Maurice de Mauriac, a Zurich-based brand that surfaced a couple of years ago, has offered its new, highly customizable Moon Chronograph. Powered by a version of the omnipresent *yawn* ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement, it may be offered in just about any size or dial decoration of your liking.
Stylistically, the model shown on the picture is very close to the 2010 model year IWC Portuguese watch. Namely, the IWC Portuguese chronograph in rose gold (Ref. IW371482,) although, I must admit, the real thing looks much more refined and elaborated.
Being built around the well-known ETA 7751 automatic caliber (which is the same good old ETA 7750 with an added moon-phase indicator and a full calendar display inside a 30-minute chronograph totalizer at 6 and 12 o’clock respectively,) the Moon Chronograph features a dial design, which is similar to that of the Portuguese (with certain differences due to different functionalities of both models.)
For example, the Maurice de Mauriac Moon Chronograph Watch features a rather crude-looking extra scale on the outer part of its dial for the standard 31-day calendar. But, I shall repeat, stylistically these models are almost identical twins.
That was the bad news. The good news is that Maurice de Mauriac offers the watch in many versions, including a pair of models with Roman numerals on their dials and amputated 30-minute counters at 12 o’clock. Or you can have the counter back and also add a small seconds display at 9 o’clock (this is a normal functionality for the base movement that offers a standard tri-compax chronograph layout. M de M’s designers simply removed the small seconds display for the sake of symmetry.)
Although some bloggers praise Maurice de Mauriac’s ingenuity (I hope, there is no financial interest in that,) I must say that the modification of the movement per se is nothing new. For example, Dubey & Schaldenbrand offered the same bi-compass dial layout for their Gran’ Chrono Astro 18K model and the new Grand Dome DT, which are also powered by the ETA 7751 movement.
Frankly, I do not understand the very idea of a built-to-order watch. Or, rather, I do not understand the idea of building a “bespoke” watch combining mass-produced dials and hands and push-pieces and packing all this stuff in mass-produced bodies of three different sizes and calling it a custom-built watch. With the same success, you can call “custom-built” a VW Golf that offers thousands of different combinations of engines, gearboxes, types of fuels, rims, interior appointments, number of doors, stereo systems and so on, and so forth.
Of course, judging by the prices offered by some online-shops, the chronographs are relatively affordable selling at a price well below €3000 for the stainless steel versions. But… Hell! You can save a €1500 more and get yourself a real Portuguese chronograph, or, perhaps, a Portofino with a moon-phase indicator!
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Photos: Maurice de Mauriac
Maurice de Mauriac Moon Chronograph specification
Movement: Caliber ETA Valjoux 7751, automatic, 31 mm diameter, 5.05 mm height, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Complications: Chronograph, date, moonphase
Power reserve: 42 hours
Size: 39 / 42 / 45 mm
Dial: Black or White
Numerals: Arabic or Roman
Water resistance: 50 meters
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective