This Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Mysterious Seconds (ref. MP6558-SS001-095-1) 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.
The Masterpiece Mysterious Seconds and the Masterpiece Gravity (which was previously reviewed) are two of the most interesting pieces from Maurice Lacroix at the moment. Like its Gravity sibling, this watch is also a limited edition with only 250 pieces made in stainless steel (other variants exists). But unlike the Gravity, the Mysterious Seconds is notably less popular. It will be very interesting to see how this watch compares to the Gravity, which scored a very respectable 87 points on my hands-on review.
Overall Design | 14 out of 15
The partially skeletonized dial and oversized seconds subdial is mesmerizing… In terms of finish and quality, it is extremely well executed. Obviously, the highlight and selling point of this watch is how the second hand moves across the subdial, hence the name Mysterious Seconds. The way the second hand moves and indicates the actual seconds in an unconventional way is genius.
Case | 8 out of 10
The in-house 43mm case is elegant and different (all models from the Masterpiece collection share case similarities)… but it is simply too thick. So thick in fact that it looks odd. Not to mention that the words dressy and thick do not belong in the same sentence. Yes, the thickness helps add dimension to the skeleton dial, but when seen from the side, it just looks off and disproportional. The case is mainly satin brushed, with polished beveled edges on the lugs. The backside of the lugs and the bezel are polished. The sapphire crystal on top is slightly domed with anti-reflecting coating on both sides. The open case back also has a sapphire crystal and is safely secured via four screws.
Dial | 9 out of 10
For those unfamiliar with how it works, here’s the big secret… the subdial is actually rotating together with the second hand as the second hand is rotating on its axis, creating the illusion of the second hand floating across the subdial. Besides looking cool, the second hand actually indicates the seconds against the printed glass on top of the subdial. 0 to 15 seconds is indicated by the horizontal line with red markings from the center to 3 o’clock when the second hand is on quadrant one. As the second hand moves to quadrant four, the red tip on the second hand moves across the horizontal line with red markings from the center to 3 o’clock, indicating 0 to 15 seconds. And the second hand continues its clockwise movement until all 60 seconds are covered. Since this is the main feature on the watch, it is no surprise that the seconds subdial covers the most area on the dial. Unfortunately, that also means that the off-centered main dial is about 35% overshadowed by the seconds subdial. Telling the exact time in quadrant three is now more of a guess. The partially skeletonized dial is well designed and executed… I wish that the seconds subdial was smaller so that more of the dial could be skeletonized and more of the off-center main dial could be uncovered. The brand “Maurice Lacroix” is cleverly engraved on one of the bridges.
Strap | 8 out of 10
This particular variation of the Mystery comes with a matte black crocodile strap (with black stitching) on a single sided deployant buckle with push buttons. The deployant buckle is the same found in the Masterpiece Gravity that was reviewed a few months ago (the embossed “M” is again a nice touch by Maurice Lacroix), but the quality of this strap is actually different. Unlike the one found on the Gravity, this strap feels like it is lacking a bit in terms of the padding... just a tad too thin.
Movement | 8 out of 10
The Mysterious Seconds is powered by Maurice Lacroix’s Calibre ML215. This manufacture movement has a 50-hours power reserve, 48 jewels, and a frequency of 18,000 vph (2.5Hz). Another movement with no hacking seconds… The movement is clearly visible through the open case back. Unlike the Gravity, the decoration on the Mysterious Seconds is simply disappointing. The bridges and plates appear to only be brushed. The rotor is also lackluster… though I appreciate the “modern” look (or at least I think that is what they were trying to accomplish with the rotor design), I believe that a lot more could have been done in terms of decorating the rotor and the movement. It seems like this portion of the watch was either rushed or suffered from some severe cost cutting. However, the mysterious seconds complication is like nothing else out there in the market.
Legibility | 2 out of 5
One of the biggest issues with this watch is legibility. The lower left quadrant of the main dial is partially obstructed by the oversized seconds display (about 35%)… When the hour and minute hands are in this obstructed area, a bit of guesswork is required to determine the time. In addition, the main dial is small compared to the overall size of the dial. These two things combined with the skeleton dial make telling time on this timepiece challenging. Even with my 50/50 eyes, I have to stare at the watch for a few seconds before I know what time it is. So if you use reading glasses, this is probably not the right watch for you. In low light conditions, telling time will be even more challenging since there is no lume anywhere on the dial.
Operation | 5 out of 5
The crown on the Mysterious Seconds is easy to pull out and operate. All functions of the watch worked as expected during the review.
Features | 9 out of 10
The list of features on this watch includes the mysterious seconds, partially skeletonized dial, slightly domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, exhibition case back with a sapphire crystal, off-centered hours and minutes display with applied Arabic numerals, manufacture movement, in-house case, and 50m water resistance. A date display would have been a nice addition.
Comfort | 7 out of 10
As much as I dislike deployant buckles, the strap system on this watch actually feels acceptable on my 6.5” wrist. When installed on the third hole from top to bottom, the deployant buckle is positioned on the center of my under wrist. Though it fits my wrist in this setting, it is slightly loose. Moving it by one hole leaves the deployant buckle off centered, which is uncomfortable. The strap on this watch was soft and worn in, which helped with the comfort.
Value | 11 out of 15
With a retail price of $13,900, the Mysterious Seconds is priced the same as the Gravity… and I can see why Maurice Lacroix decided to do that. The problem is that the Gravity is a much more attractive watch and a lot more legible. Is the second hand subdial novelty more interesting than the exposed balanced wheel on the Gravity? Initially, yes… but the novelty subsides quickly after you figure out the mystery and realize that telling time on the watch is significantly difficult because of this oversized second hand subdial. But is there anything else out there in the market that resembles the Mysterious Seconds at this price? No. But I’ll take the Gravity over this watch any day.
TOTAL SCORE: 81 out of 100
The Mysterious Seconds clearly shows Maurice Lacroix's prowess and innovative thinking, a brand that is surely to be on the rise.
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