Maurice Laceroix has created a unique version of its Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse timepiece for the fifth edition of the Only Watch charity auction. The watch that had its premiere earlier this year in Baselworld is made with the use of the high-tech amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC) treatment. The futuristic coating was utilized as much as it was possible: not only for its housing, but also for the movement’s mainplate and bridges, the dial, the crown and even for the buckle. Even without taking this ever-present ADLC coating into consideration, the timepiece is remarkable, especially considering its original mysterious seconds complication that gave the watch the name, as well as the fact that it runs on a proprietary skeletonized automatic mechanical movement.
First of all, let us address the superior coating used on the various components of the timepiece from the Masterpiece series, or shall we say wherever it was possible. This superb high-tech coating previously found its uses in automotive industry and medicine. It is created when almost any kind of surface is bombarded with the mixture of hydrogen and carbon atoms and extreme heat and pressure, which ultimately results in significant improvement of the qualities and the transformation of the surface into a synthetic diamond-like material with exceptionally high inertness, low friction, bio-compability, as well as flexibility and hardness.
While most of us have already heard about DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating and some even claim that it is basically the same thing as ADLC used in this piece, it appears that there is a difference after all and that ADLC is actually a superior or improved version of it, or the next stage in the development of high-tech coatings. A result of the process called Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (PACVD), ADLC coating features the hardness of 3500 to 4000 on the Vickers scale which is obviously higher than the one of DLC coating which has around 3000 HV, as well as significantly higher than PVD coating which measures to around 2000-3000 HV.
This high-tech process was used on various components of the watch, as much as it as possible. As it has been pointed out, ADLC coating is on the exterior, as well as on the very movement, namely its mainplate and bridges. This clearly makes the model high-tech and futuristic as much as it is possible.
The Twelfth Manufacture Movement Developed by Maurice Lacroix
However, the modern material is not the only quality which makes this one-of-a-kind watch so breathtaking. Even the basic model, first presented at Baselworld 2013 is a real head turner. As you might have guessed, one of the most amazing traits is its mysterious seconds complication. The watch includes a seconds sub-dial at the bottom of its face which is on its own quite common. However, once you observe the movement of its whacky seconds hand, common is the last adjective one would use for it. During a period of a minute, the second hand does quirky dance as it shifts its position, and axis appears to be flying around the dial freely.
The floating mysterious seconds complications is possible due to the inclusion of self-winding ML215 movement, nicely skeletonized to enable a view on its functioning as much as it is possible. It is the twelfth completely in-house caliber launched by Maurice Lacroix. Apart from the mysterious seconds, it likewise has an off-centered dial around the two o’clock position which indicates hours and minutes. Caliber ML215 vibrates at the frequency of 2.5 Hz and it integrates 48 jewels in its design. Moreover, it features adjustments in five positions after it is fully wound and two positions after 24 hours. Speaking of winding, this Maurice Lacroix manufacture movement has a power storage of 50 hours which places it in the upper end when it comes to mechanisms with automatic winding.
As far as the appearance is concerned, the looks of the watch is mostly dominated with the extensive use of ADLC coating which gives the timepiece its darker color. The hands of the timekeeper from the Masterpiece collection are black gold-toned, whereas the seconds disc is pitch black with light gray and black indications. When it comes to the hours dial, we can see it is engraved and without any numerals. Its case, skelton dial and bezel are with a sand-blasted finish, while the rotor of its winding system features an engraving which states “Only Watch 2013 – Piece Unique 1/1”. With the diameter of 43 mm, the watchmaker from the Canton of Jura is among the modestly sized, especially according to contemporary standards and when you consider its complexity and originality. The convex crystal with double glare proof coating of this timepiece from the Masterpiece series is naturally from sapphire, while the attachment is a genuine crocodile leather strap which fastens with a folding clasp with push-buttons.