Maurice Lacroix watches are one of those middling Swiss brands that many collectors swerve, mainly due to the poor resale values. I’ve seen jewellers blow dust off a Lacroix watch in the Pre-Owned window for three Christmas seasons in a row before finally cutting 500 quid from the asking price to get rid of it.
That said, they are proper watches and the Pontos is a respctable auto model with top notch build quality. We love the bronze case model with the green dial, it’s a got a real symmetry and simplicity about it. Worth paying over £2500 for a 7750 or SW200 powered watch when there are plenty of 7750/200 engined cheaper rivals out there? Hmm, jury’s out on that point.
To celebrate 20 years of Pontos, ML have issued a special edition, plus a few upgrades to existing models. Here’s the word from their press office;
An alternating set of matte and shiny finishes highlights the profile of a case shared by the three models of the PONTOS collection. The first is the PONTOS Chronograph Monopusher, launched as a limited edition to celebrate the collection’s 20th anniversary. The second is a new version of the steel automatic chronograph, the PONTOS Chronograph. The third is a new extension of the Day-Date model, available as an exceptional bronze version with a green dial, or in steel with a silvered dial.
THE NOBILITY OF A CLASSIC COMPLICATION
The PONTOS Chronograph Monopusher is a limited edition of 500 pieces and plays on impressions with initially unsuspected depth. Here, the ML166 automatic monopusher chronograph calibre is used as a historical reference to the development of complications as well as for its aesthetic benefits. Its single pusher creates asymmetry and breaks with common expectations of chronographs.
After all, nothing about the PONTOS Chronograph Monopusher is truly classic. Its dimensions of 41 mm are completely contemporary. The same goes for the treatment of the steel. Maurice Lacroix has coated it using PVD technology to make it totally black and durable, ensuring resistance to abrasion and scratches, but above all uncompromising aesthetics. A gradient stretches across the dial, with black at the edges that gradually grows lighter towards the centre, which is a mid-grey. Halfway across, the telemeter and tachymeter come into view, one red and the other blue.
These two scales cross paths with the chronograph’s minute counter and the small seconds, creating a complex design appreciated by fans of traditional watchmaking. They will also pick up on the circular-grained and Côtes de Genève finishes of the movement, and a sunray-brushed oscillating weight with Côtes de Genève, visible through a transparent sapphire case back.
THE MODERNITY OF A TIMELESS CHRONOGRAPH
Two versions of the PONTOS Chronograph have arrived, blending modernity and timeless style as always. Inside the PONTOS steel case with a larger diameter of 43 mm, the ML112 automatic chronograph calibre gives PONTOS a whole new dimension. The dial is available as a lacquered white or sunray-brushed grey version, where the hour markers take the form of applied Arabic numerals for the first time.
The PONTOS Chronograph pieces draw on an unusual colour balance that is actually a common Maurice Lacroix stylistic feature. The white dial therefore contrasts with a bright blue tint, while yellow gold appliqués stand out against the grey dial. These shades, textures and the soft, rounded font of the Arabic numerals create a powerful design dynamic and exude a contemporary, sport-chic style that lies at the heart of the PONTOS Chronograph identity.
These same shades are adopted by the partially skeletonised hands and the counters at 6 and 12 o’clock, which are used to read the chronograph indications. The PONTOS Chronograph pieces are available on a blue calfskin strap with Maurice Lacroix’s M logo, complemented by a three-link steel bracelet. This bracelet adopts the same alternating satin-finished and polished finishes of the case that accentuate its edges.
Last but not least, the PONTOS Chronograph case backs bear an engraving marking the 20th anniversary of the collection.
A DIAL WITH A WEALTH OF DETAILS
The PONTOS Day-Date – the first model from the PONTOS range to have been redesigned in 2017 – is joined by two new versions. Yet the design details of this 41 mm model remain unchanged, with triangular hour-markers, a sunken minute circle, cut-outs in the dial at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock that highlight the date and the day respectively, and slightly trapezoidal hands with a rigorous design.
The effect produced by these geometric elements and their clever positioning on flatteringly finished dials is the result of pertinent modernity. It makes the PONTOS Day-Date pieces truly timeless and capable of standing the test of time.
Maurice Lacroix has built on these foundations with a unlimited edition that presents a bronze case and a green dial. The tones of the rose gold PVD-treated hands and the bronze case are reflected in the rhodium-plated hour-markers, their facets changing colour with each movement. This mirror effect is further amplified by the bottle green shade of the dial, which bestows a vintage yet contemporary look on the model.
Alongside this, the PONTOS Day-Date welcomes an incredibly understated silvered sunray-brushed dial, warmed up by an appliqué logo, hands and hour-markers that are rose gold in colour. The full elegance of the PONTOS Day-Date is revealed thanks to a three-link steel bracelet or a matte black calfskin strap, all the while keeping its vigour and modern twist.
UP TO DATE
PONTOS is not afraid of paradoxes. Twenty years after its launch, the collection is more capable than ever of inspiring awe thanks to its details, quality of workmanship and contrasts. It also boasts a variety of models, movements and complications with plenty of potential remaining for the future. The renewed relevance of its design brings PONTOS up to date and ensures it will last. These assets are further emphasised by Maurice Lacroix’s desire to present these high-quality models at fair prices.