Maurice Lacroix Aikon Label Noir Limited Edition
The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Label Noir Limited Edition is a three-hand watch with a date. It has been made in collaboration with Genevan watchmaker Label Noir. This contemporary watch encompasses anthracite and black hues. Its appearance is fresh but reassuringly familiar. The synergistic result of two parties successfully collaborating has delivered something distinctive and new and my prediction is that demand will inevitably outstrip supply.
During the 90s, Maurice Lacroix enjoyed much commercial success with a model called the ‘Calypso’. Unfortunately, after successive updates, the model lost some of its initial allure. In 2016, the brand from Saignelégier revisited the Calypso, refined the design for a modern-day audience and called the resultant model, the Aikon. Initially, the contemporary watch was only available in quartz, however, two years later, the brand released various automatic options. Since 2018, Maurice Lacroix has enlarged the Aikon collection, releasing additional variants, including skeleton models.
When the initial versions of the Aikon were released they encompassed certain design codes which continue to endure. The case features an integrated strap/bracelet, six arms straddle the width of the bezel and, lastly, the dial is enriched with a Clous de Paris. As a result, the design composition of the Aikon has proved incredibly popular.
Recently, a few brands have chosen to collaborate with third parties, eager to engage with new audiences. The rationale is simple, by joining forces with another party, a synergistic creation can be brought to life.
Maurice Lacroix has recently developed an Aikon Automatic in collaboration with Genevan watchmaker Label Noir. The resultant watch, the aptly named Maurice Lacroix Aikon Label Noir Limited Edition, is suffused with black and anthracite hues. Consistent with the brand’s ‘standard’ Aikon models, the case juxtaposes matte and gleaming surfaces, all dressed in grey DLC coating.
Where this limited-edition model goes off-piste is with the use of stealthy shades employed throughout, most notably on the dial’s epidermis. The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Label Noir Limited Edition eschews the regular Clous de Paris dial motif in favour of a lacquered matte grey finish. On the face of it, the changes may sound small, however, with memories of the Calypso possibly still in Maurice-Lacroix’s mind, I am sure there was a sense of trepidation wafting through the air of the brand’s HQ when this new version was released.
Thankfully, the result of this recent collaboration looks fresh, but reassuringly familiar. I suspect the brand’s courage will pay off and with just 50 pieces being produced, demand will inevitably outstrip supply.
The brand’s press release
With a refined and subtle design from every angle, the new AIKON Automatic watch, born out of a collaboration between Maurice Lacroix and Geneva-based watchmaker Label Noir, exudes that same addictive, aesthetic energy.
While the clous de Paris texture traditionally found on the AIKON Automatic dial has been replaced, for the first time, by a lacquered matte grey finish, the bezel remains the same black colour, playing with matte and shiny finishes. The watch’s case middle bears a grey DLC coating with a sand-blasted finish, offering a subtle contrast to the case as a whole. Emmanuel Curti, watchmaker and founder of the Geneva-based company Label Noir, explains the approach: “We really valued the urban and modern design of the AIKON. It’s a watch that lends itself to different finishes, it takes on a totally different look depending on the shades chosen. ” Thiébaut Bentz, International Product & Marketing Director, was instantly captivated by the project: “When Emmanuel Curti told us about his desire to work on the AIKON we were struck by his creative, modern and innovative approach. We saw the opportunity to redesign our most iconic model by changing certain elements that we wouldn’t have dared to change otherwise. That was also what allowed for a true collaboration!” The AIKON Automatic Limited Edition Label Noir is available exclusively in Europe and the US on the Maurice Lacroix website.
This limited edition model, of which only 50 will be produced, showcases all the traditional AIKON features with a 42 mm diameter case, screw-down crown and bezel, with the six arms characteristic of AIKON. Its water resistance to 200 metres has of course been maintained. This model sports a black calfskin strap that has been worked over to give it a textile look, featuring the embossed M logo. The strap closes by means of a triple folding buckle which has also been coated in black PVD.
About Label Noir
Label Noir was born out of the initiative of Emmanuel Curti, a watchmaker overflowing with as many ideas as he has connections. After working at three major watch manufacturers, Curti, with a refined set of skills, started his own company restoring watches for individuals. Over time he developed an interest in reinterpreting watches, an idea popular with clients who sought to own custom-made pieces. Label Noir was established in 2014, when watch coating was emerging as the latest fashion, and the rest is history. Today, Emmanuel Curti creates exclusive pieces for brands and individuals.