Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm

Maurice Lacroix has always had the capacity to dazzle by endowing its watches with innovative ways of indicating time. This recently launched model features clover-shaped and square wheels and a date display which arcs gracefully before returning to its point of origin. However, despite the groundbreaking nature of its display, this watch also incorporates traditional Swiss craftsmanship.

This detailed review of the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm includes live images, specification details and pricing.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm

Retrograde indications have long since been a part of Maurice Lacroix’s Masterpiece collection. The Swiss watch company, based in the Jura, the watchmaking heartland of Switzerland, has much expertise in producing watches endowed with retrograde indications.

While Maurice Lacroix has produced classical watches, displaying hours, minutes and seconds using conventional coaxial hands, it has also embraced new methods of imparting time. In 2010, it unveiled its inaugural square wheel timepiece, featuring a clover-shaped wheel in mesh with a square wheel, lucidly conveying meaning. This initial model was ground-breaking when launched and upheld the brand’s reputation for iconic design. Moreover, the legend of the ‘Square Wheel’ lives on.

In recent months, the Swiss firm has unveiled a new watch which incorporates both forms of indication, the aptly named Maurice Lacroix Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to wear the watch for a few days and experience Maurice Lacroix’s accessible take on luxury.

The dial

The hours and minutes are proclaimed with blued, faceted hands. They exhibit a traditional appearance and look glorious when bathed in light. Roman numerals encircle the dial and sit atop a ring of satiné circulaire. A chemin-de fer hugs the periphery of the dial, proving ideal for reading-off the prevailing minutes.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm

At this juncture, despite its notable style, the Maurice Lacroix Square Wheel Retrograde 43m may sound conventional. However, as I go on to explain over the coming paragraphs, there is certainly nothing ordinary about this Swiss timepiece.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm

A clover-shaped wheel engages with a square wheel in order to indicate the running seconds. Each wheel sits upon a bed of clous de Paris, adding a delightful texture to the horological vista presented. A seconds track frames the square wheel and the wearer reads off the current value using a truncated inner spoke of the wheel. The display is individualistic yet remains eminently simple to interpret.

In the south-easterly region of the dial, the current date is shown with a blued, lancine-shaped hand. It points to an odd-numbered value, or a blued sphere positioned in between, denoting an even-numbered integer. As the month concludes, the date hand returns to its point of origin with breathtaking alacrity and the time’s journey continues anew. The display provides a simple method of enunciating the date while imbuing the dial with a sense of theatre. Again, clous de Paris and satiné circulaire adorn the indication’s domain.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm

While some watches are merely functional, imparting time with cold efficiency, the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm transcends the perfunctory and enlivens the soul. Both the square wheel and retrograde indications evoke thoughts.

For example, I pondered the relationship between the clover and square-shaped wheels, both individuals with their own distinct physique and yet, despite their differences, they remain locked in an endless kiss. Are they lovers, destined to spend their lives together?

Likewise, when I appraised the retrograde display, I momentarily thought of the past and those times I wish to revisit and experience once again. The notion of wiping the slate clean and starting afresh will appeal to those experiencing guilt or in the midst of a midlife crisis.

Whether an onlooker shares my thoughts or not, the fact remains the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm invites the wearer to view time from a different perspective.

The case

While the dial of the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm wholeheartedly embraces innovation, the case assumes a more conservative character. That said, close examination of the case reveals that Maurice Lacroix has not eschewed style. 

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm

The caseband tapers inwards as it approaches the caseback. Meanwhile, the caseback projects from the sides of the case, forming a small lip, and the lugs feature a chamfered edge to their upper plane. The crown incorporates a twisted grip, resembling the rifling of a gun barrel.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm

A corrector is positioned within the caseband, adjacent 4 o’clock. This allows the wearer to adjust the retrograde date with the aid of a suitable stylus.

Measuring 43mm in diameter, this Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece deftly avoids the diminutive or oversized proportions of some watches. Indeed, its scale should suit the majority of would-be wearers. The short lugs sharply taper downwards, enhancing the ergonomic union with the wearer’s wrist.

An exhibition caseback affords views of the self-winding movement within the watch.

The movement

The automatic Calibre ML258 features an in-house module. It incorporates exquisite finishing, including an openworked rotor adorned with Côtes de Genève motif, rhodium plated bridges, embellished with the brand’s ‘M’ logo, and a judicious sprinkling of colimaçon and sandblasted surfaces. Indeed, Swiss craftsmanship is omnipresent.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm

The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the movement contains 37 jewels. The power reserve is sufficient to deliver 36 hours of autonomous operation.

Closing remarks

When a brand designs a dial and chooses to embrace originality, it risks complicating the proclamation of time. Thankfully, Maurice Lacroix has delivered innovation without marring readability. The comparatively conventional hour and minute hands lucidly express the prevailing time, while the simple to read seconds indication is both enchanting and playful. The date display is also intuitive to read and free of ambiguity.

However, both the seconds and date indications surpass the merely functional, provoking discussion and eliciting philosophical thoughts. Quite simply, the Swiss firm implores the wearer to view time from a different perspective.

Maurice Lacroix has juxtaposed classical design with groundbreaking aesthetics and, in so doing, created a potentially iconic design. However, despite the complexity of its composition and the quality of its components, this timepiece remains financially accessible. Indeed, with several attributes, and keen pricing, this watch confers both virtue and value, making it worthy of the soubriquet, ‘Masterpiece’.

Further reading

Technical specifications

  • Model: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde 43mm
  • Reference: MP6058-SS001-110-1
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 43mm; water resistance 10ATM (100 metres); sapphire crystal to the front and sapphire caseback
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; seconds; retrograde date
  • Movement: Calibre ML258; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800VpH (4Hz); 37 jewels; power reserve 36 hours
  • Strap: Black alligator leather strap with folding clasp
  • Prices: £6,190 (RRP as at 20.6.2019)

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