When it comes to the retrograde complication, Maurice Lacroix have been crafting retrograde displays for nearly two decades now and are quite accomplished in this field. To refresh your knowledge – when a hand moves through a graduated arc to indicate a function, and then snaps back to its starting position, once it reaches the end of the arc – it is known as a retrograde complication.
In literal terms, retrograde means ‘reverting to an earlier condition’, hence in a retrograde dial, the hand moves back to the ‘earlier condition.’ In comparison, if the same function is put on a sub-dial, the hand keeps moving in one direction – clockwise – and completes the function in a circular motion.
The retrograde complication is not any easy one to build, but it makes complete sense when it comes to showcasing certain functions, that need not require the limited real-estate on a dial to be taken up by a sub-dial. For example, for the day of the week indicator, using a sub-dial with seven markers versus an arc, makes a whole lot sense.
The Maurice Lacroix Moonphase Masterpiece Retrograde
A retrograde dial is a sophisticated complication and it requires great deal of skill and art in its making. Typically, we see it being used to showcase functions like date, day and power reserve. This unique dials are generally found in watches which feature a great degree of complications, and lack space on the dial to display all the functions.
There are a few exceptions though, where retrograde dials are accompanied with at least one or two sub-dials, which may be used for showing other functions. In this new Maurice Lacroix Moonphase Masterpiece Retrograde, we see a new combination of retrograde displays – namely the retrograde day, a retrograde date and a moon phase indication. A very unique combination indeed.
Housed in a 43 mm diameter stainless steel Masterpiece case, the Moonphase Masterpiece Retrograde gives you the choice of wearing it as a snailed blue dial or a Clou de Paris silver-gray one.
The Movement and More
The case is designed to host a fixed, polished bezel and it also sports brushed case flanks and polished chamfers on the lug edges. Each of the indications own their spot on the dial, and are equally prominent. The day and date indicator hands move chronologically across their respective arcs. And it is much fun to see them ‘fly’ back to the starting point, once the arc is done.
The moon phase indicator at the bottom part of the dial features a disc that captures the visible moonphase through the aperture on the top of the subdial.
The hands for the hours, minutes, retrograde day and date, and the small seconds hands, are fashioned lance-shaped. To keep them distinct, they are rhodium-plated on the blue dial and blued on the silver dial.
You can adjust the day, date, or moonphase, using the two recessed pushers on the left case flank, and one on the right. Under the dial is an automatic caliber ML292 with an in-house made module for the complications. The power reserve is 36-hours and the water-resistance is of 100 meters. The watch is available for about $6,000.