THE MAURICE LACROIX AIKON AUTOMATIC SKELETON MANUFACTURE 45MM COMBINES A MANUFACTURE MOVEMENT WITH A FASCINATING OPENWORKED DIAL. PRESENTED IN A BROODING BLACK PVD-TREATED CASE, THIS TIMEPIECE SHOWCASES THE BRAND’S IMPRESSIVE WATCHMAKING EXPERTISE.
This detailed review of the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm includes live images, specification details and pricing.
When two seemingly disparate items are juxtaposed, the outcome can prove spectacular. Sweet and sour, light and shade, rough and smooth are just some of the unlikely marriages that have produced amazing results.
Maurice Lacroix clearly understands the notion of contrast. The brand from the Swiss Jura, a region synonymous with watchmaking, has unveiled a new watch which skilfully pairs dissimilar elements to glorious effect.
The Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm was recently launched in Geneva along with a new all-black version of the AIKON Automatic. Both watches celebrate the brooding hue of night and enlarge the already, highly successful AIKON collection.
The dial of the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm proves fascinating to behold. Five black curving beams arc over numerous movement parts below. They are intentionally rigid and strong, providing torsional stiffness in order to prevent movement flex. The open-worked mainplate is pared back to the essential, allowing sight of the movement components beyond.
Where the aforementioned beams are presented in a retiring shade of black, the exposed movement parts are showcased in grey, silver and brass hues. These latter components wish to be seen. They fanfare their presence. moving flamboyantly. The contradistinction between the static, shy behaviour of the beams and the shiny, excited motion of the movement parts is sublime.
A potential problem with some skeleton watches is that the indications can be difficult to read. This is not a problem which afflicts the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm. The luminescent, rhodium-plated hour and minute hands step forward like a volunteer on an army parade ground. There is no impairment to reading the time.
Gleaming indices are affixed to the underside of the sapphire crystal. Likewise, the brand’s name and logo are applied to the underneath of the watch glass. These specification details imbue the dial with additional depths, augmenting the allure of the horological vista.
A small seconds display is positioned above 6 o’clock, completing the inventory of functions.
Skeleton watches are fascinating, especially to those individuals who are mechanically curious. The recto view of the movement grants sight of the mainspring, the screwed balance, the escape wheel, the pallet lever and so on. This dial is a visual feast for horological voyeurs.
The 45mm case features black PVD coating, infusing the watch with an overtly contemporary character. The black bezel upholds the AIKON’s distinctive 6-arm design. Again, Maurice Lacroix has skilfully juxtaposed different finishes. The arms are polished, while the remaining bezel surfaces are vertically brushed.
The Swiss brand has also paired polished and satin-finished surfaces on other areas of the watch-head. This is no small feat as the precise demarcation between the two finishes necessitates much expertise and time to realise.
Exceptional wearer comfort is a key attribute of all AIKON models and the new AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm proves to be no exception. The fully integrated, ‘Easychange’ strap, presented in richly textured black calfskin, sweetly hugs the wrist. The strap feels secure without nipping the flesh. The peerless ergonomic union between the watch and wearer’s arm is superior to that found on many costlier watches.
The Easychange system allows the wearer to swap the strap for an alternative without the need for tools.
The Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm is equipped with the manufacture calibre ML234. The balance oscillates to a frequency of 18,000 VpH (2.5Hz) and the movement contains 34 jewels. The ML234 calibre has a power reserve of 52 hours.
Each component is micro-blasted. The jewel sinks evince a brilliant gleam. The open-worked crown and ratchet wheels feature a sunray motif. Indeed, every element of this movement is distilled to a pure, blemish-free conclusion.
As its name implies, the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm incorporates a self-winding movement, making the watch ideal for daily-wear. Again, extraneous material has been removed from the oscillating mass, allowing light to flood through a significant proportion of the movement, heightening the charm of the watch.
This watch reveals many components normally hidden from view. The behind the scenes look at this watch’s mind proves a bewitching spectacle. The open recto view of the movement is in contradistinction to the stealthy persona of the black PVD-treated case exterior.
Maurice Lacroix has expended much time and effort executing the case to a high standard. The juxtaposition of the satin-brushed and highly polished surfaces is magnificent. Each surface treatment is discrete from its neighbour and every facet of the case is smooth and refined. Indeed, despite its comparatively modest price point, the case execution is worthy of inclusion in the brand’s costlier Masterpiece collection.
Considering the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm is priced at £5,170 (RRP as at 28.1.2019), the finishing and open-worked movement architecture prove very impressive. Maurice Lacroix’s Manufacture movements are normally only associated with the Swiss brand’s Masterpiece models, again reaffirming the incredible value for money this watch represents.
With this watch, Maurice Lacroix has clearly delivered a ‘high level of perceived value’. Each element of this timepiece exudes quality and wonderfully showcases Swiss craftsmanship. Most notably, this eye-catching watch positions contrasting elements in close proximity, resulting in a harmonious masterpiece for the delectation of stylish wearers.
- Model: Maurice Lacroix AIKON Automatic Skeleton Manufacture 45mm
- Reference: AI6028-PVB01-030-1
- Case: Black PVD; diameter 45mm; height 13mm; sapphire crystal to front and caseback; water resistant to 10 ATM (100 metres)
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds.
- Movement: ML234 calibre; self-winding movement; frequency 18,800 VpH (2.5Hz); 34 jewels; power reserve = 52 hours
- Strap: Textured black calfskin featuring ‘Easychange’ system.
- Price: £5170 (RRP as at 28.1.2019)
- Limited Edition: 250 pieces