The latest Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Bronze 43mm is a culmination of several things – the brand’s recent use of bronze cases, a continued evolution of the Aikon line and focus on the diver aesthetic that began with the 1990s Calypso collection. This isn’t simply a dive watch as it’s very much an accessibly priced luxury sports watch as well. A hybrid if you will. The first Aikon was introduced in 2017 with a quartz movement, but automatics debuted a year later and provide affordable alternatives to the Royal Oaks and Octo Finissimos of the world that many of us can only aspire to.
Maurice Lacroix generally defines affordable luxury, reminding me of brands like Frederique Constant, yet with a sportier vibe. The original Aikon automatics were luxury sports watches in three-hand and chronograph versions for enthusiasts without five-figure budgets. The Aikon Venturer series adds a more rugged, outdoorsy element with serious dive watch credentials. The Aikon Bronze first appeared in 2017 and Maurice Lacroix continues to embrace this metal with the latest Venturer model; with a special alloy that can show a patina without significant oxidization.
Similar to its steel counterpart, the Aikon Venturer Bronze measures 43mm in diameter and 12mm in height – the steel case is a hair thinner at 11.6mm. It’s bold on the wrist but wears a bit smaller than the measurements suggest, making it ideal for both daily wear and underwater adventures. The unidirectional bronze bezel has a black ceramic insert with contrasting white marks, and features a six-arm design in which each ten-minute numeral sits on its own slightly protruding plate. This helps the user with bezel rotation and looks cool in the process, and there’s also a detailed 20-minute scale. If you dive with it, it can descend to 300 metres.
The sports watch case integrates with the strap, which comes with both a black rubber and an anthracite leather strap. And in order to quickly swap strap, it comes equipped with quick-release levers (EasyChange system) – a very practical and easy-to-use device on daily basis. The screw-down crown is surrounded by partial guards and the case back is a wrist-friendly stainless steel, while the dial is protected by a sapphire crystal.
New for this year, the anthracite dial has a sunray-brushed finish that contrasts well against the golden bronze. This is a more conservative version of the original with a green dial and dark brown bezel insert. Dial elements remain the same as prior Aikon Venturer models, here with gold plated hands and indices. All feature bold Super-LumiNova inserts. There’s a consistency with this model in terms of colour with the bezel and dial closely matching, along with the gold dial elements matching the case. Even the printing on the dial is gold, along with the framed date window at 3 o’clock. I was already a big fan of the steel Aikon Venturer that had a no-nonsense approach and this flashier bronze variant maintains that character.
Powering the Aikon Venturer Bronze 43mm is the same calibre ML115 automatic as others in the collection. Based on the Sellita SW200-1, it has 26 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 38-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, seconds and date. Although it’s always nice to be able to see the movement, it’s here hidden behind the steel caseback.
It wasn’t long ago that sports watches were generally reserved for a wealthier clientele. Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet produce some of the most desirable models, but they may also give you sticker shock. Affordable offerings have been trending lately like the Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 and Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic, and the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Bronze 43mm is among the top contenders in this field. The black bezel insert and anthracite dial give it a classic diver’s aesthetic, while the special bronze alloy case provides some visual edge. The previous Aikon Venturer models were already unique and stylish, and this latest model is arguably the best yet.
Availability & Price
The Aikon Venturer Bronze 43mm is limited to 500 pieces and retails for EUR 2,490. with its 2 straps included. It is now available for pre-order. For more information, please visit www.mauricelacroix.com.