The Le Chronographe Squelette is Maurice Lacroix’s flagship chronograph with sapphire dial and a coloured movement treatment. It is a two-counter, manual wind movement with column wheel. Inside is the ML106, a large and attractive looking movement, developed with the help of Andreas Strehler, best known for the Perpetual One movement he created for H. Moser.
This is the skeletonised version of the ML106. Its striking appearance comes from the blue nickel coating on the movement bridges and base plate.
Beyond the colour, the movement is also well finished. The steel levers of the chronograph are nicely done, as are the skeletonised discs for the sub-dials. There is room for improvement in some areas, however, like on the gold-plated chronograph wheels.
|All the indices are printed on the sapphire dial|
First unveiled in 2006, the ML106 uses some components of the Unitas 6497 like the gear train. It has some obvious traditional elements like the two gold chatons as well as the swan neck adjustment.
|The two gold chatons|
|Swan neck adjustment|
But it has several notable features. The elapsed seconds hand can be read more precisely thanks to the 300 teeth of the centre wheel, which correspond to the 300 fifth-of-a-second increments on the dial for the seconds. The fineness of the teeth means the wheel has to be made by photolithography at Mimotec, instead of the usual method of milling.
|Centre wheel at top right with its extremely fine teeth|
Another is the release lever which minimises the play between wheels when the chronograph is reset.
And instead of the typical 30-minute counter, it has a 60-minute counter.
Also worth mentioning is the crown, which has a clunky locking system which requires the user to half-turn and align crown markings in order to screw the crown down.
Three other colours are available, and each is a limited edition of 250 pieces. The retail price is S$17,500 including 7% tax, and in the US it is US$14,100.
|Black PVD coating|
|Gold movement treatment|
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