Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace
The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace is perfectly on-trend. It includes subtle tones, generous sizing and a Swiss mechanical movement for the delectation of female horophiles. But, most of all, it provides a fitting wrist-worn reminder of what every person craves, the loving embrace of another person.
A tentative ‘hello’ beneath the railway clock, a fleeting kiss or a warm hug after a long separation are just a few types of romantic liaison. Everyone craves affection and yearns for the warmth of a loving embrace.
Maurice Lacroix indulges romantics with a new model rich in emotion and mechanical expertise. The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace features two entwined hearts, continuously in motion. While these hearts may experience ups and downs, they always remain in union, enjoying a marriage no man can put asunder.
The origins of the indication
The ‘Masterpiece’ collection broke on to the watchmaking scene in 1992, representing the pinnacle of Maurice Lacroix ownership from the outset. The brand cleverly paired innovative time indications with Manufacture movements, all delivered at incredibly keen prices. The impressive quality of each execution was palpable and could be readily discerned with an inquisitive eye or discriminating index finger.
One iconic Masterpiece model immediately comes to mind, the Square Wheel. The dial on this watch features both a clover-shaped wheel and a square wheel, each in deep conversation with the other, articulating seconds with clear tone. The teeth on each wheel have a unique profile, made to exacting tolerances. This patented know-how is unique to Maurice Lacroix. Over the years, the brand has adapted this novel indication, sometimes pairing it with a retrograde hand, a speciality of the Maison. Yet, despite the passage of time, the allure of two interlocking wheels has continued to endure.
A feminine Masterpiece
Recently, Maurice Lacroix unveiled the Embrace, a feminine addition to the hitherto masculine collection of premium watches. The Masterpiece Embrace combines a luxuriously appointed case, sumptuous dial and two interlocking, heart-shaped wheels.
Image – Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace with aventurine dial Ref. MP6068-SS001-430-1
The Swiss marque offers the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace in two variants. One version is endowed with a blue aventurine vista, with sparkling dial fragments which toy with light and exhibit an extraordinary degree of glamour. Personally, I am drawn to the second model which sports a white mother-of-pearl dial, embellished with a myriad of radiating lines emanating from the small seconds indication. It is this latter model which is the focal point of this review.
The leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are openworked and presented in a warm golden shade. They exhibit an almost diaphanous appearance. Maurice Lacroix has shunned Arabic and Roman numerals, preferring to denote each hour with a golden circlet. The resultant time indication is both graceful and succinct.
The prevailing date is shown on a retrograde, arc-shaped display, positioned at 5 o’clock. A prominent, golden arrow points to a series of small, crisp dots imparting information in a simple to interpret form. Perhaps the arrow is a subtle reference to Cupid, but certainly its inclusion heightens the model’s romantic character. The boundary of the date display is framed with the text, ‘je t’aime un peu, beaucoup, à la folie!’. When this is translated into my native tongue it means, ‘I love you a little, a lot, madly!’.
All eyes are inevitably drawn to the small seconds display. The two rotating hearts provide a fascinating, animated spectacle. Despite their irregular shape, the teeth framing the periphery of each heart seamlessly mesh without fuss or malfunction.
When the brand originally conceived the original Square Wheel, the mathematical calculations preceded the means to manufacture the wheels. The infinitesimal tolerances necessary when fabricating the wheels rendered the idea impractical. However, Maurice Lacroix, not a brand to shy away from a challenge, embraced LIGA technology in order to realise its Square Wheel dreams. Today, these wheels are formed using the latest state of the art laser know-how and are made to incredibly exacting measurements.
Anyone in a longterm relationship will attest, couples experience a plethora of emotions over time. Sometimes, we feel closer to our loved ones, something the two rotating hearts wonderfully depict. More pertinently, the two hearts are always entwined, destined to live together through good times and bad.
As previously mentioned, the mother-of-pearl dial is adorned with radiating lines. This detail imbues the dial with a fascinating texture and contributes to its alluring appearance. The asymmetric orientation of the lines augments visual interest. The mother-of-pearl epidermis is suffused with shades of white, cream, beige and pink further heightening the enchantment of the dial. When this dial surface is contrasted with other mother-of-pearl dials, it appears understated, restrained and subtle. It is these latter characteristics which make the watch very wearable, while simultaneously allowing the various indications to bask in the limelight.
Historically, most Masterpiece models have measured 43mm in diameter. In this instance, the brand from the Swiss Jura has chosen to make the Masterpiece Embrace smaller, optimally sized for a feminine wearer. While the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace measures 40mm and would be considered a relatively large watch for a female wrist, it is very much on-trend. Indeed, an increasing number of ladies choose to wear a man’s watch, appreciating the inherent scale they offer.
A fundamental benefit of a larger case is that the dial indications have room to breathe. This is evident when looking at the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace. No components appear squashed and the expansive dial area grants excellent readability.
Maurice Lacroix is obsessive about the quality-price ratio of its watches. Look closely at the case and you will discover brushed and polished surfaces sitting cheek to cheek, but remaining discrete from one another. To place two contrasting surfaces in close proximity necessitates time and skill, two resources which entail expense. Furthermore, a close examination of the lugs reveals a series of faceted edges, again heightening production costs. While Maurice Lacroix is known for delivering excellent value, this watch shows no signs of penny-pinching.
The M-branded crown features an elegant grip, comprised of wavy lines. It does not protrude unduly but remains simple to manipulate. The caseband has a gently curved profile as if its shape has been honed by the sea. It would have proved cheaper to equip the case with straight sides, mitigating machining costs, but once again, this Maurice Lacroix shows no signs of scrimping.
An exhibition caseback affords views of the automatic Manufacture ML258 movement. The watch comes supplied on a white calf leather strap, featuring the brand’s ‘M’ logo, presented in relief, paired with a stainless steel folding clasp.
Each element of the case is wonderfully refined.
The firm from Saignelégier has chosen to equip the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace with a mechanical movement. While many female purchasers prefer the convenience of a quartz watch, an increasing number of ladies are now drawn to mechanical watches. Once again, Maurice Lacroix is on-trend, choosing to house the automatic Manufacture ML258 movement within this overtly feminine creation.
The oscillating mass is partially openworked and adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and the ‘M’ logo. The rhodium-plated bridges are embellished with Colimaçon and the brand’s emblem in repeated form.
Close examination of the movement reveals that the rate is altered with a simple index adjuster. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and the movement contains 37 jewels. The movement will operate autonomously for up to 36 hours.
The Swiss watch brand has indulged buyers with the choice of two pulchritudinous models. The aventurine dial garners attention with its flirtatious behaviour, winking at onlookers with the merest suggestion of light. However, I cannot fail to ignore the bewitching appearance of the mother-of-pearl option. This latter model is softly spoken, but no less alluring than its exuberant sibling.
Maurice Lacroix has expended much effort, infusing both versions with a high quotient of quality. Each dial execution is rich with detail, while the finish of the case and its curving lines demonstrate the Swiss firm has spent significant sums in order to deliver a luxurious aesthetic.
Similar to a quartz movement, the automatic Calibre ML258 proffers ease of use, harnessing subtle movements of the wearer’s wrist to energise the mainspring. However, unlike a bland quartz movement, a mechanical movement pulses with life. Indeed, its regulating organ is often termed the heart of a watch.
The wearer of the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace will never forget the importance of two hearts beating in harmony as they are tastefully depicted on the dial of their trusted timepiece. However, beyond the attraction of a beautiful face and a toned torso, there is much inner virtue. This is something Maurice Lacroix understands well, paying close attention to the quality of those components beyond the observer’s initial gaze. It is these inner qualities which bestow a lasting love that transcends all others and promises years of blissful companionship.
- Model: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Embrace
- Reference: MP6068-SS001-160-1
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 40mm; Height 14mm; water resistance 5ATM (50 metres); sapphire crystals to front and caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; retrograde date
- Movement: Calibre ML258; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz); 37 jewels; power reserve = 36 hours
- Strap: White calf leather strap paired with a stainless steel folding clasp
- Price: €6,900 including VAT (RRP as at 12.3.2020)