One of the biggest and most pleasant surprises at the 2014 BaselWorld watch fair for us was Maurice Lacroix’s Masterpiece Gravity.
With one glance, the Masterpiece Gravity comes across as a sophisticated, highly technical and complicated timepiece.
The balance wheel is shown on the dial side with the hypnotic beating escapement animation and the horological displays on the Masterpiece Gravity are the hour, minutes and seconds.
What is special is that the escapement is made of silicium. The conceptualisation of this watch began three years before it was launched in 2014, says Sandro Reginelli, product / R&D director, Maurice Lacroix SA.
Reginelli discloses that it took three years to achieve the silicium escapement and two years to complete the Gravity movement “because of the elements such as the floating effect and the sapphire domed glass” – which the brand terms the “glass box”.
The reason for the dome-shape is to magnify the movement in particular the oscillator causing these to “appear to sit high within the case and according to a sublime three-dimensional characteristic.”
Maurice Lacroix’s Head of Movement Construction, Michel Vermot, had in collaboration with Haute Ecole Arc which is based in Le Locle, developed and produced silicon movement components such as the balance staff, pallet lever, pallet staff, escapement wheel and escapement wheel pinion.
The spiral and balance wheel of the Calibre ML230 were produced by specialist component manufacturer Altokalpa which is related to Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier while the silicium escapement parts were made by Sigatec.
The Calibre ML230 beats at the frequency of 2.5 Hertz or 18,000 vibrations per hour because “it is a cadence that is ideally suited for silicon as it proves gentler to the glass-like substance than those experienced in some higher oscillating movements,” according to the brand.
It further adds that silicon is a favoured material as this self-lubricating, glass-like material is three times lighter than steel, consumes less energy, is more accurate and does not require regular lubrification.
There are two versions of the Masterpiece Gravity – one with a more classical look in a stainless steel case while the other is a modern execution in black, in an anthracite PVD-coated steel case with bridges black gold treated bridges.
The Masterpiece Gravity is priced at SGD15,200 or around US$12,160 / 9,105 euros / CHF11,050 (Swiss francs) / MYR38,840 at the time of writing. [Note: prices may differ and are approximate. They will also vary due to currency fluctuations.]
For us, the Masterpiece Gravity is a superb example of how the brand has recharged itself with excellent design aesthetics and demonstrated its technical ability through the use of materials like silicium. Best of all, the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity is reasonably-priced.
We believe that the Masterpiece Gravity is potentially the game-changer for Maurice Lacroix.
Other related articles on timewerke.com that may be of interest:
i. Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity: The Groundbreaking “Maverick”
ii. Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity “Only Watch 2015”: Well-priced