Monday, September 26, 2016

Review of Maurice Lacroix Pontos Rectangulaire Automatic Chronograph

Model # PT6197-TT003-331

Brand/Model:  Maurice Lacroix Pontos Rectangulaire Automatic Chronograph
Movement:  Swiss automatic
Material:  titanium case, natural rubber strap
Complications:  date display, chronograph timing up to 12 hours in 1/5 second increments
Price:  MSRP $4,750  USD (can be found heavily discounted)

Plenty of photos follow the review. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

I talk a lot about ‘high value’ watches.  By this I mean watches that deliver the goods at a reasonable price, regardless of whether they have ridiculously high MSRPs that do not reflect what the watches actually sell at or are priced realistically to begin with.  Maurice Lacroix is what I consider to be a ‘high value’ brand even though their watches carry high price tags. Maurice Lacroix watches can usually be found heavily discounted, which is all the better for us WISes.

Maurice Lacroix is a legitimate Swiss brand that makes about 90,000 watches per year in a wide variety of styles and mechanical complications, with many movements modified in-house.  I have reviewed several Maurice Lacroix (‘ML’ for short) watches before and have always given them high marks; the watch being reviewed here is no exception.

The ML Pontos Rectangulaire automatic chronograph seamlessly blends style, dressiness, sportiness and functionality in a tank-style watch that can be worn in the board room or the locker room with equal ease. 

This watch is currently the only tank watch I have in my collection, as I’m not usually a fan of this case style, but this ML works so well in so many regards that I look forward to wearing it and showing off its unique attributes.  I have owned other tank watches over the years and the fact that I still own the ML speaks volumes to its design and overall ethic.

The ML Pontos Rectangulaire starts with a substantial titanium case that is largely brushed, with just a few areas being polished.  This finish helps to give the watch a more subdued appearance, which is a good idea because while not being overly large, being a tank style, it covers a fair portion of the wrist and due to the chronograph movement, it is also a bit thick.  Some might feel this watch is ‘too big’ for them due to the thickness and somewhat large tank dimensions, but being titanium, at least it doesn’t feel heavy on the arm.

The Pontos Rectangulaire measures 38.5mm wide without the signed  crown; 41.1mm including the crown.  Case height is 43mm and lug-to-lug height is 55mm.  The lugs do turn down rather severely so they don’t stick out too far from the case and the case is slight curved to better hug the wrist, which helps make the watch easier to wear if you have a slim wrist as I do.  Case thickness is 15.2mm and lug width is 26mm.

The crown is a work of art, being signed and knurled in a machined way that gives it both a good grip in the fingers and a cool look to the eye.  Nice!  The chronograph pushers are large and rectangular and are easy to use and function with a very satisfying mechanical ‘click’ when depressed.

The caseback is a display type that shows off the highly decorated movement with signed rotor and is secured with four small screws, one at each corner.

Overall fit and finish on the ML Pontos Rectangulaire is very good.  The watch is factory rated for a relatively modest 50 meters of watch resistance.

This particular ML Pontos Rectangulaire has what ML calls the ‘anthracite’ dial, which is a fancy word for gray.  The dial looks great and is fairly easy to read, as my experience with gray dialed watches is that they are sometimes hard to read, even though they look good.

The design of the dial has deep indents that radiate to the outer edge, with inset silver markers at the five minute marks, save for the places where the chronograph subdials extend into the edges of the dial.  A circular chapter ring has small arabics at the five minute marks and hash marks for the remaining minutes.

The hour and minute hands are simple silver with beveled sides, which help catch the light and make them easier to see.  The tips of the hands are luminous, as are the tips of just the chronograph hour and minute recorders; this is a detail that seems daft, as at least the chronograph and subseconds hands should also glow, along with some markers on the dial.  A small but confusing detail here that merits mention as a nit to pick.

The subdial at 12 is the chronograph minute recorder and the subdial at 6 is the chronograph hour totalizer.  The subdial at 9 is the watch seconds hand and is one place where the ML Pontos Rectangulaire really shines.   ML has used a clear disc with a white triangle as the pointer to create the seconds ‘hand’, so when the watch is running, is appears as though the seconds hand (triangle) is floating as it makes its way around the subdial.  This subdial is ringed in silver with seconds marks and small 60, 15, 30 and 45 arabics.  A super cool and detailed subdial.

All the subdials are recessed into the dial and the chronograph subdials at 12 and 6 have a very subtle circular patterning on them.

A silvery on black date wheel is at the 3 position.  The date is quickset and aligns properly in the window, which is outlined in a silver frame.  The font used for the date numerals is also a bit fancier that the typical date font, which helps lend a bit of class to the dial.

Just to the left of the date window is the dial’s only printing (save for the ‘Swiss Made’ at the bottom).  Below a small applied silver ML logo are the words “Maurice Lacroix, ‘Chronographe’ and ‘Automatique’.  All very small and unobtrusive and since I am a ‘less dial printing is better’ kind of guy, it works very well for me.

Capping the dial is a slightly domed sapphire crystal that is also curved to match the curvature of the case.  Under my 8X loupe exam, the dial exhibited no dirt and a ‘clean’ assembly.

Overall, the dial on the ML Pontos Rectangulaire is a work of art and really sets this watch apart from run-of-the-mill chronographs.

Running the ML Pontos Rectangulaire is ML’s Caliber ML112 automatic chronograph movement which is a base Valjoux 7750 25-jewel workhorse.  ML decorates this movement with nice Geneva stripes, a bit of perlage and some polished pieces, giving it a superb appearance through the display back.  The rotor is also nicely signed and decorated.

Being a Valjoux 7750 base, it performs like we all expect it to, with a strong 52.5 hour power reserve and superb accuracy of +2 seconds/24 hours.  The watch winds and sets properly and all the chronograph functions work as they should.  Chronograph operation (start/stop/reset) is fine.  All told, no complaints about the watchworks.

The ML Pontos Rectangulaire comes on a high-quality smooth rubber strap with a chamfered edge.  The strap is non-scented (thank you!), soft and rather thin, so it’s very flexible.  The strap is tastefully signed on each side, on the right, near the lugs.  It’s also signed underneath and marked ‘caoutchouc veritable’, meaning it’s genuine natural rubber and also signed ‘Swiss Made’, so you know it’s a quality piece.

The strap measures 26mm at the lugs and tapers quickly to a 17.7mm dimension at the signed titanium buckle.  There are two keepers, one fixed and one floating.  The inclusion of a rubber strap on this watch helps give it a sporty feel and a nifty look.  It’s one of the best rubber straps I have in my collection and worthy of the ML name.

Presentation is typical (meaning great) ML, with a large two piece square black heavy cardboard outer box and a faux-wood-look plastic inner box with black vinyl lining.  The packaging is heavy and has a substantial look and feel about it, keeping with the overall quality of this piece.

In summary, the Maurice Lacroix Pontos Rectangulaire is a cool watch that combines several unique elements into a design that is stylish, functional and bold, without being too flashy or superfluous.  This watch has a great look, high-quality construction and materials and a price, when purchased at a discount, that qualifies it as truly ‘high-value.’  Maurice Lacroix does it again!

Pros:  lightweight titanium construction; reliable, accurate, decorated Swiss engine; detailed dial, unique style with functional elements 

Cons:  overall dimensions can be too large for some, pretty darn thick, needs more lume on the dial

Verdict:  a real winner in the world of tank-style automatic chronographs with true Swiss quality, modern design and a strong value proposition.  The Maurice Lacroix Pontos Rectangulaire may be a mouthful to say, but it is a watch that says a lot! 

Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics.




  1. Great writing as always! I have a ML Pontos Chrono with what I suspect a SW500 movement. My chrono seconds hand jerks/skips quite a bit when the chronograph is engaged, does yours exhibit the same?

  2. Hi Seann,
    Thanks for reading! I have no experience with the SW500, so I don't know if your problem is 'normal' or not. The 7750 mov't. does not exhibit this problem and my ML works as it should.