Watches: Maurice Lacroix Seconde Mystérieuse

By Thierry Ané on November 14, 2013

Maurice Lacroix produces very fine timepieces. No doubt about that! And with twelve manufactured movements the Masterpiece collection offers an impressive selection of both technically and aesthetically achieved timepieces. Until 2010 though, there was not much to look at for those of us who like their timepieces a little off the beaten tracks. That year, with the Masterpiece Régulateur Roue Carrée, the brand made a statement about their vision of time. Indeed, with a functional square wheel gear on the dial, the watch was a real show stealer.

Following public acclaim, the concept has expanded into several different versions including last year’s Masterpiece Roue Carrée Seconde (The square wheel is now attached to the seconds instead of the minutes. This works better for me since it obviously moves more frequently allowing us to really enjoy this unusual square gear in action). All these timepieces, however, revolved on the same concept. At this year Baselworld, the brand gave an entirely new direction to the unconventional presentation of time with the introduction of the Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse.

The Seconde Mystérieuse watch showcases a seconds hand that seems to levitate in a huge sub-dial positioned at 6 o’clock. The intriguing floating blued hand marks out a linear reading of the seconds in alternating horizontal and vertical 15-second increments. It is the kind of complication that one needs to see in action in order to fully appreciate its magic. Once you do, it is very hard to take your eyes off this dial…

Driven by a new proprietary movement, the calibre ML215, this self-winding timepiece shows the hours and minutes with a pair of blued hands on a sub-dial at 2 o’clock that entwined with the seconds dial to form a leaning “eight”. The rest of the dial is skeletonized in a very contemporary way with bridges coated in either rhodium or ruthenium depending on the version. The movement is also visible through the sapphire back of the 43 mm steel case.

The Seconde Mysérieuse watch comes in two versions limited to 125 pieces each: either in steel with a brown alligator and rhodium-plated movement or in black PVD-coated steel with a black alligator strap and a ruthenium-plated calibre. At only 12,500 Swiss francs these timepieces are a real bargain if you consider the manufactured movement, the high standard of finishing and the originality of the time display.