Maurice Lacroix Aikon: Back To BlackWritten by Leong Wong
A dynamic duo proves black doesn’t mean boring.
One of Maurice Lacroix’s great successes in recent years has been the Aikon. It ably demonstrates that an attractive modern package, coupled with competitive pricing, has the power to give any brand the legs to go the distance.
This modern revival of the Calypso, a Maurice Lacroix stalwart from the 1990s, is instantly recognisable for its six sets of double claws on the bezel. First launched in 2016, it was particularly well-received in Europe for its quartz movement, before extending its appeal to Asian audiences with the introduction of an automatic engine in 2018.
The latest Aikon debutants are two automatic models in black PVD that are told apart by their dials. Cool monochromatic palette aside, what makes them truly special are the textures, layers and finishing employed to elevate them to something more. Throw into the mix a black calfskin strap that has been worked over to give it a textile look and what you get is a blast of fresh air.
Aikon Automatic Black
With its triple black aesthetic, the Aikon Automatic Black is one sexy beast. The 42mm steel case’s micro-blasted matte black PVD finish gives it an understated contemporary sophistication, while also ensuring that the signature claws—polished to a high gloss—stand out.
Its ‘Clous de Paris’ dial has a black sun-brushed finish that flirts with the light. This is paired with polished applied hour markers and slim anthracite hands coated with rather spectacular black Super-LumiNova to guarantee legibility without disrupting the overall aesthetic.
The watch is powered by the automatic ML115 calibre, which is based on the Sellita SW200. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 38 hours of power reserve.
Aikon Automatic Skeleton Black
For the last 10 years, the only Maurice Lacroix timepieces to feature a skeleton dial have come from its Masterpiece collection. But if you are familiar with the Jura Valley watchmaker’s history, you will know that the Aikon Automatic Skeleton Black is not only the Aikon collection’s first skeletal model, but also the spiritual successor to the Calypso Skeleton, which debuted in 1993, and paved the way for this dial style to appear in the Masterpiece collection.
What sets the Aikon Automatic Skeleton Black apart is its anthracite skeleton dial that is treated with micro-blasted matte black PVD. It comprises a design of five concentric circles with a complete circle that reveals the mainspring barrel. To give the impression of extra depth, the luminescent rhodium-plated hour and minute hands are affixed to the underside of the sapphire crystal.
This contrasts with the largely black DLC-coated movement below, whose exposed parts are showcased in grey, silver and brass hues and a variety of finishes. The movement, which is the in-house automatic ML234 with a power reserve of 52 hours, is deployed for the first time outside the Masterpiece Collection. It is openworked, according to a whole new pattern, and made specifically for this timepiece. Together with the skeleton dial, it does great justice to the aesthetics of the watch.
Due to its sheer size, the steel case of the Aikon Automatic Skeleton Black had to be reimagined to accommodate the calibre with an extra 3mm in diameter, bringing it to 45mm. It features satin-finished surfaces with polished signature claws and edges.
Black, if you haven’t noticed already, has become popular of late among horology enthusiasts for its versatility. Ideal for dressing up or down, it can make watches look sporty or formal or, sometimes, a little bit of both. Not many colours can be all things to all men, but black comes pretty close.
Editor, CROWN Malaysia
A familiar face in Malaysia's horological publishing scene, Leong has been involved in lifestyle journalism since the mid-1990s. Besides watches, he takes a keen interest in cars and men's fashion.