This year Maurice LaCroix has released a new and edgy addition to their repertoire of Skeleton watches with the officially named Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette. This watch is the first Skeleton watch from Maurice LaCroix to feature a complication rather than just a three hand dial layout. There are 4 versions of this model, each with its own clear character. These models together make up a limited series of 188 pieces (48 watches per version).
When I look at this model, I can’t help but feel that the brand has moved away a bit from their original style since being bought over by an Asian marketing group. The Maurice LaCroix I know would have done this with an enviable, quiet elegance; but this seems to me a very garish production piece that I could find in any number of brands. The watches look solid but I think there is a very big commercial element to the design and not enough of a horological emphasis. I think I would have liked this watch had it emerged from let’s say Montblanc, who is still trying to affirm its identity. In all fairness, the silver dial version is the nicest and it does strike the closest to the roots of Maurice LaCroix’s original Squelette masterpiece.
Regardless of my personal feelings on the aesthetics of the watch, Maurice LaCroix does fit this particular chronograph with a pretty cool mechanism. The chronograph features a 60 minute counter, which isn’t always seen these days and a chrono seconds indication that is precise to 1/5 of a second. To emphasize this is a chrono seconds counter in red on the flange which is subdivided into 300. The movement caliber ML 106.7 carries a standard 42 hours of power reserve and vibrates at 18,000 VpH. The vibrations are kind of low to facilitate the kind of precision that this watch boasts but this enigma is solved by using a special 300 toothed wheel that the brand makes specially for this watch.
The case is large with a 45mm diameter. Maurice LaCroix crafts this watch in brushed and polished stainless steel. Naturally, this timepiece comes with sapphire crystal protecting the dial and also on the case back. Both of which are coated with glare proofing. The main crown is screw locked, which help to give this watch a water resistance of 100 meters. Most skeletonized watches tend to be delicate with minimal water resistance. In this regard, Maurice LaCroix scores high on my card.