Gen Z, This One’s for You: Introducing the Maurice Lacroix Aikon #tide
Maurice Lacroix introduces the Aikon #tide. Made from upcycled ocean plastic, this watch represents a changing tide.
This past weekend, Maurice Lacroix unveiled its newest addition to the Aikon family: the Aikon #tide. For many reasons – which we will get into – this watch represents far more than a new release; it represents a change in thinking and a reimagining of what Swiss watchmaking can and should mean to new generations.
However, Maurice Lacroix is certainly all-in on this new wave. First, let’s talk about the launch.
The Aikon #tide
The Aikon series from Maurice Lacroix pays tribute to one of its earliest watch models – the Calypso – and under Stéphane Waser, it has become the brand’s core model. Previous Aikon models, with their automatic movements and range of complications, appeal to the more traditionally minded watch collector, but the Aikon #tide is something very different.
Starting with its bright colorways – in hues of blue, pink, fuchsia, green, orange, and yellow – the next thing you’ll likely notice is how light and thin the watch is. That is because the entire watch and buckle are made from ocean-bound upcycled plastic (with a full ocean-plastic bracelet soon to follow). This material is not your usual everyday plastic; it is the result of two years of R&D with #tide Ocean Material, a Switzerland-based company dedicated to collecting, repurposing, and reusing 1 billion bottles by 2025.
How did this idea come about? At the launch event in Miami, Florida, Stephane Waser told Watchonista that, about three years ago, he started “getting emails from people asking, ‘What is your packaging made of?’ ‘Are your watches vegan?’ This struck a chord with the company, and we have to do something with materials that are sustainable – there is something here.”
What does #tide do?
According to the founder of #tide, Thomas Schori, the biggest challenge was, “How do you give this ocean plastic a value?” Thus, through a partnership with the Swiss University of Applied Sciences, #tide has developed a scalable way to sort through ocean plastic and refine it into a premium usable material. The resultant material is not only 100% recycled but can also be reused and recycled again and again.
These products consist of yarn for clothing, filament for 3D printing, and granules for hard plastics – all of which can (and are) sold to companies for use in new products. These sales, in turn, allow the #tide organization to pay fisherman in Southeast Asia nearly the same amount of money for plastic bottles as they do for fish – incentivizing the fishing community to assist in the clean-up efforts. Thereby using the circular economy to drive the self-policing and clean-up of the ocean, it is an incredible feat.
So, It’s a Plastic Watch?
Yes – but not really. The Aikon #tide is not a cheap plastic watch. As previously mentioned, it represents over two years of R&D work, and it is built to a very high standard of quality.
It is assembled and tested the same as any other Maurice Lacroix watch. It uses a sapphire crystal, has 100 meters of water resistance, and has a screw-down crown. Yes, the Aikon #tide is quartz-powered, but the battery is recyclable. Even the case does not use a metal cylinder inside to house the movement because that would have added an unrecyclable element to the watch.
As impressive as the upcycling technology is, so too is the price. The Aikon #tide starts at $750.
You see: This is not a watch for hardcore watch aficionados, though I suspect a few may buy them as fun summer watches and novelties, and as Waser said, “We are not moving away from our other collections or abandoning any of our series.” This new Aikon #tide is a watch for the new generation – for Gen Z.
For more information, visit the Maurice Lacroix website.
(Images © Maurice Lacroix)