For this year, ML has updated its Pontos family of “active lifestyle” watches. Besides the sporty Pontos S Extreme and Pontos Chronographe that are similar in styling to the last year’s Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diving Chronograph, the Swiss watchmaker has also revealed a professional-grade Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver. Rated for water resistance of impressive 600 meters, the watch is claimed to be designed to professional specifications, but, for some unknown reason, is supplied on a not particularly practical leather strap.
As usual, the Pontos S Diver sports the line’s signature diving scale, which is placed not on the external bezel, but right behind the sapphire crystal and above the chapter ring.
Although manipulating the scale with an extra crown, which is placed at 2 o’clock, is not as easy as a normal unidirectional rotating bezel, the design still has its advantages: it is, for instance, a lot harder to accidentally change the timer’s position so you won’t have to ascend to early (and too fast).
Well, even if you will have to decompress a little faster than you have expected, there is a good chance that the watch will survive the fast change of barometric pressure, since there is an automatic helium escape valve (HEV). The device, which is neatly hidden at 9 o’clock, will protect the crystal of your watch from popping out and salty sea water attacking the delicate movement that powers this timepiece.
Speaking of which, the movement in question is the ML 115 automatic caliber. Used in many other Maurice Lacroix watches, this movement is based on the well-known Sellita SW200 ebauche and features 38 hours of power reserve.
That’s definitely less than impressive when you compare the caliber to the new generation of automatic movements designed by ETA, so you will have to either wear this little beast on a daily basis (considering its moderate size of just 43 millimeters and its less than extreme exterior design, you can even wear it with a formal suit if the cuffs of your shirts are not too tight) or bite the bullet and get yourself a winder. Well, there is also a funny third option of winding the watch and setting it up every time you will feel like wearing it, but that’s absolutely not acceptable to my taste.
The watch will be revealed fairly soon during the Baselworld 2013 show, but there is still no information regarding its price. I will update the post as soon as I know the MSRP. Stay tuned.*
* UPDATE ON PRICE: Okay, the Swiss brand plans to retail this watch for $3400, which is a bit steep for your truly. However, I have an impression that fairly soon the watch will surface at a number of online outlets at about three fourths (or maybe even three thirds) the recommended minimum street price. While still a bit too expensive give the mechanism that powers it and overall eclectic styling, it may be of interest to those looking for something ‘different’ that can actually be used as a professional tool.
Photos: Maurice Lacroix
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver Automatic watch specification
Price: $3400 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, caliber ML 115 (base Sellita SW200), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 26 jewels
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 43.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Black / Opaline
Numerals: Arabic (on the bezel)
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Luminous, high-contrast
Water resistance: 600 meters
Strap: Brown leather strap
Case back: No data