Maurice Lacroix: Making time for authenticity

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The world of luxury watchmaking is, by necessity, dominated by the microscopic work of craftsmen and women. However, Maurice Lacroix is also capable of seeing the larger picture – one previous slogan was ‘Follow Your Convictions’, backed up by then brand ambassadors Bob Geldof (musician, activist, businessman), Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) and Justin Rose (professional golfer). This might appear unusual for a Swiss luxury watch brand but, launching its first watch in 1975, the firm is a bit of a new kid on the watchmaking block.

In its three decades it has managed to combine tradition with innovation, striving to improve the complex mechanics of their watches, while developing what they call an ‘authentic’ approach to it all. As Geldof said, “You can’t just say you’re authentic or that you have substance. That won’t wash. You’ve got to prove it. You’ve got to be it. In everything you do.”

The firm talks of “leading the times, rather than chasing them by inspiring others to be who they really are”. For Lacroix it is all about authenticity. Pure and simple. It is an independent company, with its own workshops where skilled workers handcraft contemporary designs and unique, innovative movement complications. At Lacroix, they have an “inner confidence to do things their way – just like our clients.”

Their target customer is someone who is driven and has seen it all – so soft-soaping them doesn’t work; they have proved to be a very problematic market for this very reason. These consumers can see through marketing spiel like an open window. Only when the brand is honest, true and speaks with mutual respect will they listen.

In just over three decades the company has made its mark with several design awards and registered patents for its innovative complications and ingenious mechanisms – recognized for the very stuff of watchmaking as we imagine it but always redefining the meaning of luxury in the market. The notion that ‘true quality comes from within’ is a rich seam running through everything they do.

There are not many independent watchmakers. So, it is a great source of pride to Maurice Lacroix that it joined the exclusive league of Swiss watchmakers at the end of 2006. It has its own factories, with over 200 employees producing complex components for mechanical calibers, allowing it a great deal of freedom in R&D. It is a worldwide operation, but the majority of the staff are based at the international head office in Zürich and the production facilities in Saignelégier and Montfaucon in Switzerland, close to the historical home of fine watchmaking.

Bob Dylan once sang “Time passes slowly when you’re lost in a dream.” But these days it appears to move a great deal faster than that gentle tick of the second hand on a watch, and Maurice Lacroix is determined to keep up with it – or go one better. As if attempting to stop time in its tracks, the new slogan states: ‘Your Time Is Now.’ Managing Director Marc Gläser said about the new campaign: “Just what Maurice Lacroix is all about. It is fresh, evocative, inspiring and the message is very clear and direct. It will strongly contribute to build the image of our brand which is all about stylish, meaningful enjoyment… with great substance.”

The latest recruit to their ambassadorship would know more than most just how precious every microsecond can be – the difference between winning and losing, between celebrating and picking yourself up and starting again. He’s Australian Olympic swimmer James Mangussen who has earned the nickname ‘The Missile’ for his speed on the water’s surface. The only competitors to beat his record time of 47.10 seconds have only done so when wearing the now-banned ‘super suit’. No one is faster in a conventional textile suit than Magnussen.

“Every day, as a company, we seek to enhance our interaction with time. Performance is critical to our success, both in terms of accuracy and the way we seek innovative methods to impart time. Our team consists of staff who go all out to improve everything we do. They have a ‘can-do’ attitude which is refreshing and has produced many success stories for our company. James Magnussen shares our values and drive for greatness.”

How will Magnussen fare at the next Olympic Games? Only time will tell…

For more information, visit the Maurice Lacroix website.