Brands like Maurice de Mauriac that provide good looking watches with mainstream appeal, but also a personal customization experience are rare. The brand prefers that you contact them directly when wishing to order one of their timepieces. This is because each of their watches comes with more than a dozen customization options. Not only that, but after you’ve enjoyed your Maurice de Mauriac watch for a while, you can send it back for drastic modifications like an entirely new dial. The result is a very rewarding experience, and a timepiece that promotes your own personal taste and choices. It also sounds good when showing off a watch to friends and exclaiming “they built that one for me.”
A cleverly designed watch by Maurice de Mauriac is the Moon Chronograph. In honor of classic “complication” watches from the first half of the 20th century, the Moon Chronograph offers an annual calendar, moon phase indicator, and chronograph. What amazes me is that Maurice de Mauriac achieves this highly balanced look by simply modifying a Swiss ETA 7751 automatic movement, which, while being a great movement, never benefited from having symmetry. The modification involves removing a subsidiary seconds dial (with integrated synchronized 24-hour hand) that would have been placed near the 9 o’clock hour marker. Suddenly, the functional though quirky to design around 7751 movement, is turned into a symmetrical beauty. The upper dial has windows for the day of the week and the month, as well as being used for the chronograph minute indicator. The lower subdial is used for the moon phase indicator, and the chronograph hours. The main dial features four hands. In addition to hour and minute hands for the time, the center dial also has a thin hand for the chronograph seconds, as well as an arrow hand for a periphery style date indicator. It makes for an extremely handsome, classic design style.
The dial (here in black) has applied Patek Philippe style hour markers, while a version with Roman numerals is also available. According to Maurice de Mauriac, there are at least ten different dial options to choose from. There are also a few case options as well. Seen here, the watch is 45-mm wide in solid 18-karat pink gold. Maurice de Mauriac also offers the case in smaller 39-mm or 42-mm wide sizes (as well as in steel). Other customization options include the type of sapphire crystal over the dial, as well as the decoration and rotor used on the movement. An interesting option available in the movement is use of high-tech ceramic ball bearings for the rotor that increase the winding efficiency by about 30 percent. You can also order the rotor in solid 24-karat gold.
Maurice de Maurice uses a Louisiana crocodile strap, though others are available, depending on your tastes. As a comfortably traditional watch from a unique, Zurich-based Swiss watchmaker, the Moon Chronograph is an extremely viable option. The consultative customization process is engaging to both mature and novice watch buyers, while the personal attention provided by Maurice de Mauriac promotes a true luxury buying experience. In 18-karat pink gold, the Moon Chronograph watch tops out at about $13,500, priced less in steel. www.mauricedemauriac.ch.
1. Up to a 45-mm wide case in steel or 18-karat pink gold.
2. Chronograph minutes subdial with day and month indicator.
3. Periphery style date indicator hand.
4. Chronograph hours subdial with moon phase indicator.
5. At least 10 different dial options available.
Ariel Adams is the Haute Living Watch Editor and also publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.