Maurice Lacroix Takes their Urban Tribe Design to a New Level with a Limited Skeleton Version

One of my favorite things about working in the watch industry is the capacity this strange little world still has to surprise. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, you’re reminded that you most definitely have not, and in fact you might just be scratching the surface. I love getting press releases about watches I don’t expect, particularly when they come from brands that I thought I knew and understood. Enter: Maurice Lacroix. If you know Maurice Lacroix at all, you probably know them as the brand behind the Aikon, an integrated bracelet sports watch that bears a certain resemblance to another much more sought after and much more expensive watch with a similar footprint. The Aikon, though, has proven to be a worthy blank canvas for many of Maurice Lacroix’s most interesting ideas over the years, and a new version, an update of a design first seen in 2021, takes that to a new level. 


The Aikon Urban Tribe Skeleton is lie no other Aikon before it, except the Aikon Urban Tribe, which featured a similar series of engravings along the case walls and throughout the bracelet. The Urban Tribe’s calling card (for both the 2021 version and this new reference) is the elaborate case engraving. It’s unusual enough to see a well known Swiss brand dabble in engraved cases to begin with, and it’s even more unusual for those engravings to seemingly live in the world of tribal tattoos and similar motifs. But that’s not all – these designs are inspired by urban architecture, and a careful look at the engravings reveals a likeness to the type of decorative elements you might see in a building’s facade during the Art Deco period. It’s a wholly original idea, one that you couldn’t possibly guess or anticipate, and while this style of engraved case might not be a full fledged mass market success, there is absolutely a core of enthusiasts that have an appreciation for this type of case work. 

The new watch differentiates itself from the old via its dial. The 2021 version featured the standard Aikon Clous de Paris pattern that is common throughout the collection. But for the Urban Tribe Skeleton, we get (surprise) a sapphire dial revealing a skeletonized movement. The thematic at play here is that the movement should appear transparent at times, just like a building in an urban environment (in the way you might look through the windows of a skyscraper, for example). In practice, what we’re left with is an impressive aesthetic achievement, with bridges constructed and laid out in such a way to reveal the caliber’s main components, including portions of the balance wheel and the barrel that provides a total of 38 hours of power reserve. The caliber ML115 is essentially a modified Sellita SW 200, providing a view to this common movement that is uncommon. 

An important note about the Aikon Urban Tribe Skeleton is that it’s sized at a comfortable 39mm, and not built on the larger 42mm platform of other watches in the Aikon collection. There’s already a 39mm skeletonized version of the Aikon, so we suspect this is the reason for choosing the smaller case size. 

The retail price of the new Aikon Urban Tribe Skeleton is $4,250. It’s a limited edition of 500 pieces. Maurice Lacroix 

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.

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