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Maurice Lacroix was founded as part of Desco von Schulthess of Zurich in 1975. Founded in 1889, Desco von Schulthess (Desco) is an older company with roots in the silk trade. Since 1946, Desco has also been a representative for luxury watches including Audemars Piguet, Heuer, Eterna, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Over the years, Desco became more interested in the watch business, and in 1961 Desco acquired an assembly facility named Tiara in Saignelégier, in the Swiss Canton of Jura.
There it produced private label watches for third parties. In 1975, Desco started marketing watches under the brand name Maurice Lacroix. There was a member the board of Desco von Schulthess, parent & founding company of Maurice Lacroix, who was named Mr. Lacroix.
By 1980, Maurice Lacroix had become so successful that the facility in Saignelégier ceased production for third parties. In 1989 Maurice Lacroix acquired the casemaker Queloz S.A., also based in Saignelégier. This ability to produce watch cases in-house makes Maurice Lacroix unusual compared to other luxury watch companies.
During the 1990s, Maurice Lacroix experienced a “rocket-like ascent” with the launch of their high end “Les Mécaniques” line, later renamed the “Masterpiece” line. During this time, the company elevated itself to the high ranks of Swiss watch manufactures, by both maintaining traditional ‘Swiss watch-making art’ and by creating their own movements for its Masterpiece Collection.