Since Maurice Lacroix introduced their Masterpiece series (around 1990), they are able to compete with brands like Chronoswiss, Omega, Ebel and probably some more established brands. Maurice Lacroix is a relatively new player (1975) and in 2006 they introduced their manufacture chronograph movement. Maurice Lacroix produces 150.000 watches per year, of which 40.000 watches have a mechanical movement.

How come that Maurice Lacroix gets so little attention from serious watch collectors and afficinados? Their price setting is really competitive and I have yet to see some complaints about the quality of these watches. One of the few things I can think of, is that Maurice Lacroix ruins their credibility amongst collectors/afficinados by producing ‘cheap’ quartz watches as well. Do they?

Take a look at this beautiful Lune Retrograde:

Maurice Lacroix Retrograde Lune

Maurice Lacroix Retrograde Lune

This watch has a handwound ML104 movement based on ETA caliber 6498-1. With the domed sapphire crystal, massive silver dial and stainless steel 43.5mm case, Maurice Lacroix presents a serious wrist watch for mechanical watch collectors with a classic taste but who doesn’t want to be that conservative when it comes to watches. At least, in my opinion. So, why don’t I have one yet? I don’t know. I do love the classic designed Phase de Lune watch a lot, which is quite affordable (not the Retrograde!). You can get these off for approximately 1600 euro (BNIB). I read only little about people’s experiences with these watches, which brings me to the following point.

There is no or only little coverage on Maurice Lacroix watches on the big watch fora like WatchUseek, TimeZone and my friends at Perpetuelle. A few days ago, someone asked about the general opinion on Maurice Lacroix (and Baume et Mercier for that matter) on TimeZone. Click here for the thread. Most of the people that replied were quite positive, but only a few actually own a Maurice Lacroix.

What do you think of them?

  • Ben

    I actually do own an ML and have owned one for about 3-4 years now. It is a mechanical watch in their Masterpiece line, it is not one that is well known but it remains one of my favorite watches. It features a Peseux movement and i wear it as my “dress” watch and I can’t tell you how many people have commented on it. The pictures online don’t do it justice, it is really a striking watch with a legendary movement inside.

    Here is an article about the ML I own:

    I think Maurice Lacroix represents an absolutely great alternative to the mainstream brands and I often find myself being drawn to the ML counter when at watch stores. I can whole-heartedly endorse this brand. I see big things coming from them in the future.

    All the best,


  • Ben

    My mistake…wrong link in the last post. Meant to paste this to the Maurice Lacroix I own:

    Sorry about that!

  • RJ-
    Excellent topic you raise! My opinion is two-fold: 1) I think that Maurice Lacroix makes some beautiful higher-end watches, HOWEVER, 2) these watches are under-appreciated by serious collectors as the perception and image of the brand is seriously diluted by its participation in the lower end quartz market. I say this is my perception – as I lack hard data on product mix – however I will always remember a friend of mine who purchased a ML for ~$800 US many years ago and from that point on I always viewed the brand as “low end”. Only later have I come to recognize and appreciate some of its high-end pieces.

    To me, the Maurice Lacroix’s challenge is this: an identity crisis. The brand needs to determine what true image it wants to convey, rather than try to compete both low end quartz and more haute horlogerie.

    That is my quick opinion!

    Happy New Year!

  • @Ben: Thanks for bringing first hand findings (and a chance to get a free t-shirt 😉 ). I can imagine that you get a lot of comments on your ML. Looks terrific. People never comment me on my IWC or Rolex for example (except for watch ppl), but always on my Chronoswiss.

    @Kyle: Thanks for your comments. Your 2nd point makes also sense to me. It is a bit like the Philips HiFi syndrome. They had this wonderful 900-series HiFi in the 1990s (probably in the late 1980s as well) but because they also produced the cheap plastic HiFi sets, the 900 was completely underrated (and therefor a great bargain after some time). I get your advice for ML as well. They should make up their mind on which side they are one 😉

  • Charlie S

    FYI – ML USA has been in process over the last year or so of eliminating quartz from it’s portfolio – The company has elevated it’s profile to be lead by MP as signature portion of it’s line – especially with the introduction in Basel of 18K LTD versions of Calendier retro and double retro grade with ML movements followed by steel versions of same coming this spring

  • Thank you for your (inside) information Charlie. Much appreciated.


  • Not that all quartz is bad, of course! There are low-end mechanicals also available. Most encouraging to me as stated by Mr. Charlie S is that the brand is reportedly seeking to elevate its profile. I think the brand clearly has potential for this move upward.

    A clear vision, a clear identity – a singularly defining aspect of the brand – is what will win the hearts and minds (and wrists) of more watch enthusiasts like me. I look forward to following ML’s progress.

    Thanks again for opening up this great discussion, RJ.

  • Martijn

    Isn’t it possible that ML simply has a different following? Just like brands as Frederic Constant, Rado, Baume & Mercier, but also dont forget Cartier and even Rolex, I think that 80-90% of the people that buy them simply want a nice watch, but aren’t really into watches.

    ML might be betting on two horses at the same time. They have a large collection of lower end quartz watches, that to be honest are very nice. I saw a couple at a local retailer and a well made analog quartz alarm watch with big date or full calendar with moonphase sells for around 800 euro’s.

    On the other hand, the investment that they made with the Rolex-money (which Rolex paid to take over Roger Federer) certainly paid off. The Memoire is great technology, but not very commercial. It draws attention but what is ML doing with the attention from the WIS-community? Hoping we all go for the masterpiece collection?

    In my opinion ML needs to make a solid bet on one of the other.

  • Ronald

    I am with Kyle on this ML discussion. In my opinion, ML is like Volkswagen in the car industry. Trying to struggle to a higher end segment, competing with Mercedes and BMW, but never able to do so as long as they will also make ugly things like Touran and so on….

  • I just purchased a ML and I can not be happier. I have had many compliments on the piece and was told by several people this is a “Big Boy Watch”. I was told this by a person in the store at the same time as I was and he told me this before I purchased the watch, but his comment is what lead me to buy it. I purchased the Global Master Piece. I am now looking to purchased another ML.

  • Alain (aka koimaster)

    own two ML watches, th Pontos day date and a petite seconde. An Ad in Salem where I live thought the day date cost over $9K and the other close behind. They carry rolex, omega and tag. He had heard of ML but had never seen on.

    Today i picked up a Les Classiques ( quartz based on an ETA movment ) and I am not a quartz fan. I am though a big fn of tis brand.

  • I feel I should say my little bit here, because I like ML watches. First bought an open heart [ peseux movement I think) in Sydney, maybe 9 years ago, pink gold plated I think. Fell in love with it when I saw it, specially because there were fewer open hearts around in those days. A year or two later saw same watch except for different hands and a so beautiful copper face … got that too! But saved them from much wear, and one day as I was enjoying the cream-dialed one, as I turned it over, the balance wheel stopped dead and my eyes nearly popped out. That was a bit after the leather loop on the ML branded strap opened up and fell off. So, those are negatives in my experience. Sydney service people, very pleasant, fiddled with it a bit I guess, but it stopped again. The second time the servicemen said he had located the part causing the trouble and since then no problems, but they have very light use. They are equisite in the lovley polishing within the movements. I also bought the ML Skelette, after lusting after it for a few years. What a joy!! Wearing it looking at an art exhibition one day my companion said something like, “That watch makes plenty of noise”. I tilted it, and could hear the music of its tick-tock too! Sometimes as I read, at a certain angle on my wrist with light coming form over my right shoulder, one of the ruby pallet stones will have its ruby colors reflected off the spinning, shiny balance. So nice to see. I notice the bridges are engraved in detail and this can cause those surfaces to shine and shimmer very prettily, possibly too prettily for someone’s taste, but I am happy to enjoy the “show” when it happens. It looks and has the feel of something quite noble;um, I mean, something that has some inherent beauty and value in an integral way … it didn’t have to earn it, it wasn’t put there accidentally, it just is like that, and one doesn’t see how it could have come to be, it just is! So, luvv it! Also, as the assistant pointed out to me in Singapore, ML ‘do the straps very well’. He meant the way the leather strap is attached under the metal device that holds the strap, so that it is a dream to wear with no metal pressing into and against the wrist. The latest ML watches can look quite , almost, bulky in their depth; getting plenty for one’s considerable outlay of money, perhaps. They look special in design and well crafted and finished, kind of solid looking. I am not currently in love with any of them, except I might be for the Cinq on Cinq with the rainbow arabic hands, but have never seen one to be able to appreciate it. I wear my skelette on special ‘soft’ occasions, and “believe in” it!! and so haven’t even bothered to check its accuracy, being more difficult to do without the hour and minute indices. But, I will always be having a look at maurice Lacroix watches in the future; I think you might also enjoy doing so. Best wishes.

  • JimJay

    Maurice Lacroix is one of my favorite watches brands because they have a lot of beautiful models. I really like about 10-12 of them. They have crazy innovation like the Pontos Décentrique Phase de Lune or the Pontos Décentrique Rectangualaire Full Black. I am a really big fan of this brand. I own a Pontos Chronographe and I really like it.
    My next watche will probably be a Masterpiece !!!!

    • Beck

      I’m totally agree with you, Maurice Lacroix is an excellent watches brands. I also own a Pontos Chronographe and it made a lot of effects !!! My next watche will probably be a Pontos Phase de Lune. Maurice Lacroix is like the bigger sercret of real watches owner :))

  • Patrick

    I used to own a ML, the cinq aguilles (the original version) from the Masterpiece collection. Very classic style and I got a lot of (positive) remarks about the complexity of looking at the time. Eveybody thouht it to be a very expensive watch (it was, but not as expensive as they thought).
    Unfortunately the watch was stolen and although I like the brand very much I decided to replace with another brand (TAG Heuer Monaco Steve McQueen) because my love for Porsche and motor racing. I still take a look at their collection some time and found some beautiful watches. Maybe…. yes, there definitely will be one in my collection some day.

  • A friend of mine has a Maurice Lacroix. The watch is nice and he has had no problems with it. They are independent manufacturers so they are full of spirit, unlike Tissot or Longines which are part of Swatch corporation.
    Indeed ML has relatively cheap models but i don’t see this as a problem. Not at all. Their target is people who are connaiseurs.

  • Gs

    A buddy of mine bought the ML retrograd 2 years ago…not the Luna model. I believe it retails now for about $8900 us dollar… He prob bought it for a bit less. Being strapped for cash, he’s looking to sell it to me. Asking around 3k. Am I crazy, or what’s an opinion? I have a collection of rolex, gp, brietling, iwc, baume, bell/Ross, tag, movado and Ernst.

  • Saulgoldman

    Having owned several Rolex’s, one Breitling, several Omega’s and various others, I can say that ML’s are very nice watches. My daily wear is a Miros Chrono COSC Quartz. I’ve never owned a more accurate watch and ever since I bought it, I’m used to it’s accuracy. I actually don’t care for auto’s much anymore. I picked up a 1988 NIB Rolex Oysterquartz for $3k and believe it to be a great value. Reliable, solid and easy to own. Quartz watches are more reliable. Auto’s feel better on the wrist. I’m now on the more reliable team as I age. If you can find a Miros COSC, buy it. For about $600 its a steal. Set it and forget it.

  • Juliaswain24

    I bought a Maurice Lacroix water resistant watch around the £500 mark a few years ago, I wore this on holiday abroad and it let in water and stopped though has a water resistant claim of up to 30m.

    I have since discovered that water resistancy is not guaranteed past the warranty and should be checked regularly as the rubber seals can deteriorate with time. Also not guaranteed if used for any kind of ‘extreme’ water sport such as diving, surfing etc. Why advertise as a watch water resistant to 30m depth otherwise?!

    I am very disappointed the company will not repair this at their expense and the repairs prove to be as expensive as buying a new watch altogether. Watch out its a wash out!!

    • Christopher Rollinson

      30 metres water resistant is just splash resistant you want something that is claimed to be 100m water resistant to be using it whilst swimming or diving. And why would you buy a Maurice Lacroix watch to swim with anyway, if you were on a beatch the sand can scratch most watches. If you want a watch for diving by a luminox or a traser.

    • pinoy watch fan

      A watch  water-resistant to 30 meters (100 feet) will withstand splashes of water or rain only and should not be worn while swimming or diving. That info is usually in the manual of every brand new watch. So definitely, ML will not shoulder the repair of a 30M resistant watch which was used in a what  
      you call EXTREME WATER SPORT . It was your fault. So dont blame ML for it. Next time read the manual first! 

  • Jimjonesflossin

    Iv owned 1 for over 2 years been for its service very well made and good looking watch,the first I had ever seen a maurice lacroix was in a BMW magazine.
    Iv also yet to see a watch like this chrono with 2 second hands 1 for seconds 1 for mins.
    not my everyday watch pref my Tag wear it on occasion

  • mac

    I actually own a maurice lacroix miros, and to be honest, its not a bad watch. it keep time, looks good and i havnt had a problem with it yet. i personally dont think that maurice lacroix watches are in the same league as your rolexs and breitling, but they are a good entry level watch, better than any swatch, casio, fossil or any of those other entry level brands.

  • Sharifuddin

    i bought a mens quarts watch from bid down tv for £65. recently replaced strap which cost £150 die to unusual shape, ouch!!!! selling on bid down tv can’t have done the brand image any favours surely!!!! however its been totally reliable and feels really solid and robust. glad similiar models cost around £650.

  • Vong Chin Siang

    i’ve jsut owned a pontos for a few months, no complaint, accurate and affordable. of course there is no wow factor for people who look at it as they do if it’s a rolex. it’s all about commercial value rather than the real quality value in this world. ML is definately ok, can be better when comes to commercial value if they willing to get roger ferderer to be their model. to me, rolex, omega, seiko, PF, ML, BM, all equally good. i personally like AP because of thier design, very unique. 

  • Imthekoz

    I just found a lovely Masterpiece flyback in 18k for $3500. I love it, retro look, smooth sweep wears dress or casual. I was wearing my explorer II and submariner but have parked them for over a week now. Next few weeks will tell if puppy love or more.

  • Luminox75

    I have one I got it in 2003 still works and I wear it every day I think it will last about 20 more years

  • PitPony

    Worst item I’ve ever owned. After 12 months the bracelet broke because of an inherent design flaw. I sent it back to Switzerland for a repair that I had to pay for. It broke again a few months later. Since then I got my dentist technician brother to repair twice. Since the last failure 5 years a go I just gave up and it has sat in a drawer since. Probably been able wear it three years out of ten.   
    Problem is it was a present and the donor has taken offence that I never wear it. 

  • mile_vishnu

    I received a Maurice Lacroix Jours Retrogrades as a present a few years back and am very disappointed with the fact that once the watch is wound it does not hold the charge for 48 hours, but unless is constantly worn stops between 8 and 12 hours later

  • watcher69

    @mile_vishnu My guess is you got a counterfeit Chinese imitation, not a real Maurice Lacroix.  The power reserve of the Masterpiece Retrograde is well over 40 hours.

  • watcher69

    I own a Pontos Day/Date Automatic, it keeps great time and is simply striking.  It doesn’t bother me the company makes “affordable” quartz watches as well as Haute Horlogerie pieces, don’t Omega, Baume & Mercier, Tag and more all have quartz watches available out there?
    I have a Tag, an Omega and a Rolex but my Pontos is the nicest and my favorite.