Introducing Maurice Lacroix’s Masterpiece GravityBy Bhanu Chopra
The first of the Masterpiece collection made its debut in the early 1990s and proved to be some of Maurice Lacroix’s most interesting and playful timepieces. The Gravity line was introduced in 2014, drawing attention with its exposed, slow-beating balance wheel and innovative use of silicon for the assortment during its launch at Baselworld.
The 2021 release of the timepiece is a slight reimagining of that original 2014 model with an eye for polish and modernization. At 43mm, the stainless steel case has a substantial presence and features a smooth, thin bezel and a knurled screw-down crown with an M logo for a classic profile.
While it’s a nod toward the classics with its silver and gold colorway, the Masterpiece Gravity is really a playful piece of modern design. The skeletonized dial features three main visual centers that are placed at different elevations, adding interest with depth, texture and color.
At the top right of the dial is the off-center hour and minute display. The gold-plated minute and hour hands add a burst of color and sophistication to the domed, brushed surface of the dial. Elongated Roman numerals drape over the curved surface, and they’ve eschewed the numbers chapter ring for a cleaner aesthetic. The Maurice Lacroix M logo sits boldly at the 12 o’clock position.
Behind this dial lies the main plate, adorned with a lively concentric Vagues du Jura motif that creates a spirited contrast to the minimalist time display. The dark gray and silver seconds display is a separate complication set just below and on a plane between the hour and minute dial and the main plate, continuing the theme of contrast and depth.
The exposed bridges are sandblasted and have a brushed finish, and there is a colorful display of purple and gold peeking from behind the main plate that leads the eye to the slow-beating heart of the timepiece. The exposed regulating organ sits as the third of a visual trio with the oscillating motion of the balance wheel playing a pivotal role in adding motion to the textural and dimensional spectacle.
The glass-box style crystal adds a bit of magnification at the edge of the dial for another dimension to the watch as it bends light across the surfaces of varying reflective qualities.
Maurice Lacroix is an early adopter of silicon technology for a virtually friction-free service. With its low mass that reduces energy consumption and the eliminated need for lubrication, the technology has a lot to offer to the watchmaker.
The entire assortment, including balance staff, pallet lever, pallet staff, escapement wheel and escapement wheel pinion, are all made of silicon, their lighter color making them stand out in the skeletonized movement.
The manufacture caliber ML 230 features a power reserve of 50 hours. With 18,000vph and 35 jewels, the almost entirely in-house horological mastery ensures that this piece is more than just a pretty face. An exhibition caseback reveals the rhodium-plated movement featuring grand colimaçon Geneva stripes on the reverse.
The watch is paired with a brown calf leather strap featuring a gold M logo with a stainless steel butterfly buckle to add a final play of both color and texture.
The Masterpiece Gravity is an excellent choice for any collector with its under USD10,000 price tag.
Movement: Self-winding caliber ML 230; 50-hour power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes and small seconds
Case: 43mm; stainless steel; water resistant to 50m
Strap: Brown calf leather with gold M logo and stainless steel butterfly buckle
Price: USD 9,900