Giuliano Mazzuoli may not necessarily be a household name when it comes to wristwatches, but he is a perennial favorite among representatives of the watch press. The reason is simple: he is incredibly enthusiastic about art, the objects he creates and the world around him.
His brand-new Carrara wristwatch is a great case in point. Created as a tribute to his beloved Tuscan home, the Italian designer famous for his 3.6.5. and Moka lines of writing instruments as well as his Manometro timepieces – which made their debut in 2005 and whose design is based on that of a pressure gauge – cannot help but infect his listener with enthusiasm when he talks about his creations.
The brand-new, smooth-to-the-touch, 44.5 mm-diameter Carrara, which will be available at retail beginning next month, is housed in a most surprising material: the Manometro-style case was drilled out of the beautiful, robust stone that is one of Tuscany’s world-renowned hallmarks: Carrara marble.
“We are not just making a case in marble, we are making it in Carrara marble, which is one of the finest in the world,” Mazzuoli reiterates in his typically emotional manner. “I am inspired by the world around me, and I love the land I am from,” he explains in answer to the question of how one might come up with such an idea.
Inside the marble, there is an inner case made of stainless steel that holds the crystal, case back, and strap; when bonded with the marble it strengthens the structure and makes the brittle natural material far less susceptible to breakage. “The complication is in manufacturing the marble ring; when it’s by itself it has a high probability of fracturing,” Mazzuoli continues. “In addition, the measurement tolerances are zero.” While small tolerances are the norm in all kinds of manufacturing processes involving metal, particularly wristwatches, “marble cannot withstand the pressure necessary to work it,” he reports. During the manufacturing phase, the metal case and the marble are bonded together with epoxy glues that make the two parts one. “It’s a strong structure,” he remarks.
“From the tests we have done, we have ascertained that the consequences are felt more by the movement than the case should it fall,” Mazzuoli replies. “More serious falls might cause marks on the case, but not fractures. Some of my friends who learned of my new idea for this watch asked me if the watch was going to be heavy. Impulsively, we think of ‘heavy marble,’ but that is because in our culture marble is linked to large volumes. However, the specific weight of marble is about equal to aluminum.”
Each of Giuliano Mazzuoli’s Carrara watches is unique since each lot of marble is different and each stone possesses its own characteristics. Carrara marble is universally recognized as the most prestigious marble in the world and it is typically characterized by its white color and dark gray veins of varying tones. “In Italy, we are masters at working marble,” Mazzuoli reminds me.
This marble, like all Carrara marble, was extracted from the fabled caves of the Apuan Alps in Carrara. Located just 100 kilometers outside Florence, it is the same place where Michelangelo personally selected the stone from which he made his stunning David, the world-famous sculpture that proudly resides within Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia.
In all of Mazzuoli’s timepieces, automatic Swiss movements are combined with traditional Italian craftsmanship and design, making for an interesting and exclusive timepiece that you will never find on your neighbor’s wrist. The time-only Carrara model retails for $4,900 and the Carrara Chronograph’s retail price is $7,900.