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Maurice Lacroix - Aikon Automatic: the big gamble

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic: the big gamble

Maurice Lacroix is going all out with multiple versions of the Aikon Automatic. Redesigned and tightened up, with multiple chronograph and three-handed options, it has a lot going for it.

Maurice Lacroix launched the Aikon in 2016. An almost direct descendent of the Calypso model, which marked the brand’s first major successes in the 1980s, this steel watch had retained a strong period flavour in its curves and supple lines. The Aikon Automatic, however, is far more geometrical. With very sleek and more obviously masculine lines, Maurice Lacroix’s big launch for 2018 is moving up a gear. It retains the integrated case, a lugless design that merges straight onto the bracelet. Both case and bracelet are made of steel. The bezel still has the six double-faceted claws. And, like all of Maurice Lacroix’s new releases, the finish is meticulous, particularly for the price point.

Le grand pari Aikon Automatic

Aikon Automatic, version au cadran argent © David Chokron/Worldtempus

The brand has certainly not cut any corners. The polished finishes on the case are as crisp as the satin-brushed facets and the angles. The bracelet is equipped with a brand new quick-change system, with a double-ended spring bar that can be activated with just one hand. With this feature, a strong trend in recent years, the Aikon can be worn with either a metal bracelet or a leather strap (which comes with an applied letter M). The interchangeable straps reinforce the versatility of this sports chic watch, which is perfect for daily wear. All the more so, as there is a model to suit practically everyone. The Aikon Automatic, a three-hand plus date model with a diameter of 42 mm, comes with a silver, anthracite or blue dial. The 44-mm chronograph has a choice of five dials, one of which offers a cream background with contrasting blue subdials, the panda style that has made a strong comeback this year.

Le grand pari Aikon Automatic

Aikon Automatic Chronographe, version au cadran panda bleu © David Chokron/Worldtempus

The other launch is a chronograph limited series. The Aikon Automatic Chronograph Limited Edition, in black DLC steel with matching yellow-accented dial, is only available online. Its launch was a little out of the ordinary. At the SIHH, Maurice Lacroix launched an international promotion campaign on social media, using the hashtag #chaseyourwatch. This worldwide treasure hunt ended with the four finalists travelling to Baselworld on an all-expenses-paid trip. Not far from the company booth, they were let inside a shipping container – actually an escape room – decked out in Maurice Lacroix livery. They escaped with the first of 500 watches in this limited series.

This elaborate launch fulfilled a dual objective for Maurice Lacroix. The first was to appeal to a younger audience through online channels. The second was to expand its catalogue with more accessible but well-finished pieces, targeted at a hotly contested market segment: the daily wear watch, equally at home with a sports jacket or a polo shirt, sturdy without being too macho, and offering no-frills mechanical reliability. It also had to fill a relatively well-defined design niche: masculine and elegant. It’s a complex equation, and something of a risk, but the price will be decisive argument in its favour. At around CHF 1,600 for the base model, the Aikon Automatics find that competition is somewhat thin on the ground.

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

24 March 2018
Brian Ssengo
What an iconic aikon automatic chronograph time piece by Maurice lacroix.

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Based in the Jura region of Switzerland, Maurice Lacroix has been producing fine Swiss timepieces for over 40 years and has developed 14 in-house movements over the past ten years.

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