The introduction of the Aikon collection has been a very good surprise, back in 2018. The pleasure of a good luxury sports watch, without the waiting list or the 5-digit price tag. While the first version of the Aikon was a versatile, retrained model, Maurice Lacroix has decided to introduce a second, bolder, sportier iteration, with nautical/adventure inspiration. Its name is the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer and today we take a look at it.
While there’s no hiding the fame for luxury sports watches these days (RO and Nautilus being the stars of the show), few of us have a wallet thick enough to even consider to get one (if ever getting one was only a matter of cash… availability being THE main issue). So the introduction of an accessible, still well-crafted, automatic watch with the flair of these watches, but without the price tag, was refreshing. Certainly, you can’t expect a high-end, ultra-thin movement, a hand-polished case or the same level of execution, but as we told in our previous hands-on with the Aikon, this watch is surprisingly well done for the price (below EUR 2,000).
Just like Audemars Piguet created the Offshore version of the Royal Oak, as a more masculine, more robust iteration of its iconic model, Maurice Lacroix tends here to bring some ruggedness to its shaped sports watch, with a reinforced case, a diving bezel and various design elements to make it more suitable to outdoor activities – without denying the entire concept.
The base of the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer remains identical, being a tonneau-shaped case in stainless steel, with integrated lugs, a combination of brushed surfaces with polished accents and a raised, circular bezel/dial on top – a familiar construction for luxury sports watches. The design codes of the collection are respected, with however some additional elements to give some robustness and sportiness.
While the Aikon Automatic time-and-date bears a 42mm case (note that a 39mm edition has recently been launched), the new Aikon Venturer grows to 43mm. The case sees the apparition of a crown protection element as well as the easily noticeable rotating bezel. Also, the water resistance has been upgraded to now 300 meters, instead of 200 meters previously. More than enough for most users.
Surprisingly, despite the more robust case, the increased WR and the addition of a rotating bezel, the case remains relatively thin, at 11.60mm – which is only half a millimetre more than the time-and-date model and way less than the chronograph. This is our most pleasant surprise with this watch, as there’s nothing more annoying than a thick, heavy, unbalanced watch on the wrist. Due to the shaped case, the watch sits comfortably on the wrist (wrist size of the wearer here: 18cm) and feels solidly attached.
The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is available on both a rubber strap, which is supple and pleasant on the skin, or a 5-link stainless bracelet with folding clasp – the latter making the watch heavier and slightly larger, of course. As for the rest of the collection, Maurice Lacroix retains the “EasyChange”, a quick bracelet or strap exchange system that allows changing in less than 30 seconds – an interesting feature, especially in this price range.
As for the dial, besides the addition of a unidirectional 60-minute bezel – which has a ceramic inlay – the style also evolves, with now non-textured dials in black or blue, as well as new indexes and hands. All have been increased in size to provide better contrast and legibility – also in the dark, thanks to a large amount of Super-LumiNova. The date is positioned at 3 o’clock and framed by a metallic part.
Now hidden under a solid steel back (adorned with “Jura waves” pattern), the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is equipped with a tried-and-tested automatic Sellita SW 200-1, an ETA clone with 4hz frequency and 38-hour power reserve. No need to enter into details, this is a good, reliable, easily serviceable movement that simply does the job and allows for a reasonable price.
Altogether, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is a nice, sportier evolution of the Aikon concept. While being bolder and more robust, it retains the qualities of the “standard” version. The watch is certainly not small, but the well-conceived case and the restrained thickness allow for good comfort. The execution, especially considering the accessible price, is very satisfying. The fair of the bold luxury sports watches for a fraction of the usual price…
Price & Availability
The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is now available at retailers and will be priced at EUR 1,850 on a rubber strap, EUR 1,990 on a steel bracelet and EUR 2,190 with both rubber and steel bracelet.
More details on www.mauricelacroix.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.