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Maurice Lacroix - Ponto S Diver: Scoring Points for Pontos

Maurice Lacroix Ponto S Diver: Scoring Points for Pontos

Discover this exclusive extract from the Millenium Watch Book. How well rated is Maurice Lacroix's Ponto S Diver?

If you have travelled to the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey, or reside in the area, you would have experience with Pontos, which was once upon a time known as the district of Anatolia located on the southern coast of the Black Sea. Named by the Greeks who once colonised the area during ancient times, Pontos is the Latinised form of the Greek word and its literal translation means “the sea”. For Maurice Lacroix, Pontos is one of the brand’s collections symbolising artistry, creativity and modernity. Maurice Lacroix’s Pontos S Extreme which has patents for features such as its crown-activated chronograph mechanism as well as its Powerlite watchcase alloy made from aluminium, magnesium, titanium, zirconium and ceramic, was designed by automotive designer Henrik Fisker, better known for styling Aston Martin sportscars and even the BMW Z8 roadster used by fictional British master spy Commander James Bond in The World is Not Enough.

The Pontos S Diver, like the Extreme, was launched in 2013 and both models exuded a sporty feel. “The idea of the Pontos S line then was to offer sportier timepieces for more active users”, points out Maurice Lacroix Managing Director Stéphane Waser. The brand’s Masterpiece, Les Classiques and Eliros and even the Pontos collections at that time (in 2013) were more classical and traditional in the aesthetics department. “We felt that it was time to bring back sportiness to our line-up just like what we had in the Calypso and Miros, collections featuring sporty looks that have since been discontinued but were highly popular back in their time”, adds Waser. Interestingly, a dive watch was especially apt given what Pontos means in Greek.

Unlike the Extreme, the Pontos S Diver has a more retro look that is definitely a welcome sight for retrophiles. Serious divers and modernists will embrace its high water resistance, as it is rated to withstand pressure equivalent to that at depths down to 600 metres or 1,969 feet, the incorporation of a helium escape valve as well as an inner rotating bezel with a 60-minute reference scale. 

Ponto S Diver: Scoring Points for Pontos

Ponto S Diver © Maurice Lacroix

Prefect Proportioned

One key advantage of an inner rotating bezel for a dive watch is safety, as the reference marker is more secure and protected against any accidental shift of the bezel. While there were already dive watches with inner rotating bezels, it was not a simple matter of jumping on the bandwagon. “We had patented the pusher-lever mechanism for operating the inner rotating bezel during the development of our Memoire 1. The idea of an inner rotating bezel was ideal not just for a chronograph but also for a dive watch. Function drives design. The integration of the inner rotating bezel into the Pontos S Diver project gave it a retro look and the concept birthed a beauty. This dive watch was incredibly well-proportioned in terms of its volume and the lines of the case. The sell-through was high during the first three years after its launch,” Waser reveals. The Memoire 1 was a highly complicated in-house manufactured chronograph concept watch revealed in 2008, the very same year Waser joined Maurice Lacroix.

The 600-meter water resistance is actually an overkill for recreational divers as the maximum depth allowed for them is generally around 40 metres or 130 feet. The helium escape valve is essentially a safety mechanism that relieves any overpressure of helium build-up in a dive watch that might otherwise lead to its crystal forcibly popping out. Such features of the Pontos S Diver should not come as a surprise as it was designed to meet the requirements of professional divers and this also explains its more robust demeanour. What’s more, the Pontos S Diver came with a durable third-party leather NATO strap. Regardless, the Pontos S Diver functions well as a normal everyday watch and the bells and whistles on it are simply bonus points for watch collectors who simply desire a well-endowed dive watch. Though discontinued a few years ago, the Pontos S Diver has indeed scored well and it should not come as a surprise if this Maurice Lacroix dive watch resurfaces.

This year GMT Magazine and WorldTempus have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the divers watch since 2000 in The Millennium Watch Book - Divers watch, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. This article is an extract. The Millennium Watch Book - Divers watch is available in both French and English here:


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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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