Table of Contents
Maurice Lacroix Mémoire 1
© Maurice Lacroix
Introduction of the brand
The story of Maurice Lacroix began in 1961 with the establishment of a assemblage business in Saignelégier by Desco von Schulthess AG of Zurich. The parent company, established in 1889, was a trading company in silks and became Far East agent for watch brands Eterna and Certina in the 1960s, adding Jaeger-LeCoultre, TAG Heuer, and Audemars Piguet soon after. Initially Desco's etablisseur produced watches for customers under different brand names.
In 1975 the company launched its in-house brand. In search of a suitable name, and according to the Swiss rule that a company had to be named after an employee, the company selected Monsieur Maurice Lacroix, their Director for Silks in Lyon, France. Thus, the first watch model under the name of Maurice Lacroix came to market in Austria that year. In 1976 the brand name was introduced on the Spanish market, and it spread around the world in the following decades. The final market to be opened was the United States in 1995. Desco von Schulthess also controlled Girard-Perregaux in the 1980s but sold their stake to director and general manager Francis Besson in 1989.
Due to the excellent price-performance ratio and the attractive design of the watches, the brand has a rapid growth in the 1990s in Germany and belongs to the most successful newcomers. Apart from the rather inconspicuous watches in the low price segment (including some models with quartz movements), an additional emphasis is put on mechanical skills and high quality appearance with the Masterpiece collection.
On 1 October 2001, the Maurice Lacroix SA became a unit independent of the former parent company. Desco von Schulthess sold the distribution rights for Maurice Lacroix to DKSH in 2008 and DKSH purchased the brand entirely in 2011, including its manufacturing operations. But the world financial crisis pushed DKSH to offer Maurice Lacroix and Queloz for sale in 2015 and announced plans to shut down MFM. Queloz was sold in 2018 but as of 2021, Maurice Lacroix is owned by DKSH.
Development of an own manufacture movement
In 1989, Maurice Lacroix expanded their in-house capabilities with the acquisition of a watch case manufacturer in Saignelégier.
The company announces a partnership with the well-known watches inventor and designer Andreas Strehler. After more than three years of development, from this cooperation results the chronograph calibre ML 106, the first fully self-designed and developed manufacture movement. This allows Maurice Lacroix to claim the prestigious status of a manufacture.
In November 2007 in Shanghai the proprietary chronograph calibre ML 128 with “memory” function is presented. It is used for the first time in the newly developed model Mémoire 1. This spectacular chronograph, which presents a whole series of unusual innovations, comes to market at the end of 2008 in a small, only 20 pieces counting edition.
Maurice Lacroix SA
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