Maurice Lacroix may be a young brand, but its watches are stirring the market. Their prices are not astronomical as well. But many are unsure about its status – is Maurice Lacroix a luxury watch brand?
In general, Maurice Lacroix is an entry-level luxury watch brand, with specific collections being full luxury watches. Its watches are made with premium materials and in-house movement, and almost all models start at $1,000. Brands similar to Maurice Lacroix include Longines or Tag Heuer.
This post will explore Maurice Lacroix in detail and determine if it is indeed a luxury watch brand. We will answer some relevant questions about the brand as well.
We have covered similar questions with many watch brands such as Longines, Certina, Tissot, Movado, and Timex, so click on the links to read in detail.
What Makes Luxury Watch Brand Different From Others?
Luxury watch brands usually have better workmanship, performance, and materials. Most luxury watch brands are also created in-house, have a high-end image, and start at four figures.
READ MORE: What Makes A Watch, A Luxury Watch?
In general, luxury watch brands have these distinguishing features from budget watch brands.
- In-House Movements and Technology
- Brand Image
Materials: Luxury watchmakers generally utilize more expensive materials for their watch parts. Watch casings and bands may be made of materials other than 316L stainless steel, such as 904L steel, titanium, or 18K gold.
Diamonds and quality top grain leather are used to embellish and polish luxury watches.
Assembly: Luxury watchmakers typically hand-assemble their watches to assure excellent quality. The watches are also produced and assembled in-house.
To cut costs, some low-cost watchmakers outsource some manufacturing. Some outsourced portion production but assembled the timepieces in-house. Some watch firms have totally outsourced production and assembly.
In-House Movements and Technology: Luxury watch brands frequently manufacture their own movements to better control the performance of their watches.
Most mainstream watch brands use movements from third-party suppliers like Ronda, Sellita, or Miyota. They may lack the expertise or funding to create their own movement.
Luxury watch firms also develop their own technologies to improve watches. These could be a unique metal blend for a better watch casing or specialized pieces to handle magnetic force.
Design: Luxury watch brands often have classic designs that act as benchmarks and inspiration for future designs.
Many designers of dive watches look to the Rolex Submariner or the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean for inspiration.
Luxury watch brands also influence watch trends, with many watch manufacturers copying Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual design changes. Examples include fluted bezels, cyclops magnifiers, and jubilee bands.
Homages: Luxury watch brands often had homages fashioned after their models. Homages are cheaper copies of the originals created by another company.
Homages are not replicas. They usually bear the maker’s logo and change somewhat from the original to avoid legal culpability. As the original watch becomes more expensive, homages appear.
ALSO READ: What Are Homage Watches?
Clones: Fake or clone timepieces will be an issue for luxury watch brands. Because the timepieces are pricey, this is unavoidable. Many people want it.
That creates a market for clone watchmakers to profit from. It takes a skilled watchmaker and serial number checker to differentiate a fake from a genuine one.
Brand Image: Luxury watch brands display an image of distinction, class, and exclusivity. They do so by linking their companies with similar events, personalities, or media outlets.
For example, many high-end watch brands like Rolex, Omega, IWC, and Richard Mille sponsor tennis, golf, and Formula 1. They don’t sponsor wrestling or soccer teams.
These media reflect wealth, power, and status. Thus luxury watch businesses advertise in them.
Price: Finally, premium watch brands often charge four-figure prices for their watches. This allows them to reinvest more earnings into product development and marketing.
High watch prices also made their watches special, only available to those with accomplishment, achievement, and fortune.
Can You Consider Maurice Lacroix As A Luxury Brand?
Maurice Lacroix is an entry-level luxury brand. However, watches from the Masterpiece collection can be seen as full luxury watches. Maurice Lacroix uses in-house movements and has iconic designs, which sets them apart from generic watchmakers.
|Characteristics||Luxury Watch Brands||Maurice Lacroix||Pass?|
|Materials||May use 904L steel, titanium, precious metals, gemstones||Titanium, diamonds, mother of pearl, alligator leather||✅|
|Assembly||Mostly hand assembled||No such claims, watches are Swiss Made||❌|
|Movement||Almost all have in-house movement||Has In-house movement, but also uses third-party movement||✅|
|Proprietary Technology||Almost all have proprietary technology||None noticed.||✅|
|Design||Often iconic, and sets trends.||The Aikon is iconic and well loved.||✅|
|Homages||Have homages made after their models||There are homages made for the Aikon||✅|
|Fakes & Imitation||Suffers from fakes and imitation||Counterfeit models exist||✅|
|Brand Image||Prestige, exclusivity, class||Young, energetic, luxury||✅|
|Prices||At least four-figure.||Priced between $690 – $10,000||❌|
When reviewing Maurice Lacroix’s watches, you can see them using premium materials, such as titanium, diamonds, mother of pearl dials, and crocodile leather. Some models receive plating with precious metals such as gold and rhodium.
Their watches are also given intricate finishing on the dial, with some models carrying a Guilloche or embossed dial. All models are given sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating.
This is different from typical watchmakers who almost exclusively use stainless steel watch cases and offer lower quality crystals to keep production costs low.
Maurice Lacroix does not claim to fully hand-assemble their watches. However, it claims to manufacture and assemble its watches in-house at the studio at Saignelegier, Switzerland.
Not many watch companies declare this openly (Rolex is one of the few who does), showing Maurice Lacroix’s commitment to in-house production and quality standards.
Maurice Lacroix’s watches, however, are all given the ‘Swiss Made’ label. To pass as a Swiss Made watch, it needs to:
- Have 60% of its production in Switzerland (design, parts manufacturing, assembly, etc.)
- Uses a Swiss movement
- Be encased and inspected in Switzerland.
Swiss watches carry a higher level of quality in general, so for Maurice Lacroix watches to carry this label is an excellent indication of the quality of the watch it makes.
In-House Movements and Technology
In its earlier days, Maurice Lacroix used third-party movements developed by ETA.
However, in 2006, it revealed its first in-house automatic movement, with the name ML106. It is a chronograph movement. Automatic watches from Maurice Lacroix now use in-house movements.
However, when reviewing their quartz models, there is no mention of in-house quartz movement. Their list of in-house movements also does not seem to show any in-house quartz movement being developed.
With these quartz watches Swiss Made, we conclude that its quartz models probably use an ETA or Ronda quartz movement.
The ETA quartz watches are more likely as Maurice Lacroix uses mainly ETA movements before developing their own movements.
Maurice Lacroix carries watches of multiple designs.
The watches in the Masterpiece collection carry a serious, classic dress-up look similar to those from A. Lange & Söhne. The Pontos collection features more ‘dress down’ modern watches, and the Aikon collections carry a casual look.
The Aikon collections are the models that many would remember Maurice Lacroix by. The Aikon watches have a unique thick bezel design that instantly sets them apart from other watches.
Some would see the Aikon as a possible homage to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Still, it is possible to say that the Aikon was not released into the market as an homage.
The Aikon does not claim to pay homage to the Royal Oak, nor does it leverage the demands for the Royal Oak to drive its sales.
In fact, there have been models of watches made as a homage to the Aikon.
There have been homages designed for Maurice Lacroix’s watches, especially the Aikon:
There have been no known popular models that are homages to Maurice Lacroix’s other models.
When a watchmaker has homages made after their models, it shows the level of popularity and, in some instances, expensiveness of the design that homage makers see fit to enter the market.
This is the situation Maurice Lacroix is in, showing it is a luxury watchmaker.
Maurice Lacroix also suffers from fakes, similar to other luxury watch brands. All it takes is a quick Google search, and you will find many stores selling replica Maurice Lacroix’s.
It is noted that quite many of these counterfeiters focus on selling replicas for It Masterpiece collections. Perhaps this is because watches under those collections are a lot more expensive, hence having more demand for replicas.
This then helps to generate a larger profit margin for the counterfeiters.
Maurice Lacroix tends to carry that young, energetic, yet luxurious feel. You could certainly imagine their Aikon watches worn by 30-something men with a BMW F30 3-series. It is a luxury brand, but not too heavy that young people cannot carry it.
However, their Masterpiece collection of watches showcases Maurice Lacroix’s intention to really play with the big boys.
Intricate design with an in-house movement, the watches are designed to at least give a fight to ‘old money’ luxury brands such as A.Lange & Söhne, Breguet, or Jaeger Le-Coultre.
These watches are ‘heavy,’ ‘old-man rich,’ and are more for people riding limousines in full business suits.
But in general, Maurice Lacroix does have that luxurious, exclusive feel, unlike affordable watchmakers that push on the image of affordability and mass appeal.
Maurice Lacroix’s status as an entry-level luxury watch brand can be seen in its prices.
When viewing their official online store, most watches for men are priced above $1,000. Only Aikon quartz watches and watches within the Eliros dress watch collections are priced lower.
On its website, the cheapest Maurice Lacroix is the Eliros Rainbow 40mm, a quartz dress watch with a rainbow-colored dial. The most expensive model is the Masterpiece Gravity 43mm, at close to $10,000.
However, it is to be noted that the second most expensive model in Maurice Lacroix’s watches is a distance below the Masterpiece Gravity. The 43mm Masterpiece Square Wheel Retrograde sells at close to $7,000.
This shows Maurice Lacroix’s pricing is similar to other entry-level luxury brands such as Longines or Tag Heuer.
Is Maurice Lacroix An Entry-Level Luxury Brand?
Maurice Lacroix is an entry-level luxury brand. This is because it exhibits the characteristics of a luxury watchmaker. However, their pricing is quite similar to Longines and Tag Heuer, also considered entry-level luxury watch brands.
Maurice Lacroix displays all the characteristics of a luxury watch brand. It has its own in-house movement, assembles its own watches, and uses premium materials.
However, their pricing makes their watch still reachable to many since there are still many people who can fork out $1,000 to purchase a watch responsibly.
Therefore, it might fit to band Maurice Lacroix together with brands such as Longines and Tag Heuer. They are also entry-level luxury watch brands.
Is Maurice Lacroix Better Than Tissot?
Maurice Lacroix can be better than Tissot in some areas, but not all. Maurice Lacroix’s watches carry a higher level of prestige and luxury, while Tissot is a middle-range brand. However, Tissot has a more extensive network of service centers, making their after-sales service possibly better.
It could be hard to compare these two brands and come out with a perfect answer, as the word ‘better’ could mean different things to different people.
When it comes down to brand image and class, Maurice Lacroix wins. It has a more luxurious, exclusive brand image compared to Tissot. Tissot is a middle-range brand, mass-producing and selling watches at an affordable price.
However, Tissot is part of the Swatch group, meaning it can access expertise and technology from companies such as ETA, Omega, Hamilton, Certina, and many more.
Tissot also could leverage Swatch group’s network of dealers and service centers to provide better after-sales service.
This is something Maurice Lacroix cannot match. So if you are looking at customer support, Tissot certainly will be better.
Do Maurice Lacroix Watches Hold value?
Maurice Lacroix’s watches do not hold value well. This is because it is generally unable to generate a large demand for its watches. Their watches are still within reach of many people; hence people buy new rather than used. Maurice Lacroix also lacks a passionate community of collectors.
The issue with many watchmakers is that they cannot generate great demands. And we are talking about demands so large that Maurice Lacroix can no longer expand production to fulfill it without sacrificing quality.
Watches such as Rolex or Audemars Piguet hold value very well. These watches are in very high demand, to the point that the watchmakers have to place customers on multi-year waiting lists for some models.
Customers who cannot wait end up searching for watches in the used market, driving the price of used Rolexes. This helped used Rolex watches to hold value.
Maurice Lacroix does not have such a situation. Maurice Lacroix’s watches are not as high in demand as Rolexes. Even if there is a surge in demand, say if a celebrity was seen wearing one, they should still be able to increase production and match the demand.
It doesn’t help that Maurice Lacroix’s watches are also still affordable by many, which means people are more likely to buy new watches than used ones.
These factors, when combined, do not help Maurice Lacroix’s watches to hold value.