Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm
Angus Davies slips into his Christian Louboutin stilettos, embraces his feminine side and examines the new Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm. In his review, with the input of Mrs Davies, he ponders the question, ‘Does size matter’?
Image – Reference: AI6006-SS002-450-1 (Blue Clous de Paris dial)
There is a ubiquitous phrase, ‘size doesn’t matter’ which ultimately led to the saying, ‘size matters’. Certainly as a society we are preoccupied with waistlines, height and weight. When it comes to success everything seems to focus on ‘big, bigger and biggest’. We are conditioned to think that achievement is signified with a big car, big house, big bank balance and, funnily enough, a big cigar.
Conversely, ‘small’ suggests sacrifice e.g. a measly portion. A small car, while cheaper to purchase and run is often slower and cramped. Indeed, when an item is made smaller it invariably forgoes something.
Recently, Maurice Lacroix, building on the success of its 42mm AIKON Automatic, released a smaller version of its now iconic watch, measuring a mere 35mm in diameter. However, having spent much time appraising this diminutive option, I can attest there are no discernible sacrifices. Indeed, the excellence of the 42mm AIKON has now extended to this new smaller model.
The lovely people from the Swiss brand did not just send one version of the Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm for evaluation, but three press samples. One version featured a blue Clous de Paris dial, the other two versions sported mother-of-pearl dials, one black and one white. The Maison also offers a fourth version, which I have not seen, that pairs a white mother-of-pearl dial with a bi-coloured bezel and bracelet. Maurice Lacroix has certainly endeavoured to indulge the desires of most ladies.
Image – Reference: AI6006-SS002-370-1 (Black mother-of-pearl dial)
Each of the three samples I received sported rhodium plated hands, lined with white Super-LumiNova. These hands collaborate with eight square-set diamonds and three sets of luminescent batons to impart time. No baton appears at 3 o’clock owing to the fitment of a date display. Both the diamond-set indexes and the batons sit proud of the dial epidermis, imbuing the dial with becoming depths. An applied and gleaming Maurice Lacroix logo sits below noon.
Image – Reference: AI6006-SS002-170-1 (White mother-of-pearl dial)
A rhodium plated central sweep seconds hand stretches to the periphery of the dial, kissing the chapter ring and imparting information with lucid efficiency. The Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm does not burden the wearer with superfluous indications, but concentrates on the essentials of hours, minutes, seconds and date. Everything is clearly expressed and simple to interpret.
As my hirsute wrists share the same circumference as a mature anaconda, I canvassed Mrs Davies for her thoughts. She was uninhibited when it came to proffering her opinion. She liked all three models but the one that stood out for her was the white mother-of-pearl option. In fact, it did not take long before it was affixed to her wrist.
While it may be smaller, the Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm does not shun any of the exquisite detailing found on the 42mm version.
Six gleaming, highly polished arms span the bezel. The bezel and the upper surfaces of the case are embellished with vertical satin brush. In several instances, Maurice Lacroix has cleverly juxtaposed alternate finishes adjacent each other. The contrast this provides proves very attractive. In some cases, the close proximity of two contrasting finishes would have proved very difficult to realise. This is because this polishing technique requires much skill in order to keep both finishes discrete.
Close examination of the bezel, reveals a gleaming bevelled edge. Likewise, the bevelled edge between the case band and the upper surface of the case is endowed with a highly polished sliver of brightwork. Even the five-rows steel bracelet pairs brushed and polished surfaces. While I may see this level of detail on a watch with a five-figure price tag, it should be noted that the price of the Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm ranges from £1590 to £1635, depending on specification. The blend of detail and value is very impressive.
The bracelet exudes quality. As mentioned earlier, it is a five-rows design and features a butterfly clasp in steel. The inner surfaces of the clasp feature bouchonné detailing. A superb feature on this watch, consistent with the men’s models, is the inclusion of the brand’s Easy Change System. By sliding two catches on the underside of the watch head, the bracelet can be easily removed and exchanged for a leather strap. The system is user-friendly, allowing the wearer to perform the strap change quickly and without the need for tools.
A pane of sapphire crystal is fitted to the dorsal flank of the watch head, affording views of the self-winding movement within.
Over the years, I have listened to many watch brands state they only offer ladies’ models in quartz because ‘that is what ladies want’. Personally, I have never been wholly convinced that this statement has any validity.
Certainly, from my own experience, I have met many female horophiles who like the idea of a mechanical watch, featuring numerous parts in motion, imparting time with impressive accuracy. While Maurice Lacroix is no stranger to quartz movements, with this model it has indulged those would-be buyers who possess an appreciation of mechanical watchmaking.
The Automatic ML115 is the same movement employed within the 42mm version of the AIKON. Yes, the case is smaller, but the brand has been able to accommodate the same Calibre as its older sibling.
The balance is fitted with a curb-adjuster and has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz). The movement contains 26 jewels and the power reserve is 38 hours. Despite its modest pricing, the movement is adorned with perlage and colimaçon, while the oscillating weight is adorned with Côtes de Genève motif.
Maurice Lacroix has distilled its 42mm AIKON model into a model intended to meet the needs of a female audience. The dial executions incorporate flourishes of feminine design such as diamond-set indexes and mother-of-pearl dials. However, the Swiss Maison has also incorporated all of the details found on the 42mm AIKON which was one of my favourite watches of 2018.
The dial of the Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm is simple to read. The case successfully marries brushed and polished surfaces, imbuing the watch with a sense of luxury. The movement, considering the modest asking price, is pleasingly appointed and delivers the convenience of automatic winding.
This watch may only measure 35mm in diameter, but it does not forgo any of the attributes which make its older sibling, the 42mm AIKON Automatic a superb watch. Indeed, based on my time with the Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm, I firmly believe this model perpetuates the brand’s reputation for delivering quality, style and value, combined with a judicious dose of femininity. Quite simply, this is a fabulous timepiece.
- Model: Maurice Lacroix AIKON 35mm
- Reference: AI6006-SS002-170-1 (White mother-of-pearl dial)
- Reference: AI6006-SS002-370-1 (Black mother-of-pearl dial)
- Reference: AI6006-SS002-450-1 (Blue Clous de Paris dial)
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 36mm; height 11mm; water resistance 20ATM (200 metres) sapphire crystals to the front and back
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date
- Movement: Calibre ML115; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 26 jewels; power reserve 38 hours
- Strap: 5-rows stainless steel Easy Change bracelet with butterfly buckle
- Price: £1,590 – Clous de Paris dial (RRP as at 29.9.2019)
- Price: £1,635 – Mother-of-pearl dials (RRP as at 29.9.2019)