It is becoming a positive trend with watchmakers all over the world (and especially those based in Switzerland) releasing their new timepieces in pairs. Designed for men and women and speaking the same design language, they usually only differ in sizes of their bodies and, when necessary, the movements that power them in order to maintain the same basic proportions. The 2012 Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Tradition collection was follows this philosophy to the “t”.
The dressy Les Classiques Tradition collection comes in two sizes: a larger 38-millimeters version for men and a more compact 28-millimeters model for ladies.
Available both in rose gold and more affordable stainless steel, the cases feature mirror-polished surfaces, ultra-thin bezels that partly compensate the lack of dial real estate and feature medium-sized lugs that make these timekeepers comfortable on any wrist.
Inside these cases beat well-known Caliber ML 155 and smaller Caliber ML 132 self-winding movements.
While I can’t honestly call them ‘high-grade’ (first, Maurice Lacroix is secretive about the calibers that it uses and, second, the fact that they are adjusted only in three positions means that, while they are better than a base version of ETA 2824 in their ability to keep time right out of the box, they are not as fine-tuned as manufacture movements made by brands like Rolex,) I would say that they are still nice calibers for their niche.
Both beating at a pretty much standard frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and featuring the same power reserve of 38 hours, the movements are evidently different in their design since the bigger version is built on 25 jewels, while the smaller features only 20 rubies (hopefully, in all the right places.)
Both movements are nicely (but not excessively) decorated with the usual circular graining and Cotes de Geneve patterns and are rhodium plated. Their oscillating weight is gold-plated for a more expensive look.
Speaking of plating, I must (with a certain degree of disappointment) note that the hands, hour markers and other elements of the dial are not made from solid rose gold, but are simply gold-plated. Well, on the other hand, the elements are protected from wear with sapphire crystals, so no one will see that this is not the real thing. The same elements on the stainless steel model are treated with rhodium for a more silver-like appearance.
By the way, from where I sit, the steel version looks more attractive than the one in gold. Mainly because of the thin, slightly elongated Roman numerals that decorate its dial instead of the stick-shaped hour makers and that irresistibly vintage “Automatic” inscription right above the small date aperture at 6 o’clock.
So far, Maurice Lacroix doesn’t say a word about recommended pricing for the new family*.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
* UPDATE ON PRICING: The “gents” version in steel (ref. LC6067-SS001-310) is going to be offered at $2050, which is more expensive than your normal ETA-powered three-hander.
Photos: Maurice Lacroix
Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Tradition Collection specification
Price: $2050 (38mm version in steel, ref. LC6067-SS001-310)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ML 155 / ML 132, adjusted in three positions, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25 / 20
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: Circular graining, Cotes de Gevene, rhodium-plated, gold-plated oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Rose gold / Stainless steel
Sizes: 38.00 mm / 28.00 mm
Case height: 9.00 mm
Lug width: 20.00 mm
Hour markers: Black / Rose gold-plated
Hands: Rhodium-plated / Rose gold-plated
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Genuine black or brown alligator-skin strap, lined with black calfskin on steel or gold buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, domed, antireflective