Watches: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Roue Carrée Seconde 2014 Models

By Thierry Ané on February 26, 2014

Every year, watch brands try to outdo one another, inventing new complications or introducing eye-catching designs, to draw the attention of watch journalists and ultimately watch collectors. With the Roue Carrée (Square Wheel) models from its flagship Masterpiece collection, Maurice Lacroix arguably succeeded on both counts.

Realising that a square wheel activated by a toothed cloverleaf can transfer power as precisely and reliably as a more traditional system using round gear wheels is clearly puzzling both technically and aesthetically.

It took one trial run, though, to make the demonstration perfect. Indeed, the original Masterpiece Roue Carrée Régulateur presented in 2010 used this unusual system to display the hours. Unfortunately, with a single revolution every 12 hours, the square wheel appeared motionless, almost like an element of decoration on the dial.

This tiny detail was fixed in 2012 when the brand decided to focus on the seconds display and introduced the Masterpiece Roue Carrée Seconde. Making now one revolution per minute, the square wheel looks fully alive!

If technically the model is now successful, it does not mean that the brand can no longer experiment with its design. To the contrary, the dial leaves plenty of room to stage the two wheels and at this year’s Baselworld, Maurice Lacroix will officially present two new interpretations of this successful model, including the very first ladies’ version.

Let us start our discussion with the men’s model, namely the Roue Carrée Seconde Cube. The novelty with this stainless steel model on black alligator strap clearly lies on its dial. Created on the rhodium-coated movement main plate, the “falling cubes” motif of the dial is engraved by laser. A black area with sandblast finishing surrounds the square wheel and cloverleaf. Made of silicone, they are also engraved with a holographic “cube” pattern. With its psychedelic design, the watch demonstrates how cutting-edge this brand can be. No wonder they have already received several Red Dot Design Awards.

The second model is certainly more conventional in terms of design. What makes the Roue Carré Seconde Pink Pearl special though, is that it is the very first ladies’ version of the Roue Carrée. A technical watch with apparent wheels for women: that’s uncommon, and refreshing! Moreover, despite being for the ladies, the watch is still presented in a 43 mm case. That is also refreshing compared to the minuscule models most brands present when it comes to women. Who said that all women want to use magnifying glasses to read the time on their watches?

Size and complication apart, the model is your usual ladies’ watch: the bezel is set with brilliant-cut diamonds and the colour palette is pink. The dial is made of pink mother-of-pearl and features diamond hour markers. It is paired with a pink alligator strap. The watch looks good, pink but good! I still think that the designers could have been a little more imaginative though, particularly if you compare it to the men’s model.

Both models are powered by the in-house ML156 hand-wound calibre that could be found on previous iterations of the “Roue Carré Seconde”. These two models, though, are limited to 88 pieces each.

I will certainly come back to these good-looking watches with my Basel report and the live pictures most of you are looking for.