Watches: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Collection

By Thierry Ané on February 17, 2014

Founded in 1975, the Swiss watch company Maurice Lacroix entered the high-end segment during the 1990s with the launch of the "Les Mécaniques" line that was later renamed "Masterpiece". For this collection, the brand started to create its own movements and elevated itself to the high rank of watch manufacture.

Over the years, they presented very refined models, produced in the pure watchmaking tradition with an impeccable finish, but they somehow all looked too bland for my tastes. In 2010, however, the brand decided to offer a futuristic combination of technology, innovation and modern aesthetics that put it instantly on my radar.

With what some may have thought was just reinventing the wheel (literally!), the so-called Masterpiece Roue Carré Régulateur played with clover and square shaped gears to indicate the hours. Its uncluttered and geometric design worked marvellously with the raw industrial look of its anthracite grey linear satin-brushed dial.

The brand picked up these resolutely unique aesthetics again with the Masterpiece Roue Carré Seconde unveiled in 2012 (or 2011 if you include the Only Watch version). In my opinion, they even improved on the puzzling effect produced by this trailing square wheel: it is now in constant movement since it displays the seconds instead of the hours.

Far from resting on its laurels, this innovative manufacture pushed the theme of unusual displays one step further in 2013 with the Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse. Rather than using a square, this model showcases a "floating" seconds hand that counts off the seconds in a linear fashion. Offered with a black PVD or rhodium-plated skeletonized movement, the watch retained an extremely contemporary aspect in both versions.

For Baselworld 2014, the brand keeps its progressive thinking and, although not presenting a new complication per se, manages to unveil another expression of modernity and cutting-edge design with the stunning Masterpiece Gravity in steel or anthracite grey PVD steel.

The entire design of this 43 mm timepiece is organized to best showcase the heart of the in-house ML230 calibre, namely its assortment (spiral and balance wheel) and oscillator (escape wheel, anchor and rollers). With this self-winding movement, the brand joins the exclusive club of the brands proposing an assortment entirely made of silicon.

There are two versions of the Masterpiece Gravity each limited to 250 pieces. They both feature a large openwork face with an uncluttered view of the regulating organ and escapement on the lower part of the dial. The rest is covered by a three-quarters bridge with a “Clou de Paris” decoration on the steel version and with a “Grand Colimaçon” motif on the anthracite grey PVD steel model. On both watches, this bridge holds a large white lacquered sub-dial for the hours and minutes placed above the rhodium-coloured circular-brushed small seconds dial. The hands are all blue on the steel model while the anthracite grey PVD steel counterpart exhibits rhodium-coloured hours and minutes hands and a red seconds hand.

Although both models are presented with a black alligator strap, only the Masterpiece Gravity Steel features a steel folding buckle. The Masterpiece Gravity Anthracite Grey PVD Steel is secured with a pin buckle in anthracite grey PVD steel.

When I look at the official pictures, I have a preference for the steel model as I really like the sub-dial with the black Roman numerals and the blue hands but I know that these pictures may be deceiving. I will thus come back on this model with our live report from Basel.

For a technical description of the timepieces and additional pictures: