We're going to let Maurice Lacroix, the under-the-radar independent Swiss watchmaker, explain the retrograde function on their newest luxury timepiece:
“A lone hand moves upwards, following an arcing trajectory. As the last moments of the 31st day ebbs away, the hand returns to the first day of the month and a new future awaits the wearer.”
Ain't that a dream?
What's a retrograde function?
Aside from painting the forward march of time as an opportunity to start again, it also perfectly describes what the uncommon but elegant retrograde function does. While most displays show data in a circle (think of the subdials in a watch), the retrograde presents time in an arc.
A good visual would be the indicator on top of an old-timey elevator. The arrow moves from left to right and back again (depending on where the lady with the groceries is going). It is the same idea with the retrograde: When it reaches the end of the semicircle, the hand jumps back to the starting point to begin all over again.
Where exactly is it on this watch?
On the Masterpiece Retrograde Calendar, a new edition of the Maurice Lacroix's 1999 original, a sweep of the days of the month is presented in retrograde fashion at 10 o'clock. A power reserve, which uses a (slightly smaller) retrograde display, balances the calendar at 2 o'clock. The half moons are placed on the edges of the dial as if they are planets floating in space.
Should I get one (I already have a day-date watch)?
As always, when objects provide more than the primal, the question is: Do you need it? Why get a retrograde display calendar when numerals on a small window is perfectly fine?
Well, men buy watches for different reasons. Some will be attracted the Retrograde Calendar's more nuanced visual. Some will just want to add a retrograde watch to their collection because they like having it all. Some will find it a complement to their first watch, a casual piece. And some may like its price because Maurice Lacroix is known to not burn such a large hole in your wallet as much as the more popular luxury watchmakers out there.
What else should I consider?
This comes in a pearlescent or blue edition with Clous de Paris decoration or Côtes de Genève stripes respectively, and both carry lancine-shaped hands and an alligator band. The white with silver tracks and blue hands is refined, while the blue-on-blue on the second version feels modern. It's also a 43mm steel case, which will be a considerable presence on the wrist. In other words, this unusual thing that presents time in a another way will be a good companion for every day.
Lucerne, Shangri-la Plaza Mall and Elemento, SM Aura