You have to give Maurice Lacroix credit: they were on the integrated bracelet sports watch train well ahead of many of their peers. The Aikon has been at the center of the brand’s story for years and has a devoted following, and even if the watch isn’t your particular cup of tea, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular, and has developed into something of a cult favorite. It has a distinctive, integrated look, doesn’t cost a fortune, and has been released in a dizzying number of variants, which of course is catnip to collectors. Case in point: the new watch seen here, the Aikon Venturer GMT, appears to be sold out online, just days after its release.
Still, while the watch is currently unavailable through the Maurice Lacroix website, it’s worth a quick look for a few reasons. First, it represents the first time a GMT complication has been added to the Aikon, which is certainly notable for a watch that is this popular to so many. Second, it’s simply a unique watch in its appearance, not immediately resembling any other watch I can think of, yet borrowing liberally from some that are fairly notable. There’s Rolex Explorer II in the GMT hand, there’s Breitling in the bezel, and there’s certainly a good chunk of Royal Oak in the way the case and bracelet come together.
There are two versions of the Venturer GMT, one with a white dial and orange GMT hand, and the other with a black dial and red GMT hand. Both feature 24 hour bezels which to my eye are this watch’s most distinguishing feature. The black ceramic insert is capped by six “arms” in stainless steel which, according to Maurice Lacroix, enhance the wearer’s ability to grip the bezel at its edges and rotate it. The contrast of the steel and ceramic is a look all its own, and the steel bits give the bezel a dimensionality that you don’t normally see in bezel design. This is a feature common to other versions of the Aikon as well, and as someone who notices when brands don’t pay attention to the outer edge of a bezel, which results in making it tougher to grasp and rotate, I’d be curious to handle the watch to see if the Aikon’s arms are all they’re cracked up to be.
The watch is powered by the ML 165 automatic caliber, which appears to be a rebranded Sellita SW330, a reliable GMT movement with “caller” GMT functionality (the GMT hand can be independently set, but the local hour hand does not jump). The Venturer GMT measures 43mm in diameter, and is available on both an integrated steel bracelet and a rubber strap, which can be switched out easily through the brand’s “EasyChange” strap changing system. The retail price is $2,690.
As mentioned up top, the Venturer GMT is not currently available through Maurice Lacroix’s e-commerce platform, but it does not appear to be a limited edition, so it might be worth a call to your local Maurice Lacroix authorized dealer if the watch is of interest. More information here.