This Maurice Lacroix Chronographe Retro (ref. PT6288-SS001-130) was reviewed on 10 different criteria. The review is for this specific watch, other models may perform differently. Evaluation is based on my wrist size, personal opinions, experiences, and preferences.
Overall Design | 13 out of 15
The overall design and attention to detail is commendable. The panda dial with the gorgeous white lacquered base, the subtle red and light blue accents, the applied polished hour indices... everything just seems to work harmoniously. Sporty, yet elegant. A serious contender to become a timeless classic.
Case | 8 out of 10
The case is beautifully crafted, in-house by Maurice Lacroix (not many brands can claim this), in a 43mm size with a matte brushed finish. The area between the lugs however is polished (nice detail). As much as I love big watches (44mm and up), I must admit that the 42-43mm is the ideal size for my wrist. The top half of the bezel is polished while the bottom half of it matches the matte brushed finish of the case. Chrono pushers and crown have a unique design (reminds me of an exhaust vent found on the roof of older buildings), which I find very attractive. Front sapphire crystal has AR coating on both sides, which is great when it comes to reducing glare... but not so great when it comes to durability (exterior AR coatings are easily scratched and cannot be repaired/recoated). Case back has a mineral crystal that allows viewing pleasure of the 7750 movement. My biggest issue with the case? The width between the lugs is 21mm, an unpopular width for straps.
Dial | 8 out of 10
This model comes with the deep white lacquered dial with contrasting interconnecting black subdials. The red and light blue accents on the dial make the white dial pop even more, the color usage on the entire dial is just phenomenal. The hour markers have polished applied indices which reflects light beautifully. The hour and minute hand are also polished with lumed tips (as is the running second hand, chronometer minute and hour hands). The second hand of the chronometer is deep blue with a red tip that matches with the other colors on the dial (though a slightly lighter blue would have been a better match). There is also an applied "M" logo on the dial, which gives it a refined look. The minutes are marked on an elevated outer ring while a tachymeter scale is found right under it, giving the dial a bit more depth. One of my favorite things about the dial is the date window location at 6 o' clock, just perfect. Overall the fit and finish on the dial is very good, but points were deducted for a few minor imperfections.
Strap | 7 out of 10
The matte black leather strap is accompanied by a single sided deployant buckle with the company's logo engraved. The strap and deployant uses a "pinch" system for the size adjustment (like Cartier or Tag Heuer). The padding on the strap is ok, though the overall strap could be a bit thicker and wider. This would make the strap feel more substantial and it would also reduce the extra space around the lugs (a small part of the spring bars currently shows). Though it is secure, a visible gap by the closure has given me a sense of insecurity (gap is caused by the fact that the top piece is not fixed).
Movement | 6 out of 10
Chronos in this price range typically use the popular and robust Valjoux 7750, and this was no exception. The rotor is attractively decorated to show the Maurice Lacroix brand.
Legibility | 4 out of 5
As beautiful as the polished hands are, they are sometimes a bit difficult to find against the white dial, the polished hour indices, and the metallic sub dial circles. To make matters worse, the white lumed tips on the hour and minute hands blends too easily with the white dial... making the hour and minute hands appear too short. The hands on top of the subdials are much easier to read against the black subdial. The date is highlighted by a red trapezoid, which is a rare geometric shape to use on a dial but I am quite fond of it. The application of lume on the dial is restrained, with just the right amount for you to be able to tell time in the dark.
Operation | 5 out of 5
The crown and pushers are very easy to grasp and operate. All hands reset perfectly to its intended position.
Features | 7 out of 10
Chronograph, tachymeter scale, date, 5ATM (50m) water resistance, lume, applied indices, AR coating on front sapphire crystal, open case back... All the features that I would expect from a Swiss made 7750-based chronograph watch and then some.
Comfort | 8 out of 10
This is the only strap on a single sided deployant that I have found to be comfortable on my wrist, which is a big achievement in my books. It sits pretty centered too despite my smaller wrist size. The push buttons on the the deployant are placed closer to the top, where it cannot dig into your skin. But as comfortable as it is, it cannot beat the comfort of a regular tang buckle. All the outer edges on the case are well de-burred and do not feel sharp to the touch. This and the curved shape of the lugs help make this watch even more comfortable.
Value | 13 out of 15
At a retail price of $3,900, this watch offers a very serious bang for your buck. At this price point, the quality and finish on the watch is quite impressive. Kudos to Maurice Lacroix for offering these terrific timepieces at prices that most people can afford.
TOTAL SCORE: 79 out of 100
An affordable and gorgeous chronograph watch that will look great with a suit or with jeans and a t-shirt.
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