September 7, 2014
by Ariel Adams
The newest watch from Italian designer Giuliano Mazzuoli is a surprisingly simple beauty with a few neat tricks up its sleeve. This is the new for 2014 Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara watch, and it has a case made out of Italian marble stone. While stone-cased watches are quite rare, they aren’t unheard of. A rare treat, nevertheless, stone watches are difficult to get right, and while I haven’t seen one of the new Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara timepieces in person (yet), the elegant design and pleasant use of materials is extremely intriguing.
While previous Giuliano Mazzuoli watch designs have been (to my knowledge) exclusively inspired by the automotive world, the Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara is the first “non-car world” watch in his collection. “Carrara” (unlike Carrera) is not from the car world, but rather a place in Italy located in Tuscany. The region is known for its stone quarries which are notable for their bluish white marble stone. Used for centuries in Italian artwork (popularized, of course, by Renaissance sculptors) marble has been long associated with fine architecture, permanence, and of course a luxury lifestyle. Now it makes its way into a watch.
Well, rather “around” a watch. Giuliano Mazzuoli claims to work with Italian stone workers for the production of the Carrara watch cases. In order to strengthen their design and reduce the chances of the stone case breaking, each Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara case is fitted with a metal inner ring between the case and movement. One of the things that I have come to appreciate with Giuliano Mazzuoli work is his mastery of materials. While not all of his work has satisfied my tastes, I have never not been impressed with the materials, finishes, colors, and textures used in his watches.
The Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara is no exception and of course the polished marble case is going to be the most impressive material used. Having said that, I don’t think it stops there. Giuliano Mazzuoli does a pretty nice job for the rest of the watch parts, including the dial and hour markers, as well as the strap and crown. There is a highly refined aura to the overall look and feel which combines an almost Bauhaus sense of minimalism with an indisputably Italian sense of panache. Take, for example, the material used for the dials, which is ceramic.
Ceramic is an interesting material to use for dials because of its ability to be polished in a range of ways as well as rendered in various colors. Many of the polishes mimic those used for metals, but more color options are available. The Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara for examples comes with an available white, gun metal gray, or blue dial, each in ceramic with a slightly different finish. The color won’t fade and each goes handsomely with the Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara marble case in a unique manner.
Polished steel is used for the crown and pushers on the chronograph models, the shapes of which seem to go with the overall design of the watch very well. Positioned in a more traditional 3 o’clock position (compared to previous Giuliano Mazzuoli watch crown designs), I feel that the rounded design of the steel crown with its white center-ring is very attractive and among the best the brand has done so far. This also goes with the pushers on the Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara Chronograph models. Metal is also used for the applied hour markers on the dial, though they are done in a very different way.