The Aikon gets a sleek dark makeover by Geneva-based watch customiser Label Noir. As Maurice Lacroix’ affordable take on the luxury sports watch since 2016, the Aikon is a dynamic collection in constant expansion. Limited to 50 pieces, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Label Noir Automatic Limited Edition will be available today – Black Friday – on the brand’s website for sale in Europe and Switzerland.
The first Aikon watches, based on a 1990s Maurice Lacroix Calypso design, displayed the hallmark formula of a luxury sports watch: bold-shaped cases, a distinctive bezel, integrated bracelets, water-resistance and a mix of luxurious and sporty elements. The two things that differentiated the Maurice Lacroix Aikon from other high-end models in this sector were its affordable price tag and its quartz movement. In 2018, the Aikon was upgraded with an automatic movement and managed to keep the price in check.
Emmanuel Curti, founder of Label Noir
Emmanuel Curti, watchmaker and founder of Label Noir and a specialist in personalising watches, envisaged a makeover for the Aikon and approached Maurice Lacroix with his project. According to Emmanuel Curti, the Aikon is a versatile watch that lends itself to different finishes, which in turn can create a very different look for the watch. Although this meant “changing certain elements that we wouldn’t have dared to change“, according to Thiébaut Bentz, International Product and Marketing Director of Maurice Lacroix, a deal was sealed.
For the record, the 3-hand Aikon Automatic has appeared with blue, black, silver and grey dials, all with the hallmark embossed Clous de Paris pattern on the dial. It also appeared in an all-black suit last year, so you might well ask what is different about this new all-black piece.
Actually, quite a lot. To start with, it is not exactly an all-black piece. It is a more subtle and elegant combination of black and grey. The case, with its 42mm diameter and 11mm height, has an anthracite DLC coating on the case middle with a sandblasted finish. In contrast, the distinctive bezel with its six double claws has a black DLC coating and displays a matte black background with polished claws. The screw-down crown and bezel and the 200m water-resistance remain unchanged.
The biggest change undertaken by Label Noir takes place on the dial. The signature embossed Clous de Paris pattern has gone and is replaced by a lacquered matte grey dial, close in colour and texture to the case middle. The removal of this common Aikon family trait is, in my eyes, extremely successful and gives the watch a slicker, sleeker, more urban appeal. It also makes the dial far more legible. The applied indices and the faceted hour and minute hands are all treated with black Super-LumiNova.
The reference to the ‘Automatic’ movement at 6 o’clock on the dial has been replaced with LABELNOIR and the white minutes track now features a black marker at the top of each index. Another very subtle design tweak concerns the date window; it is not framed like other Aikon models but bevelled directly on the dial plate.
Movement ML 115
The Aikon is fitted with an automatic movement (ML 115) based on a Sellita SW 200 (a clone of the ETA 2824) and is visible through the sapphire caseback. It beats at 28,000 vibrations/hour, has a power reserve of 38 hours and displays vertical Côtes de Genève and perlage.
Like other Aikon models, the watch comes with an interchangeable strap system allowing you to change the personality of your watch in seconds – with no tool required. The strap delivered with this model is a black calfskin strap with a textile finish, and the triple-folding buckle is coated in black PVD.
Availability and price
The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Label Noir Automatic Limited Edition is limited to 50 pieces and will be available exclusively in Europe and Switzerland on the Maurice Lacroix website today (Black Friday). The retail price is EUR 2,300 or CHF 2,300.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.