The 27-year-old Parisian became a worldwide Tiktok sensation by climbing the outside of high buildings using just his hands and feet. This is quite a daring accomplishment considering that there is zero room for error and no safety nets.
In a different way, Maurice Lacroix is also working its way to the top after experiencing some valleys between the peaks. The brand is finding its way up again, primarily with the 2016 introduction of the Aikon, the brand’s good-looking, well-built, and pleasantly priced sports watch. Maurice Lacroix is not part of a large group, so lacks (financial) safety nets as it climbs to the top pretty much in Nogueira fashion.
Enjoy the view!
In the past couple of years, visiting Maurice Lacroix at any watch fair has been a true joy because of the reignited passion of the people working for the brand and the new products they have created. Whether you like Maurice Lacroix or not, its level of quality has been undeniable and priced to be embraced by a large group of watch enthusiasts and well-dressed people.
When climbing tall buildings in Paris and other cities, Nogueira has to trust both his physical fitness and his senses. Touch, noise, and even smell provide him with vital information needed to plan his next move on the way up.
Again an interesting parallel with Maurice Lacroix can be made here as navigating today’s waters of the watch world can be a daunting task requiring the input of all senses to be successful. Maurice Lacroix safely sails these waters with a robust regular collection, but also by adding even more daring and polarizing propositions with models like the Simon Nogueira x Aikon Urban Tribe.
While this watch might not be for everybody, it adds even more spice to the Aikon collection. The Simon Nogueira x Aikon Urban Tribe is a limited edition of 500 pieces, and the unique design of watches like this serve collectors and watch enthusiasts looking for something special.
With a diameter of 42 mm, the Simon Nogueira x Aikon Urban Tribe is a substantial watch. This offers plenty of space for the laser-engraved decorations on the case, bezel, and bracelet. Maurice Lacroix is not very clear about the origin of these decorations, which the brand says is inspired by both architecture and tattoos. The watch also has a Maori vibe to it in my opinion. But most of all, it perfectly matches the clothing style of Nogueira. For him, clothing is essential as he wants to look good on camera and needs clothes that don’t limit his movements and aren’t potentially dangerous when climbing.
The best thing about the engravings is that they are quite deep. This gives a lot of texture to the already attractive and sporty timepiece, and as polished and satin-finished surfaces alternate they also provide quite a lot of play of light.
As Maurice Lacroix chose the Aikon dial with stamped clous de Paris texture, there is quite a bit of contrast between this and the rest of the watch. And as an added bonus, this Aikon allows the wearer to quickly switch from metal bracelet to leather strap in a matter of seconds without using tools.
Changing to a strap changes the watch’s look as the focus is more on the case and bezel itself. It also tones it down to such an extent that it becomes a stunning choice to wear with a suit on date night.
An eye for detail and a sense for value
Maurice Lacroix charges a €300 premium for the Simon Nogueira x Aikon Urban Tribe over the regular 42 mm Aikon Automatic. A reasonable price given the extent of the laser engravings. Additionally, the brand shows its eye for detail in the rotor, which is also engraved. It can be admired through the crystal insert in the case back.
Further illustrating the value for money, this Aikon is water resistant to 200 meters, which is quite surprising given that it is not a diver’s watch, and probably nobody would have been surprised if Maurice Lacroix had kept it at just 50 meters, which is significantly easier and less expensive to make.
What Maurice Lacroix refers to as Caliber ML 115 is the basic Sellita SW200-1, a workhorse movement that gets the job done and won’t give any headaches in terms of precision or maintenance. Its finish is nice enough to not bother anyone, but apart from the rotor doesn’t stand out.
I always find the relatively short power reserve of 38 hours a bit on the low side for a movement of this caliber, yet as its benefits in terms of precision, robustness, and price point outweigh this, I fully understand why Maurice Lacroix went this route.
All told, Maurice Lacroix has once again added an exciting watch to the Aikon lineup, continuing its tradition of having quality and value for money go hand in hand – wherever that hand may be.
For more information, please visit www.mauricelacroix.com/ch_en/watches/watches-aikon/aikon-urban-tribe.
Quick Facts Maurice Lacroix Simon Nogueira x Aikon Urban Tribe
Case: 42 x 11 mm, stainless steel, laser engraved, 200 meter water resistance
Movement: automatic Caliber ML115 (based on Sellita SW200-1), 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Limitation: 500 pieces
Remark: quick-change strap and bracelet system