Maurice Lacroix Brand Review By Alexander – Founder and Owner of swissdiverswatches.com
Maurice Lacroix is a rather new Swiss Luxury Watch brand, founded in 1975, with headquarters in Zurich in Switzerland. Maurice Lacroix is a subsidiary of Desco von Schulthess, and this company has roots in the silk trade and was founded in 1889.
In 1975, a company called Desco von Schulthess started to manufacture watches. They chose the brand name Maurice Lacroix.
In 1980, Maurice Lacroix became so successful that its production facility in Saignelégier ceased producing watches and watch components for third parties.
In the 1990s, Maurice Lacroix expanded considerably and became a financial success and entered the exclusive club of Swiss luxury watch manufacturers.
In late 2006, Maurice Lacroix presented its very first in-house made automatic movement called ML 106.
The purpose of Maurice Lacroix is to develop, design and manufacture watches with unique and powerful designs coupled with a workmanship of Swiss quality and standard.
Maurice Lacroix manufactures approximately 90,000 watches a year.
Maurice Lacroix’s main areas of competence are case production and casing, production of movement parts, controls/tests, assembling, polishing, decorations and finishes.
The overwhelming majority of Maurice Lacroix’s movements are either ETA/Valjoux movements procured from Swatch Group or Sellita movements procured from Sellita. That means Maurice Lacroix may put their stamp or name on the movements, but basically, it isn’t their technology.
Sellita movements are basically ETA-clones – the difference between basic or standard ETA movements and Sellita movements is negligible.
Brands or watch manufacturers that opt for Sellita do so either because their movements are more affordable or because Swatch Group can or will no longer supply certain watch brands with Swatch Group’s ETA/Valjoux movements.
Bell & Ross is another example of a Swiss brand that employs Sellita movements.
In 2006, Maurice Lacroix however, did move up the ladder and hierarchy of Swiss luxury brands. At the end of that year, Maurice Lacroix presented its very first in-house made automatic movement called ML 106.
Since 2006, Maurice Lacroix has developed and released several other automatic in-house movements – some of them are chronograph movements and some of them aren’t.
Most movements employed by Maurice Lacroix are either ETA movements made by Swatch Group or Sellita movements made by Sellita. Some movements employed by Maurice Lacroix are in-house made.
- Maurice Lacroix automatic movement ML 115, base movement Swiss automatic Sellita SW200, with 26 jewels, 28,800 vph, and a 38 hour power reserve.
- Maurice Lacroix automatic movement ML 112, base movement Swiss automatic ETA/Valjoux 7750, with 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, and a 46 hour power reserve. This movement is used for chronographs.
Maurice Lacroix has a good reputation and is available at several retailers around the world. This is a quite popular brand. In the world of Swiss luxury wristwatch manufacturers and wristwatch brands, Maurice Lacroix is still a newcomer. The brand was born in 1975.
How would I rank Maurice Lacroix? I do believe that Maurice Lacroix should be ranked among the top 20-30 luxury wristwatch brands available on the market today.
While it’s true that the brand has intended to move up the hierarchy of Swiss luxury brands, the original purpose of Maurice Lacroix is still as valid today as it was back in 1975: to provide affordable luxury watches which most people can enjoy and benefit from.
We shouldn’t compare Maurice Lacroix to brands such as Rolex, Omega and Breitling. The purpose of Maurice Lacroix is to offer affordable and attainable luxury. So if you’ve got a slight streak of snobbery, and you’re looking for in-house movements, a large array of super complicated movements, and a long, respected and venerable history, I’m afraid this isn’t the brand you’re looking for. In-house movements and movement complications are quite rare in this brand.
What Maurice Lacroix truly stands for is:
- Affordable and attainable luxury.
- Simple, minimalistic and ultra-modern design.
- Affordable, robust and reliable movements.
- Sporty looking divers watches.
Regarding Maurice Lacroix’s divers watches – the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver:
The most remarkable aspect of all, is that you usually have to pay somewhere between $2,000-$3,500 (depending on the model) for a Maurice Lacroix divers watch with a 600 m/2000 ft water resistance, while you usually need to pay the double or triple amount for a Rolex or an Omega to get an equivalent level of water resistance.
Maurice Lacroix may not necessarily be the most affordable Swiss luxury watch brand on the market, but the brand sure does offer a lot, considering what you’re paying for their watches.
What characterizes the divers watches of this brand, is that they don’t have an outer or external bezel, rather the bezel sits inside the dial. This is a safety feature which makes it virtually impossible to accidentally nudge the bezel underwater.
On top of that, the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver offers a Rolex-style automatic helium valve at the nine o’clock position at the side of the case.
This means that your watch will automatically stabilize, and level the internal pressure of your watch, without you having to do anything yourself. Divers watches without this feature cannot automatically stabilize their inner pressure under water, which would lead to the pressure increasing and eventually cause the sapphire crystal to come off the watch. If the sapphire crystal glass comes off, the sea water will thusly penetrate into the watch mechanism and render the watch useless.
The automatic helium valve is therefore an essential safety feature of massive proportions, because an inner stabilized pressure will make sure that your Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver works properly under water, and will keep time accurately at all time. Few brands offer an automatic helium escape valve.
Considering all these practical safety features, the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver, is an ideal divers -, and tool watch.
All in all, I’d describe Maurice Lacroix as a low-key brand, with excellent quality watches in a relatively affordable price range.
My ranking of Maurice Lacroix: top 20-30 brands.
It’s debatable how you actually rank a brand, and a ranking is never objective, but the best way to turn a subjective ranking into an “objective” one is to rely on certain criteria. My ranking criteria of course are entirely subjective, and they aren’t set in stone.
I use 14 criteria in determining the ranking of a particular brand, such as (1) a long and respected history, (2) limited supply and large demand, (3) reputation/status/prestige, (4) whether the brand is independent or not, (5) pioneering spirit and innovations, (6) impact on watchmaking history and modern culture, (7) general in-house production, (8) whether the brand relies on in-house made movements or not, (9) whether or not the brand makes movement complications, (10) steel grade, (11) build quality, (12) price range, (13) good resale value, and (14) market presence.
Prices for Maurice Lacroix Watches
- Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver can be found in the $2,000-$3,500 price range.
If you have any comments or questions please drop them below and I’ll be happy to answer them!