Recently, at Baselworld, I chatted to personnel from Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette replica watch; they showed me several beautiful timepieces from their Masterpiece collection including the innovative Le Chronographe Squelette. Talent, endeavour and good fortune are needed to reach the pinnacle in one’s chosen career. To be first is the ultimate expression of self actualisation.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

 

Pushing the mind and body to the extremes of its potential, deserves reward. Many who populate the higher echelons of commerce and public life have made sacrifices to achieve such greatness. It seems only befitting that they can enjoy this success with the occasional indulgence.

A true competitor never wants to be a runner up. To the truly ambitious, there is little glory in coming second.

Early in my career, I remember my father-in-law stressing the need to push the boundaries. He remarked that a 100 metre sprinter may secure a gold medal by a infinitesimally small margin, yet the reward was disproportionately greater than a silver medal.

Harrods, the epitome of British retailing excellence, provides a haven for those who seek the finest expressions of luxury and good taste. Entering the Harrod’s Fine fake Maurice Lacroix skeleton Watch Room provides a horological feast to sate the desires of the most discerning of clientele.

I often frequent the store to see the latest novelties on offer including unique pieces and rare limited editions.

Recently, at Baselworld,  I chatted to personnel from Maurice Lacroix; they showed me several beautiful timepieces from their Masterpiece collection. A model which truly ignited my passion for fine finishing and innovative horology, was the Le Chronographe Squelette.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

 

Whilst I have purchased limited edition timepieces before, I have never owned a “number one”. Only one fortunate person will secure this timepiece. Moreover, as I write this article, I know that it may well have been sold. However, for those who share my passion for haute horology and fetishism for fine horological finishing, I feel compelled to impart the joy of this watch.

The timepiece is offered in four variants, each produced in a limited series of 188 models. The prospective buyer can choose from: rhodium movement execution, ruthenium movement execution, pink gold movement execution or blue nickel movement execution. Indeed, it is this latter variant which caused my unbridled lust for its beautiful form.

Indeed, my host commented, “Yes, I like that particular model too. Harrods will have number one out of 188”.

The dial

I often joke I am a horological voyeur. I need to see the mechanical heart of a watch. I crave the fine finishing which resides within the case.

It seems selfish for watchmakers to deny my inquisitive eyes the view of a beautifully finished movement. Thankfully, an increasing number of high-end watch replica brands utilse sapphire casebacks. This indulges the wearers’ eyes with comely circular graining and the spectacle of the pallet lever interfacing with the escape wheel.Pangs of melancholy permeate my soul when I see a fantastic timepiece, but then realise that the wonderful craftsmanship residing within, is hidden from view.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

The Le Chronographe Squelette reveals its inner workings centre-stage.

 

It shares the same design language as the aforementioned 60-minute chronograph counter and by default bestows balance and symmetry.At 9 o’clock a subsidiary second display features.

At 3 o’clock, a 60-minute chronograph counter resides. The hand for the counter is affixed to a circular grained wheel, engaging the eyes with its decorated form. I adore the honesty of the display presented.

A central chronograph seconds hand is presented in a silver hue, with a charming arrowhead counterweight near its fulcrum.The hours and minutes are imparted with silver coloured sword-shaped hands, lined with white luminous material.

The watch replica is skeletonised, presenting many challenges in its construction. However, Maurice Lacroix have shown on several occasions they have impressive competence at creating skeletonised movements and this model is no exception. Removing material can adversely effect torsional rigidity, similar to the creation of an open-top sportscar.

The case

The satin-brushed stainless steel case, in combination with the blue bridge work visible through the sapphire glass, imparts a cool, relaxed persona. The push-pieces and bevelled edges of the bezel and lugs are highly polished and charmingly coalesce with the adjacent surfaces.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

 

The crown proffers wonderful tactility, resembling two gears stacked in series. No aspect of this watch replica is born from expedience but rather the thoughtful contemplation of a talented design team.

The caseback features a sapphire crystal to afford a dorsal view of the movement.

Admiring the satin-brushed caseband, the refined execution of the case is magnificent. The chrongraph push pieces mimic the surrounding angles with their elaborate form. For example, if you look at the edge closest to the crown, it is curved, affording reverence to its cylindrical shaped neighbour.

The movement

The calibre ML 106 is a manufacture movement. It beautifully conveys the elevated skill practised by the maison’s most talented artisans.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

 

Close examination of the movement reveals the oscillating splendour of a screwed balance wheel.

The manual-winding movement shares its frequency of 18,000 vph (2.5Hz) with traditional wristwatches of yesteryear. However, this is no traditional timepiece, but a contemporary expression of fine watchmaking craftsmanship.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

 

This is a vertically integrated chronograph, with the castellated column wheel beautifully presented on the movement.

The spring barrel is sans barrel cap, revealing the mainspring to the fortunate wearer. The brass gear train is visible from the front of the watch replica and the winding stem is openly disclosed.

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette - Number 1 of 188 pieces featuring in Harrods

A further testament to the quality of the movement is the swan-neck regulator, typical of the finest examples of haute horology.

The decoration is exquisite. Whilst Maurice Lacroix have embraced modernity with this handsome timepiece they have not eschewed finissage with grand colimaçon decoration visible on the main bridge.

Conclusion

I would love to be the owner of “number one” of this limited series of 188 pieces produced. However, in reality any person who secures one of the limited series of 188 pieces should consider themselves a winner.

I adore this watch. There is great virtue in its conception with the candid presentation of the watchmaker’s skill.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette
  • Reference: MP7128-SS001-400
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 45.00 mm; height 11.00mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds; chronograph.
  • Movement: Caliber ML106, Manual wind; frequency 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz); 22 jewels; power reserve 42 hours.
  • Strap: Black hand-stiched crocodile leather strap with contrasting stitching and presented with a steel deployant.

In some cases there is much marketing hype behind timepieces where there is a distinct absence of merit beneath the veneer of a beautiful face. However, this Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Squelette watch replica has a peerless intellect with an intrinsic truth.