Checking Out The New Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver 42mm
The last few days of May were fun for dive-watch fans. We saw more than a handful of watches come out right before the vacation season hits us. Among these fresh releases was the new and improved Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver 42mm. But instead of sending out a press release, the brand planned something much more fun than that. Following last year’s extravaganza in Miami where we saw the introduction of the Aikon #tide, this time, we jetted to Dubrovnik, Croatia for the launch.
Maurice Lacroix invited some of its most important partners and a select group of journalists to reveal the latest generation of the Pontos line. We were there to witness it, and this is what we saw.
In the past, when people heard the name “Maurice Lacroix,” the sentiment was often mixed. The brand has been working intensely to expand beyond its core fanbase for a while now. According to the wishes of a modern audience, we see quite a few new ventures and directions that Maurice Lacroix is taking. The Aikon #tide, as mentioned earlier, was one of the results of these steps. While the new Pontos S Diver might aim at a different target audience, the goal is simple. ML wanted to offer an updated version of its successful diver. Soon after its initial release in 2013, the Pontos S became a favorite for divers worldwide. After a few years, however, the company ceased the model’s production. Now, on the tenth anniversary of the original model, the Pontos S Diver is back and better than ever.
Maurice Lacroix invited us to the beautiful city of Dubrovnik in Croatia to present us with the newly updated Pontos S Diver. If you are a fan of the Adriatic Sea, I don’t need to tell you more about the place. If you have never been there, you need to visit. The charming medieval place was the perfect backdrop for the launch event. If the city’s charm was good enough for Game of Thrones, it sure works for Maurice Lacroix. There is, however, another reason that ML chose Dubrovnik. Lidija Lijic, freediving world champion and member of the ML Crew, hails from Split, only a short drive from Dubrovnik. She gave the brand her input and helped to redesign the Pontos S Diver. She also tested the watches while diving, flying a plane, and free climbing, to name some of her favorite pastime activities.
Pontos S Diver 42mm
When the model initially came to the market in 2013, it was one of the best sellers for ML. After a few years, however, the brand’s direction shifted as it put more focus on the highly successful Aikon line. This resulted in stopping the original Pontos S Diver’s production. However, by that time, the “damage” was already done. The model had succeeded, and retailers and fans asked ML to return the diver to its active catalog. Finally, ten years after the original release, that time has come. According to Stéphane Waser, the managing director of Maurice Lacroix:
“When developing this latest Pontos S Diver, we were keen to retain the spirit of the first-generation model but push the performance envelope with various enhancements.”
While the difference is not revolutionary, it is enough to offer a timepiece that does not look like a facelift version of the older model. Instead, it feels well-considered and modern while maintaining the original Pontos S Diver’s core DNA.
One can choose from three new models — two regular-production versions and one limited edition. First, let’s take a closer look at the specs. While the original Pontos S Diver was 43mm, the new one is a hair smaller at 42mm. There is no helium valve anymore, meaning the water resistance is lower than before. It dropped from 600m to 300m, but let’s be honest, that’s still plenty for most of us. At 12mm thick, the watch does not sit tall on the wrist. I was lucky to wear one for quite a while, and it felt great. While the diameter might be an issue for some, it didn’t bother me too much. Even if you are used to smaller watches, the new Pontos S Diver may fit surprisingly well due to the reasonable thickness and curved lugs.
The new models also come in two materials. The regular models are steel, but the brand also created a bronze model, which is limited to 500 pieces. If you opt for the steel versions, you can choose a grainy black dial with orange accents or a lacquered white dial with blue accents. Both of these have a rhodium-plated “M” logo. Should you wish to go for the bronze LE model, you have it with a grainy dark blue dial with white details and a 4N gold “M” logo. In all three cases, the dials have a date window at 6 o’clock. For easy visibility, the hands, the indexes, and the rotating inner bezel’s numerals have a Super-LumiNova coating. The versatility does not stop at the dial and case variants, though. Each version comes with a rubber strap (or two for the steel models) with ML’s Easy Strap Exchange System and an additional strap in nylon (steel) or leather (bronze).
One of the critical design features of the Pontos S Diver, both old and new, is the crown at 2 o’clock. Just like the regular one, it’s of the screw-down variety, and you can use it to rotate the inner bezel. As you’d assume, the crown at 3 o’clock controls the movement. Inside the watch beats the ML115 caliber, which is based on the Sellita SW200-1, an automatic mechanical caliber with a date. It features a 28,800vph frequency, 38-hour power reserve, and 26 jewels. Fancy movements are hardly essential for a diver, yet having a trusty caliber is necessary. In that light, the ML115 ticks enough boxes to be a great heart for the Pontos S Diver. Still, the consumer can focus on the watch’s usability and wearability, and in those two regards, this timepiece is not missing much.
We need to talk a bit about the pricing. The regular steel models (black or white dial) have a price of €2,100, while the bronze version goes for €2,650. When there are so many great divers around the €1K mark (like the Nivada Antarctic-Diver or the Certina DS Action Diver 43mm), selling one like this for more than €2K may seem like a stretch. Then again, we also need to look at each one specifically since making a general assumption would not be wise. The new Maurice Lacroix is a fun timepiece that is easy to wear and looks great. It feels good on the wrist, and on paper, the watch is supposed to be a fantastic tool watch. Whether it is excellent for diving or not, I cannot answer that because I’m not a diver. It does, however, have all the specs to be.
For more information, visit Maurice Lacroix’s website.