When it comes to watches that draw inspiration from the world of automobiles, it really does not seem like we have any shortage of choice. However, as far as designs that mimic actual pieces of a car are concerned, pickings do get quite a bit slimmer. As we saw with the Giuliano Mazzuoli Trasmissione Meccanica watch, some brands tend to really have a handle on that design language and now, with the Giuliano Mazzouli Contagiri, we are given the opportunity to strap a tachometer to our wrists.
There are no two ways about it: the tach' is where this watch originates. The flavor text on the product page talks of remembering the neighbor's sports car having one of these gauges, and even the name of the watch indicates it (contagiri is Italian for tachometer). Using this as a basis for the Giuliano Mazzuoli Contagiri watch certainly makes for a very unique look – and it is not just in the aesthetic design. That said, the look of the piece is where we will begin.
With the large, central hand, and the "redline" marked out at 12 o'clock, this really does have the look and feel of the aforementioned tach. There is a smaller seconds hand, but it is mostly black, so it blends into the dial - leaving the bright white central hour hand to complete the look. This does mean that it is a one-hand watch, with 15-minute accuracy in terms of reading out the time. Normally, I'm not as big of a fan of this style of watch, but the Giuliano Mazzuoli Contagiri has enough novelty to hold my attention – say, when you have the hand jumping from 12:30 to 12:31 across the lower portion of the dial.
If you have been looking at the pictures, you no doubt have noticed that there is no crown on the 44mm steel case. This is where the next bit of uniqueness for the Giuliano Mazzuoli Contagiri watch comes in. Where a crown would normally reside, there's a polished steel lever set into the DLC portion of the case. When you pop this out, the sight window at the bottom of the dial goes from the Giuliano Mazzuoli logo to the numeral one.
At this point, you are ready to wind the automatic movement (which is a modified base ETA caliber and is called the GM Cambiosequenziale/01 alternance 10, for those keeping score). How do you wind a movement with no crown? I am glad you asked! This is accomplished by rotating the polished bezel back and forth to get things up and running. Now that the power is stored, we are ready to set the time. Pull the lever out another notch (with sight reading 2) and the time can be set - again, via the bezel surrounding the convex sapphire crystal.
Pop the lever back in, and the sight spot now once again shows the logo, while the watch resumes operation. At this point, you are ready to strap the Giuliano Mazzuoli Contagiri watch on, and head out the door. Now, with watches like these (which have integrated/hidden lugs), strap material choice seems to me to be a bit of a difficult proposition. Rubber straps (as included here) can sometimes feel off, especially on a luxury timepiece. Yet, almost contrarily, a leather or textile strap wouldn't feel right either. Here, with the Giuliano Mazzuoli Contagiri, given that it is a bit of a sportier theme, I think the rubber strap works – if not aesthetically for everyone, at least thematically.
Once in place, the 124g watch fit snugly to my wrist. As the case is just over 13mm tall, and has no external protuberances, it slips very nicely under a shirt cuff – and back out again to check the time or, you know, just show off the design on your wrist. I have a co-worker who is a gearhead and is into watches, and this one definitely elicited a very positive reaction. As for myself, I rather enjoyed the novelty (and ingenuity) of how you interact with the movement.
When it comes to reading the time, however, I still am in the camp that single-hand watches really are just not for me. I realize that this is truly a preferential thing, but I just like knowing the exact time (and no, please do not tell me to check my phone for that), while I know there are plenty of others who enjoy the more relaxed sense of timing that comes from a single hand. If that is you, and you love all things automotive, then the Giuliano Mazzouli Contagiri could just be for you. As seen here (in steel and DLC), the price for the Giuliano Mazzuoli Contagiri comes in at $15,000. giulianomazzuoli.it
>Brand: Giuliano Mazzouli
>Price: $15,000 (DLC and stainless); $17,600 (all-black DLC); $27,500 (rose gold titanium)
>Would reviewer personally wear it: While there is a lot about this watch that I like, the single hand would prevent me from wearing it with much frequency.
>Friend we'd recommend it to first: This is for the watch lover who is (a) a gearhead and (b) has a relaxed relationship with time.
>Worst characteristic of watch: For me, it is once again the single hand layout. Works to mimic a tachometer, for sure, just not great for accurate time-telling.
>Best characteristic of watch: The lever and bezel arrangement for winding the watch and setting the time, closely followed by the "jump" that occurs at 12:30