For this year, the Swiss watchmaker has seriously facelifted its Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Phases de Lune model. Compared to the currently available 2010 Maurice Lacroix Classique Phases de Lune (ref. LC6068-YS101-13E) version of the watch that was revealed more than two years ago during SIHH 2010 trade show, the new watch undoubtedly looks less dramatic (and, frankly, more generic with its Longines Master Collection-like exterior,) but is clearly more in line with their current model range.
Judging by the specs that we have, the changes seem to be only cosmetic.
Besides a new, shorter setting crown, the refreshed watch has also received a new dial that, while retaining the basic layout of its predecessor, looks radically different. And, from where I stand, the changes didn’t make the watch any more unique: this new design looks like an attempt to make the watch more fit for the price niche that the collection currently occupies catering for the people who are simply looking for a classic “complication” dress watch, not an study in post-modern industrial design.
Perhaps, you are the one who has to vote with your preferred currency whether the road they took leads in the right direction.
The first of all, the watchmaker has replaced the applied hour markers with black, bold Roman numerals that are clearly easier to read and look more entertaining together with the Arabic numerals of the circular date ring.
The disk on the moonphase indicator (at 6 o’clock) was also replaced for a more traditional one, as are all four hands that now look more sober, less pretentious and also easier to read.
Inside, this is still the same timekeeper, which is powered by a modified base caliber ETA 2824-2 that was equipped with a full calendar and moonphase complication add-on module and renamed as ML caliber 37.
Although the base caliber is known for its high reliability, it must be noted that an introduction of any add-on module usually increases a chance of failure and also makes it more expensive to fix.
The movement is secured inside a compact 40 mm stainless steel body, which is equipped with a pair of sapphire crystals on both sides.
Although after all the tweaks the watch somehow lost a great deal of its personality, I must admit that now it looks like a more adequate choice for price-conscious person who’s looking for a moderately priced complication watch that would look good with a business suit and a pair of Park Avenue oxfords.
As for the price, there is still no official information on this account, but there is a good chance that the 2012 Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Phases de Lune will be no more expensive than the outgoing model that was initially offered at a quite reasonable price of some $4000*.
* UPDATE ON PRICING: A mid-range version with white dial and stainless steel bracelet (ref. MP6607-SS002-112) will be offered at $4700 USD. A black dial variation on a bracelet will probably be only slightly more expensive.
Photos: Maurice Lacroix
Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Phases de Lune Automatic watch specification
Price: $4700 (ref. MP6607-SS002-112, version with white dial on stainless steel bracelet)
Movement: Automatic, ML caliber 37, base ETA 2824-2 with a complication module, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, moonphase, day of week
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 40.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: White / Black (barley corn guilloche pattern)
Numerals: Arabic and Roman
Hour markers: None
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black leather strap / Stainless steel bracelet
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire