Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

New for 2019, the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer augments the Swiss watch company’s AIKON collection. Featuring a unidirectional ceramic bezel and impressive water resistance, this tool watch is ideal for those individuals seeking a robust timepiece with notable style.

This detailed review of the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

Selecting a brand name for a watch is fraught with problems. Scores of names are pre-registered by watch companies, not because they intend to use them at some future point but simply to prevent a competitor from employing them. Assuming a name is ‘available’, it must travel. There have been numerous examples in the automotive sector where a brand name sounds wonderful in English but can prove problematic in other parts of the world.

Considering the many obstacles facing a watch brand when naming a new collection, it is amazing that timepieces have names at all. When Maurice Lacroix unveiled its first AIKON watches in 2016, I must confess I thought the name seemed a tad immodest, especially to a self-deprecating Brit. How can a brand infer a watch is an icon prior to it reaching the market?

Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to see Maurice Lacroix was justified in selecting the AIKON nomenclature. This collection of models has proved a huge commercial success and the distinctive styling readily attracts recognition from those in the know.

Back in 2016, the AIKON was a quartz-only offering, however, only two years later the Swiss watch brand released automatic variants. These watches, endowed with Swiss self-winding movements, proffered peerless wearer comfort, exquisite dial detail and a level of case finishing seldom seen on watches within this price segment.

Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

Maurice Lacroix has not stood still, eager to capitalise on the success of the AIKON. The Swiss firm has gone on to release chronograph and skeleton watches, deftly sating the desires of new audiences. Now, the company from the Swiss Jura, a region synonymous with watchmaking, has chosen to extend its AIKON collection with an overtly sporty ‘tool watch’, named the AIKON Venturer.

The dial

Would-be purchasers can select the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer with a blue or black sunray-brushed dial. Bold, luminescent, baton-type hour and minute hands enunciate the prevailing time with stylish aplomb. A central sweep seconds hand, equipped with a luminescent lollipop, proves eminently legible as it circumnavigates the dial.

Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

Most hours are denoted with luminescent, circular indexes, save for 6 and 9 o’clock, where rectangular batons prevail, and noon where a triangular index assumes ultimate importance. The date is displayed at 3 o’clock. The black dial variant features a black date disc, while the blue dial option proclaims the date using a white date disc.

Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

Maurice Lacroix reminds wearers that this watch is ideal for subaquatic use, stating the maximum water resistance of 30 ATM at the base of the dial.

The case

The Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer measures 43mm in diameter. Presented in stainless steel, it exhibits a hewn from granite solidity. The unidirectional bezel shares the same hue as the dial and proves ideal when ascending to the ocean surface. When turning the bezel counter-clockwise it rotates with a reassuring click.

Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

Maurice Lacroix has elected to use ceramic for the bezel, a material which proffers impressive scratch resistance. To date, all AIKON models have featured a six-arm bezel design. In the case of the AIKON Venturer, the arms are not only aesthetically attractive but also functional. The numerals adorning the arms prove useful when calculating dive times.

The crown nuzzles between two sturdy crown protectors. This mitigates the risk of any impact damaging the winding stem. Furthermore, it confers a handsome and rugged aesthetic. Consistent with traditional diver’s watches, the screwed caseback is solid and adorned with a Vagues du Jura motif.

Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

While the AIKON Venturer is modestly priced, there is a ubiquitous sense of quality and value. The knurled edge of the bezel and the vertical flanks of the aforementioned arms are highly polished. The case surface and caseband are satin finished. A slither of highly polished steel, positioned in between said case surface and caseband, provides a delightful contradistinction between the two adjacent surfaces. The juxtaposing of satin finished and highly polished surfaces necessitates much skill and time to ensure that both finishes remain discrete. It is rare to see this level of attention on a watch at this price point.

 

Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

The Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer is offered on a rubber strap or 5-rows stainless steel bracelet and includes the brand’s EasyChange system. Four M-branded prongs, two positioned each side of the watch head, facilitate simple removal of the strap or bracelet without the need for tools. The bracelet is sumptuously appointed with satin brushed links and soupçons of gleaming brightwork. The underside of the rubber strap is, once again, embellished with a Vagues du Jura motif.

The movement

The Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer is endowed with the automatic ML 115 movement. This movement is tried and tested, featuring in the AIKON Automatic, first seen in 2018. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH and the movement contains 26 jewels. The spring barrel is capable of delivering 38 hours of autonomous operation.

Closing remarks

While the Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer is a practical ownership proposition it does not eschew flair. The sunray-brushed dials ensnare light, casting becoming pockets of brilliance. However, this flirtatious relationship with light does not impair readability. On the contrary, both the black and blue dials prove exceptionally legible.

Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer

The case construction is excellent. The skilful use of different case treatments, such as satin brush and highly polished finishing, accentuates the angular torso of the AIKON Venturer. An inquisitive finger will readily discern the impressive build quality, free of any sharpness. This quality extends to the 5-rows bracelet which is beautifully executed and facilitates an agreeable ergonomic union with the wearer’s wrist. Indeed, this watch grants exceptional levels of wearer comfort seldom bettered, even on costlier models.

The Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer perpetuates the AIKON story. Crafted in Swiss watchmaking’s heartland and imbued with many delightful details, each AIKON timepiece stands out from the crowd. Is this watch an icon? I think so, but why not find out for yourself?

Further reading

https://www.mauricelacroix.com

Technical specifications

  • Model: Maurice Lacroix AIKON Venturer
  • Reference: AI6058-SS001-330-1 (black dial & rubber strap) / AI6058-SS002-430-1 (blue dial & steel bracelet)
  • Case: Stainless steel diameter 43mm; water resistance 30ATM (300 metres); sapphire crystal to the front and solid caseback
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; date
  • Movement: Calibre ML 115self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 26 jewels; power reserve 38 hours
  • Strap: Colour coordinating rubber strap or 5-rows stainless steel bracelet
  • Price: CHF 1,850 inc VAT (strap) / CHF 1,990 inc VAT (bracelet) (RRP as at 2.4.2019)