iW Magazine
On the Wrist

On the Wrist: Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph

Now with five accent color options, the 43mm Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph is one of the most aesthetically appealing Swiss-made sports watches priced under $5,000. If you’re not hot on the metallic orange color scheme I enjoyed on my review model, Maurice Lacroix offers four additional colors you might prefer.

And if a rubber strap isn’t your choice of case-attachment, Maurice Lacroix again offers options. Each Pontos S Chronograph arrives with a steel bracelet, a NATO strap and a rubber strap stitched to match your chosen dial hue. This effectively allows you to swap the sporty bracelet for an even sportier NATO strap for a wild weekend, and still have to consider when to also swap either one for the practicality of the rubber strap option.

I’ve worn this test model with the rubber strap and the three-row steel bracelet, and I’ll give the bracelet the edge for comfort and all-season good looks. With its brushed finish and sure, solid clasp, the bracelet ranks high among any I’ve previously worn. The links tugged at no arm hair whatsoever and held the matching brushed/polished steel case perfectly on my thin wrist with a cool embrace, I sensation genuinely missed wearing the watch on its otherwise perfectly good, nicely stitched rubber strap.

The watch’s black dial, easy-to-read luminous hands and well-proportioned subdials (and date) are both eye-catching and easy to see under a very slightly domed sapphire crystal.  And while I wasn’t initially convinced that the date window set amid the chronograph 12-hour subdial was a good idea, I quickly warmed to its efficiency. Why not use the dial’s prominent 3 o’clock position for your own brand’s logo? The resulting subdial placement is both contemporary and, again, easy on the eyes.

But perhaps what the crystal does best is allow for easy viewing of the internal brushed-aluminum rotating bezel with an elapsed dive-time scale measured in five-minute increments. The first fifteen minutes of the scale are colored to match the minute hand – and the bezel control crown at 2 o’clock, which on my test watch is metallic orange.

Let’s talk about that unusual bezel crown. Note the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph’s two different chronograph pusher shapes. Where most chronograph designers prefer a safe symmetry, here Maurice Lacroix has instead chosen to innovate. Each pusher if different, and neither looks at all like the adjacent crown. Where most watches with an inner rotating bezel feature a crown to control it on the opposite side of the pushers or time-setting crown, in part to differentiate it from the chronograph or time functions, here the bezel is controlled via the pusher/controller crown at 2 o’clock.

To rotate the bezel, you’ll need two fingers (though I was able to nudge it a bit with one after some practice), which means you’re sure to pay attention as you set it. Grasp the crown marked by the colorful ring, press it inward until you feel and hear a slight click, turn it as desired to set the inner bezel and let it spring back to its original, locked position. The inner bezel is now set. Ingenious, and safe too.

While I didn’t dive with the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph, its 200-meters of water resistance and screwed in crown would allow me to do so without concern. However, Maurice Lacroix’s Pontos S Diver might be the watch of choice within the Maurice Lacroix collection, with its 600-meter water resistance rating and pure deep-dive demeanor. But for almost any other rough and tumble activity in need of a contemporary sports watch, the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph, whether worn with the included on steel bracelet or rubber strap, is a fine accompaniment. How does the watch fare on the third included strap? See below.

Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph with NATO Strap

By Adam Craniotes, Founder Red Bar

As an avowed fan of nylon, it was fitting that I take a whirl with the Pontos S Chronograph on the supplied NATO-type strap.  Only a few brands offer this option direct from the factory — most notably, Tudor and Omega — so to see it here is welcome indeed.

When I received the watch it was still riding on the OEM rubber strap, which meant that it was up to me to swap it out.  While it’s true that I posses the tools and skills required to perform this delicate operation on my own, I figured that if I wanted it done right, it would be best to go straight to the experts, which, in this instance, are located in the Jura region of Switzerland at Maurice Lacroix’s manufacture.

I’ll admit that this may seem like overkill, but the end result was perfect balance of comfort, durability, and style. The strap itself is not a true NATO, in that it doesn’t have the second loop endemic to that specification (in this aspect, it’s more analogous to a Zulu strap), however the hardware is sufficiently upgraded from the standard $12 NATOs found online that even avowed nylon-hater would have a hard time saying no to this option.

If this Pontos S were mine, I wouldn’t wear it any other way.

SPECIFICATIONS

CASE

–43mm stainless steel case

- Black sandblasted turning scale ring with silver and

colored (silver, red, green, blue, orange) indications

- Vertical brushed middle-case and lugs sides, with polished bezel and facet on lugs

- Engraved case-back

- Domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides

- Water-resistant to 200 meters

DIAL

- Black sun-brushed, snail counters dial

- Snailed and sandblasted finished counters

- Applied indexes

HANDS

- All hands diamond cut, faceted, luminescent coating (except seconds hand)

- Second and minute hand matching color with inner rotating bezel and elapse time controller crown system

STRAP/BRACELET

- Three-row metal bracelet

- Textile NATO

- Black rubber strap. Stitching color matching with the 2:00 pusher ring color.

BUCKLE

- Stainless steel standard buckle to match case finishing

MOVEMENT

ML112 (ETA Valjoux 7750 base)

FUNCTIONS

– Hours and minutes indicated by central hands

– Small second at 9 o’clock

– Chronograph seconds indicated by central hand

– 30-minute chronograph counter at 12 o’clock

– 12-hour chronograph counter at 6 o’clock

– Date indicated in an aperture at 6 o’clock

VIBRATION 28,800 alt/h, 4 Hz

POWER RESERVE 46 hours

PRICE

$4,500 (orange, blue and black); $4,900 (red and green).

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