Maurice Lacroix SA

Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse

Case material
Bracelet strap
Folding buckle
Dial finish
Water resistance
50 m
ø 43 mm
16.45 mm
Self-winding mechanical
Power reserve: 50 h, 18000 variations / hours
Skeleton movement
Automaton, Hours, Minutes, Seconds
Masterpiece / 125-pieces limited series
Price excl.VAT
12'500 CHF

Fleeting. Intangible. How time passes has always been a mystery. The seconds tick by: only just outlined and already gone, directly from the future to the past. Tick tock, tick tock, the present does not exist; or if a little so, is infi nitely precious. How do we measure, how do we master and how do we describe this elusive moment?

Part of the answer lies above our heads: the sky, an infi nite but also mysterious beauty that has always fascinated humankind. The movement of the stars themselves has inspired the quantifi cation of time. Crushed by the power of the sun during the day and in total contemplation of the depths of the universe at night, man has refl ected and elaborated the units of measurement we use today: seconds, minutes, hours, days and years. Our calendar.

Time has become measurable, but the mystery remains, drawing us in relentlessly. As Albert Einstein once said “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious”.

But how possibly could one inject the power of such a mystery into an object worn on the wrist? How should we convert such an abstract principle into something legible? Creator of avant-garde timepieces, the Maurice Lacroix manufacture made use of its unique know-how and creativity to take on the challenge and explore new paths to the expression of time, never previously imagined. The objective: to give back to time some of its mystery and captivate the observer with an intriguing movement.

“Is the actual concept of time something circular or linear? And if time is linear, then why is it always depicted and expressed in a circular way? Maurice Lacroix is now recognized and well known for its new forms of reading time. In other words, we create alternate timelines” says Sandro Reginelli, Product / R&D Director. The starting point of the research was to break down the traditional circular view of time into a more linear expression. Instead of the straightforward choice of a single hand moving along a fl at line, the Research & Development team of Maurice Lacroix preferred to go down a more refi ned and creative path, exploring new and original forms to come out with a unique and alternate timeline. The mission of Maurice Lacroix has become to invent mechanical emotions and to explore new ways of indicating the passage of time. To do so, the brand can rely on a strong creative pair of fi ne experts, cumulating over 60 years of experience in the watchmaking industry: Sandro Reginelli, an aesthete with a seasoned eye, and Michel Vermot, a worldwide reference in watch engineering with a crazily inventive mind. Thanks to their great complementarity, Maurice Lacroix is capable to come out with unique design proposals combined with innovative technical solutions.

This is where Michel Vermot, the head of movement development for Maurice Lacroix, comes into play. Michel is the son of Charly Vermot, a legendary fi gure in the watch making industry that helped save the mechanical movements at the dark hours of the advent of quartz. A genius watchmaker, fascinated by Meccano and Technical Lego, Michel Vermot is an established dreamer, constantly seeking to adapt the reality to his imagination, and not the other way around. Whilst he was working as a watchmaking engineer professor at the Haute Ecole Arc in Neuchâtel (Switzerland), he defi ned the possibility of indicating time through a square wheel, the idea being to use a square to express time in a circular way. In other words, he was literally proposing to “square the wheel”. However, the required technology was not available at the time. He recorded his research in a book entitled “Traité de Construction Horlogère” (The Study of Watch Construction), a reference document published by Presses Polytechniques et Universitaires Romandes. Based on his theoretical research and thanks to the technological skills at Maurice Lacroix, Michel Vermot fi nally succeeded in transforming his vision into reality. In 2010, the famous Masterpiece Roue Carée was born, a genuine shockwave sent to the world of mechanical watchmaking. After years of development, Maurice Lacroix managed to make a square turn round, however without losing the circular indication of time. A totally unique and intriguing way of expressing time came to life. A watch that, in addition to its aesthetic value, touches the collective imagination: the circular motion of the square mesmerizes, troubles and puzzles.

This year, in a similar mind spirit of freedom and creativity, the brand from Saignelégier is proud to unveil the Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse. Yet again, a world première in the history of watchmaking, based on the same principles that led to the invention of the Masterpiece Roue Carrée. Hesitating between circularity and linearity, incomprehensible at fi rst, it then suddenly ticks in and you will fi nd yourself thinking: “Whow! But how does this work?”. The movement is smooth and magical. An enchanting ballet where the mystery prevails! “After all, is a watch’s purpose really to tell us the time when we are surrounded by technological gadgets such as mobile phones, computers and tablets constantly providing us with this information in a reliable way? For me, the primary function of a watch has evolved. It must fi rst and foremost evoke emotions” says Michel Vermot. Now that we can see and touch the product, how best can we defi ne this new creation by Maurice Lacroix? Fascinating. Captivating. Exceptional. And yes, mysterious. It is virtually impossible to take your eyes off this white circle displayed at 6 o’clock and on which the seconds hand appears to be fl oating. The display of time is magical and the path of the swirling hand reminds us of a magician waving his magic wand. The two colored tips of the mysterious hand take it in turns to indicate an exact second. The magician behind this work of art is Calibre ML 215, the twelfth 100% in-house development by Maurice Lacroix. It offers a unique and exclusive linear reading of seconds, alternating from a horizontal to a vertical axis every 15 seconds.

For the birth of such an innovative movement, Maurice Lacroix had no other option than to create a setting that gave it full justice. The result is a stunningly fi nished and perfectly balanced 43 mm case, a skeletonized face revealing the movement’s intricacies and an off-centered hours and minutes dial. With such a construction, the Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse demonstrates the depth of the design know-how of Maurice Lacroix, already multiple winner of prestigious design awards. The hours and minutes appear at 2 o‘clock, pointed by metallic blue or rhodium plated hands, whilst the rest of the dial is skeletonized. A teasing and contemporary labyrinth that opens-up on the ticking movement to reveal only part of the mystery. A modern skeleton in perfect harmony with the mysterious seconds and offered either in a rhodium or a DLC (Diamond-like carbon) finishing.

Calibre ML 215 and its automatic winding sytem can be observed through the sapphire case-back of the watch. Sun-blasted and diamond polished bridges, straight lines; grand colimaçon or grained fi nishing for the complication bridge.

Last but not least, the Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse is available in two limited editions of 125 pieces each.

The design stems from the function, and the large white circle is a true eye-catcher. Many questions will be asked and curious minds will want to hold the object in their hands, to tilt it, to dive into it and try and understand the mystery. A watch destined to become a true talking-piece for the fortunate 250 owners that will proudly wear it. The Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse raises a sweet and enchanting spell. Floating around this white dial in an intriguing way, the curious two-tipped hand seems to accelerate briefl y before suddenly changing its rhythm in the course of its swirling journey. However, the indication of the second remains accurate and readable.

The optical illusion comes from the mysterious seconds’ hand rotating on its axis, just as if it were levitating. The hand follows a hypocycloidal curve that would draw a beautiful rosette if it left a trace behind it. Is anybody ready to decipher the mechanical mystery behind such an aesthetical prowess?

Through this innovation, the Maurice Lacroix manufacture goes one step further and sets a new benchmark in its exploration of new and original ways of expressing the passage of time.

Maurice Lacroix creates alternate timelines.