to grab the watch and my camera. The box is quite nice though, probably the nicest box of any watch that I have owned. It has a wood trim top with an engraved metal Maurice Lacroix logo on it. I also received a few other bonus goodies, so thanks to Maurice Lacroix!
I’m not sure if they all come this way, but I was happy to find out that mine included the metal bracelet, and the brown leather strap. Two great choices that add versatility to the watch.
The watch itself looks even better in person than it does in photos. The size is just right for me, and it’s quite comfortable on the wrist. To me, it falls somewhere in between a tool diver, and a dress diver (if you are in the James Bond camp that believe such a thing exists). It has just enough “bling” to it to allow it to go from t-shirt and jeans, to a night out at a semi-fancy restaurant. To me, the large crowns prohibit it from being any dressier than that, but I don’t plan to wear this with a suit anyway.
From what I’ve read, the case is made in-house by Maurice Lacroix. The finishing on it is quite good. The lugs have a great curved shape to them, with a polished bevel to add to the appearance of the watch. The polished edge on the bezel is a detail that I love. It, along with the raised crystal, really catch the light and make the watch stand out.
The Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver features the now ubiquitous HEV, or helium release valve. I, as probably every single other owner of this watch, do not expect to make use of this feature, but it adds a bit of style to the side of the case and helps justify the price. It’s the automatic variety, so it is well integrated, and does not create an additional protrusion. I’ve heard the argument that this is another potential leak point if it were to be used for conventional diving, but I’ve never actually heard of this failure occurring, so I’m not worried about it.
The caseback does not have a window, which is appropriate for the level of movement in this watch, and the fact that it is a 600m diver. It does have the typical engraving with various technical specs about the watch.
The Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver also features an internal bezel which is rotated via a crown at 2 o’clock. It rotates smoothly in both directions, and the crown is very easy to grasp, even while on the wrist. I like this feature a lot, and it’s well-executed. It helps to make this watch stand out from the hordes of divers with external bezels. The crown features a black ring at the base which adds to the style and also makes it easier to grasp.
The time-setting crown is at 3 o’clock and features a Maurice Lacroix logo. Ribbed sides like the crown for the bezel make it very easy to grasp. Despite sticking out from the case, it does not cut into my wrist noticeably. I prefer the look with the crown in the traditional location, rather than being offset somewhere else.
As I said, my watch shipped with the stainless steel bracelet, as well as a leather NATO-style strap. The bracelet is extremely high quality. The links have a brushed finish and subtle polished bevels on the links. The clasp is a very solid piece of machined steel also with a brushed surface and polished edges. The bracelet does not have any half links, and at first glance, I was worried because I did not see any micro adjust holes. Upon further inspection, I found that they are hidden inside the clasp. This gives the outside of the clasp a much cleaner look. The clasp also includes a diving extension which is easy to use. A note to potential DIY bracelet sizers: there are no arrows inside the links, and the pins are quite tricky. I ended up taking mine to a professional.
A small complaint about the bracelet is that it does not have push buttons to release it. I prefer the push buttons, I once made a Rolex fan extremely upset when I made the same comment about a previous watch that I owned. To each his own. Regardless, it is not a deal-breaker, and it seems to be getting easier to release with time. The upside is that it creates a much cleaner looking clasp, and allows for the hidden micro adjust holes. The clasp does have a safety latch engraved with the Maurice Lacriox name.
Most of my friends and family who have seen the watch seem to prefer the bracelet, but I think that it also looks great on the leather strap. It matches the vintage vibe of the watch, and is quite comfortable. It’s also a good way to dress down the watch a bit. I also like how the keepers are leather, rather than the metal that you see on most NATOS. The contrasting stitching is a also great touch. The leather is a bit difficult to tuck into the keeper, but I imagine that it will become easier as it breaks in.
The Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver has a sapphire crystal which appears to have AR coating on both sides. The crystal has a noticeable dome to it, and is raised above the edges of the case (possibly to allow fitment of the internal bezel). Despite the dome, it offers great legibility from any angle.
I’ve always been nervous about chipping or cracking unprotected crystals that stick out above the case with a careless arm movement. That being said, but I have never actually damaged one before (knock on wood), and the shape of this crystal really stands out, matching the style of the watch perfectly.
The dial has a typical matte black finish. The Logo as well as hour markers are applied polished metal. It has printed hash marks for the minutes, and has very minimal text compared to some divers. I greatly prefer this, and feel that it matches the classic, vintage style of this watch.
The hands are very attractive and are well-proportioned with the minute and second hand reaching to the edge of the dial. Red tips to these hands add a splash of color, and help the wearer to quickly differentiate the minute hand at a quick glance.
Normally I hate black dials with white date displays, but the location at 6 o’clock rather than the typical 3 or 4 gives it symmetry, and it does not stick out badly. A unique font was chosen for the date, which adds a classy touch.
One minor complaint that I have is that the lume area on the main hands is fairly thin, and the seconds hand has no lume at all. I feel that a watch serious enough to include a helium release valve and a bracelet extension, should have hands that are also equipped for diving. That being said, I don’t plan to dive with it, and wider hands would spoil the great aesthetics of this watch during daylight hours. The lume that is there (including the bezel) seems to be superluminova, and it is quite bright and long lasting.
My understanding is that the movement is a Sellita (ETA clone) typical of this price range. I have not opened the case, so I can’t comment on the finishing. The watch has kept time within a few seconds per day, and has performed flawlessly during its tenure with me thus far. The winding action is very smooth, as is the motion of the second hand.
This watch is a great addition to my collection. If I had paid for it, I feel that the level of finishing and extra details are appropriate for a watch in this price range. A level of value is offered above that of others costing this much.
Thanks to Ariel, and everyone at aBlogtoWatch and Maurice Lacroix for the watch! mauricelacroix.com