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Maurice Lacroix - What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Maurice Lacroix What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

The Aikon Collection is more than just another line for Maurice Lacroix. A reincarnation of the Calypso collection that was discontinued in 2003, the Aikon marks a major turning point as it has totally reinvigorated the brand.

The Aikon Collection is a unifying force

The Aikon Collection is a “rebirth” of the Calypso line that was introduced in 1990. While the main feature inspired by the Calypso is its distinct six-arm bezel, the Aikon’s recall of an important collection in the brand’s legacy goes way beyond the design.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Calypso © Maurice Lacroix

“One great thing about the Aikon Collection is that it has brought everybody behind one design and one language through consistent international brand presentations,” says Stéphane Waser, managing director, Maurice Lacroix SA. “The Aikon Collection has managed to bring Maurice Lacroix back into the minds of customers. We wouldn’t have put in so much effort behind the Aikon if it wasn’t successful.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Aikon Quartz © Maurice Lacroix

“We began with Aikon quartz watches. We started from CHF1,000. Our price points are focused between CHF1,000 and CHF3,000. Then we have the Masterpiece collection from between CHF4,000 and CHF5,000 and it goes right up to the maximum of CHF10,000. Our Masterpiece watches are more exceptional and have higher levels of craftsmanship.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde models © Maurice Lacroix

“Overall, the business and commercial sides of the brand is on the Aikon supported by the Pontos and Eliros collections. It is important for us to rebalance the picture of what people have about the brand. Otherwise, every market will have a different perception.”

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Pontos and Eliros models © Maurice Lacroix

The Aikon Collection accounts for more than 50% of sales

“In the past, we really didn’t know what the brand stood for,” Waser concedes. “After the brand rejuvenation by bringing out the old Calypso and keeping its spirit alive through its redesign in 2014 with the Aikon Collection, we are beginning to reap the rewards. In the Calypso’s history, there were quartz, automatic and even skeleton watches. In those days, we used to sell more than 100,000 Calypso watches. The Calypso was successful because of its price, quality and design. These are now key elements of the Aikon Collection. Today, more than four years after its launch, the Aikon Collection contributes more than 50% to Maurice Lacroix’s sales.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Aikon Automatic © Maurice Lacroix

The Aikon Automatic Skeleton is equipped with a Masterpiece movement

In 2018, Maurice Lacroix’s Manufacture Calibre 234 self-winding movement made its debut in the Aikon Automatic Skeleton. The movement is from the brand’s Masterpiece collection. However, unlike the Manufacture Calibre ML134 movement that is manual-winding, the Manufacture Calibre ML234 is self-winding. In other words, the oscillating weight has been added.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Aikon Automatic Skeleton © Maurice Lacroix

“This is the first time we have put the best we have in terms of the Masterpiece movements with the Aikon design. This is therefore a very typical Maurice Lacroix product,” notes Waser.

In 2019, the Aikon Automatic Skeleton in anthracite, also equipped with the Manufacture Calibre 234 self-winding movement, was launched. Interestingly while the Masterpiece Skeleton powered by the Calibre ML134 manual-winding movement is housed in a 43mm diameter case that is 13.5mm thick, the Aikon Skeleton housing the Calibre ML234 automatic movement is in a 45mm diameter case that is slimmer with a thickness of 12.6mm.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Masterpiece Skeleton © Maurice Lacroix

“It is not always about the thickness. It is about the balance between the size, dimensions and the thickness. It can be very thick but if the dimension is quite large, then the balance is good. We were debating over the diameter of between 44mm and 45mm for the Aikon Skeleton. We eventually decided to go with 45mm because it offers an optimal balance between the size and the thickness. The balance is very, very important,” stresses Thiébaut Bentz, international product and marketing director. “Moreover, we have had skeleton watches since 1993 and the first was a skeletonised Calypso.”

“The Aikon Skeleton is a real man’s watch,” quips Waser.

The Aikon Venturer is not a “diver’s watch”

The 43mm Aikon Venturer, launched in early 2019, bears the familiar aesthetical codes of a diver’s watch. Even in darkness, the Venturer features highly legible luminescent hour markers including the hour and minute hands, and a lollipop-style sweep seconds hand. Water-resistant to 300 metres, it has a screwed-in crown and a 120-clicks unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel. The Aikon Venturer is offered with either black or blue sunray-brushed dials. This is the first Aikon watch with a rotating bezel, what the brand describes as having its very first “functional role”.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Aikon Venturer © Maurice Lacroix

“The Aikon Venturer has all the features of a diving watch but it is not a diver’s watch,” says Marcel Gut, international sales director, Maurice Lacroix.

Why? “We don’t call it a diver’s watch. We call it the Venturer,” Waser states categorically. “Venturer comes from the word ‘venture’ which is used to describe a risky project or undertaking. Therefore, it is a watch for very active people; those who are risk-takers and mostly on the move. Today, you can dive into urban jungles. You can set your timer to know when you have to catch the tube [train],” he adds.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Aikon Venturer © Maurice Lacroix

At first glance, the Venturer may not look like it is from the Aikon collection but observe carefully and one will note that there are still six arms on the bezel. While the typical arm on the Aikon bezel feature a groove running from the top to its side, all the arms on the Venturer have a flat top to accommodate the 10-minute dive watch markers but the characteristic grooves remain at the sides. This is a clever design feature that retains the Aikon link to the Calypso. Indeed, there was even a Calypso diver’s watch in the past.

What you may not know about Maurice Lacroix and the Aikon Collection

Close-up of Aikon Venturer's bezel © Maurice Lacroix

Every Aikon Venturer is offered with a stainless steel bracelet with five links in each row and a matching rubber strap. Thanks to the EasyChange system, swopping from a bracelet to a rubber strap or vice-versa is hassle-free. What’s more, the Aikon Venturer is reasonably-priced at CHF2,190.

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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