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Maurice Lacroix - Masterpiece Calendrier Retrograde

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Calendrier Retrograde

Nineteen years after the release of the first Masterpiece Calendar Retrograde, Maurice Lacroix is giving the model an update.

Following on from the new Masterpiece Double Retrograde and Masterpiece Moon Retrograde, both unveiled in 2017, this year sees Maurice Lacroix revisit the Masterpiece Calendar Retrograde, returning to the past to offer updated versions of vintage models. Maurice Lacroix enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting this new version; in fact the Masterpiece Calendar Retrograde is historically an earlier piece than the other two, although its reinterpretation has come later. The launch has been highly anticipated also because of the pioneering status of the Masterpiece Calendar Retrograde. In 1999 it was the first retrograde display to be produced by the watchmaker from Switzerland’s Franches-Montagnes region; since then it has become a company speciality, and an extremely successful one.

The 2018 Masterpiece Calendar Retrograde combines modern styling with traditional historical codes, in particular the retrograde display that can be traced back to the earliest days of watchmaking. Although it first appeared towards the end of the 17th century, it remains relatively uncommon today. The display of the 2018 model is based on that of 1999. The arc-shaped retrograde display of the power reserve is located between 1 and 3 o’clock. The needle goes from F to 0, returning to the “Full” position (52 hours) when the watch is completely wound. On the other side, the larger retrograde calendar display indicates the days of the month by means of a hand that works its way up the dial. When the hand reaches midnight of the final day of the month, it returns to the bottom of the scale to begin a new month. In addition to the hour and minute hands, the watch features a fifth spear-shaped hand for the small seconds register at 6 o’clock.

Masterpiece Calendrier Retrograde

Masterpiece Calendrier Retrograde, silver dial © Maurice Lacroix

Given that Maurice Lacroix didn’t produce its first in-house movement until 2006, the 1999 timepiece’s functions were driven by a hand-wound movement sourced from a third party. Since that time, the company has developed 15 in-house calibres. The movement inside the new Masterpiece Calendar Retrograde is the automatic ML 190, which beats at the low frequency of 18,000 vph. The high-end decorations that are a hallmark of the Masterpiece collection, which is made according to the finest Swiss watchmaking traditions, can be seen through the sapphire caseback: polished edges, rhodium-plated bridges with circular graining and Geneva striping, and an openworked rotor, also Geneva-striped.

The new Masterpiece Calendar Retrograde comes in two versions, each in the same 43 mm steel case with contrasting polished and brushed surfaces, with a case depth of 15 mm, water resistant to 50 metres. The first, more classic version, has a silvered dial with blued hands and applied blue Roman numerals. The two retrograde displays and small seconds register are embellished with a clous de Paris hobnail pattern. The more contemporary version features a Geneva-striped blue dial, and circular graining in place of the hobnail motif. Polished metallic hands and hour markers complete the modern styling.

Masterpiece Calendrier Retrograde

Masterpiece Calendrier Retrograde, blue dial © Maurice Lacroix

Both timepieces come with an alligator leather strap with steel folding buckle. In line with the company philosophy of providing customers with high quality at a very competitive price, Maurice Lacroix is offering both models for CHF 4,200.

The brand

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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