Whether you are a diver or not, the newly reissued Pontos S Diver by Maurice Lacroix will get you second glances whether you’re on land or under the sea. Ong Chin Huat grabs some time with Marcel Gut, the Global Sales Director of Maurice Lacroix, to ask him about the watch company’s decision to relaunch the timepiece.
Owning the original Pontos S Diver, which he bought himself back in 2013 when Maurice Lacroix first released it, makes Marcel Gut, the Global Sales Director, the perfect person to talk about this diving watch relaunch.
“We have the classic watches like the Aikon, and then we have the Masterpiece collection, and in between these two, there was a huge price gap,” says Marcel during a quick stopover in Kuala Lumpur for lunch and preview of the new version of the Pontos S Diver. “That’s where the Pontos S Diver comes into place.”
Incorporating several new tweaks while keeping the same spirit and overall design of the original, the new Pontos S Diver is housed in a 42mm case and is available in either a choice of stainless steel or, for the first time, bronze.
With the hour and minute hands facetted and lined with Super-Lumi Nova, this sporty watch is visible in the darkness of the ocean or the darkest possible places on dry land.
Smaller, lighter and compact than the original because of the absence of the helium valve, the stainless steel version comes with a choice of black-grained or white lacquered dial options, while the bronze model – which is limited to only 500 pieces – is paired with a sumptuous blue grained dial.
But why was this deep water watch discontinued after only a few years in production?
“Once we started producing the Aikon model in 2016, we decided to focus all our attention on this highly successful model, and that’s why Maurice Lacroix decided to stop production of the Pontos.” But according to Marcel, the Swiss watchmaker received so many requests for the Pontos to be reissued they couldn’t ignore the demand.
“We decided to bring it back but with a more contemporary look, with an urban design making it look younger and fresher.”
Taking two to three years for the redesign, Maurice Lacroix turned to the crew member and a friend of the Swiss watchmaker, world champion freediver Lidija Lijic for her input in redesigning the Pontos S Diver.
Stephane Waser, the Managing Director of Maurice Lacroix, reiterates the blueprint on which the redesign of Pontos S Diver was based. “When developing this latest Pontos S Diver, we were keen to retain the spirit of the first generation model but push the performance envelope with various product enhancements.”
Explaining why they decided to use bronze as a material for the first time in a version of the new Pontos, Marcel says the very first deep sea divers wore helmets made from bronze and so it seemed logical to them to use this sustainable metal which is connected with the history of diving.
However, he hastens to add that bronze is not a material for everyone. “Bronze starts to patinate and change its colour as soon it comes into contact with air, water and oxygen. Depending on the users, bronze can change its colour into black, brown and green.”
As to whether the Pontos S Diver is catered more to men or women, Marcel says the brand doesn’t distinguish between the sexes as the Pontos S Diver transcends traditional gender classifications. “We don’t classify our watches according to gender…if you feel comfortable with it, then just wear it.”
As the Global Sales Director, it’s only natural for Marcel to talk about business. “The pandemic was very positive for us. As people were not travelling, they were at home, shopping mostly.” He says with a wide smile. But post-pandemic tells a slightly different story.
“We are still growing, but we see a shift in the markets. In markets where people started to travel more such as in Asia, the growth isn’t that high anymore.” With the war in Ukraine, Maurice Lacroix also lost one of their top three markets, namely Russia, as they don’t deliver to Russia anymore. “Luckily, we manage to compensate for the loss in Russia with the increase in sales in other markets.”
One of the trends Marcel sees in the watch industry is the importance of online sales. “It’s growing very fast as the younger generation has different expectations when it comes to shopping.” But that doesn’t mean that physical stores are not relevant anymore. “You have to build an experience for your customers in your store and give them a reason to shop offline.”
For further information on Maurice Lacroix and the new Pontos S Diver, please visit www.mauricelacroix.com.
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