In 2010, Maurice Lacroix launched its Roue Carrée, an innovation that was spectacular in its “simplicity”, offering an interplay of shapes and movement on the dial that had never been seen before. This year the Saignelégier-based manufacture returns with another astonishing way of reading the time: the Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse. Although two watches presented by Cartier at the SIHH earlier this year got professionals talking about mysterious displays (before this spread to the public), the mysterious seconds presented by Maurice Lacroix is fundamentally different. Probably for the first time, the mysterious seconds are displayed in a linear, rather than a circular, fashion and what’s more along alternating horizontal and vertical axes, on four scales of 15 seconds each. This very particular seconds display is housed in a big sub-dial that takes up most of the openworked dial. A small double-pointed hand appears to be floating in mid-air. But it is actually mounted on a completely transparent sapphire disc that rotates on its own axis and thus displays the seconds alternately on the horizontal and vertical scales.
This spectacular and quite fascinating display gives the watch a unique look. The seconds display lies at the heart of a strong and very contemporary architecture, sharing the dial with off-centre hour and minute hands, characteristic of the Maurice Lacroix aesthetic.
The Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse is available in two limited editions, each of 125 pieces (with rhodium or ruthenium treatment), and powered by the ML215 self-winding movement—the twelfth calibre developed entirely by the brand.
One of the brand’s other new arrivals comes in the very contemporary Pontos family: the Pontos S Extreme. Designed by the well-known Henrik Fisker—who has designed cars for BMW, Aston Martin and Tesla, among others—its case is forged in Powerlite®, an alloy that is exclusive to Maurice Lacroix and is a mixture of aluminium, magnesium, titanium, zirconium and ceramic, providing exceptional resistance, hardness and lightness. The crown and pushers are in titanium and there are anodised blue or khaki models available among many others. But aside from its vigorous and powerful style, the Pontos S Extreme also has a new mechanism (patent pending) that, connected to the chronograph pusher, actions a rotating bezel on the interior of the dial, protected against any involuntary rotation. The dial of this 43mm timepiece in satin-finished sunbrushed black, offers excellent readability, which is helped by the positioning of the counters on the left-hand side. It is driven by the ML112 self-winding movement, which is based on the Valjoux 7750 and has a 46-hour power reserve. The Pontos S Extreme is a perfect flag-bearer for the horological and stylistic ambitions of Maurice Lacroix, which the brand is asserting with greater force every year. “This is about a long-term investment in production and vertical integration,” says Sandro Reginelli, who is in charge of the products and their design. “But our production capacity, whether at the Manufacture des Franches Montagnes or the case maker Queloz, both of which belong to us, allows us to work on highly technical and highly specific projects entirely in-house and in record times.”
Source: Europa Star April - May 2013 magazine issue