Just when you thought it was safe to dust off your 38mm watch in the hope that watch sizes are returning to more genteel proportions, Maurice Lacroix has issued an imposing XXL of a watch; the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Supercharged. It’s a 48mm behemoth that is a new addition to the series first released in 2012. The combination of size and colour is more than enough to ensure that this watch will get you noticed.
Founded in 1975, the last 20 years have seen the Maurice Lacroix brand steadily rise in stature and consumer appeal. In the 1990s the brand turned a significant corner when it could start to call itself a manufacture as by then the brand was making both the cases and the movements for its watches in-house. Not only that, Maurice Lacroix remains one of the few truly independent Swiss watch brands. However, if you were to go in search of that great watchmaker M. Lacroix you would search in vain, as he does not exist. The real Maurice Lacroix was an accountant with the Desco Group that still owns the brand, the marketing people just felt his name sounded right. However today, the brand has a genuine reputation for creating innovative complications and movements together with a passion for detail and perfection.
Back to the Pontos S Supercharged, and at its heart it’s a diver’s chronograph; a combination of clean and contemporary sporty design coupled with a respect for traditional Swiss watch making. In truth it’s probably more of a diver’s watch for the man who dabbles in diving on his summer holidays rather than the serious underwater warrior. But it’s still an impressive watch to be seen wearing by the sea or simply by the office water cooler. Water resistant to 200 metres, the Pontos S Supercharged features a knurled winding crown and two push pieces to ensure a better grip, As with the Pontos S, the bezel ring is inside, rather than on the outside of the dial.
One unusual point about the new Pontos S Supercharged is its movement. The plain 43mm Pontos S is powered by the ever reliable ETA 7750 chronograph movement, a chronographic favourite for many a long year, but because this watch is 47mm, Maurice Lacroix has opted for the larger Valgranges movement with the same capabilities. This calibre was developed by ETA in 2009 in order to accommodate the growing trend for larger watches.
The reason for this is that the ETA 7750 tends to leave quite a bit of empty space in bigger cases, but at the same time, the sub-dials have to be scrunched up close to the centre of the dial as if dial was regular sized. On a large face watch that can look a little incongruous. The Valgranges was developed to allow for the sub dials to be more evenly spaced and the hands can be more chunky and virile looking too.
Although launched nearly 5 years ago, the movement is still something of a rarity in watches, but the boys at Maurice Lacroix must have decided that this fitted the bill perfectly for their Supercharged version of the Pontos. Like the ETA 7750, the Valgranges has a power reserve of 46 hours.
The Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Supercharged comes in two vibrant trims; there is the stainless steel version with a red trim and a PVD black version with yellow trim. The watch comes on a strap that is undeniably sporty with a mix of hard wearing fabric for comfort and perforated leather for style.
There’s a growing range of Pontos watches, something to suit every taste, but the Supercharged is its most macho version to date. The price is still to be determined but if you are heading to Baselworld at the end of March you can no doubt have a frank and open discussion about it.