giuliano mazzuoli - Contagiri 8C Competizione
Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
giuliano mazzuoli - Contagiri 8C Competizione

Contagiri 8C Competizione

giuliano mazzuoli

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See other pictures Luc Virginius / Chronopassion
Contagiri (tachometer in Italian) is a watch in which Giuliano Mazzuoli relives his experience as a racecar driver and his passion for motor sports. It took four years of development, production planning, prototyping, and international patents to create a jewel of time keeping that is completely made in Switzerland. The essential lines and the simple graphics create a revolutionary system to measure the hours and minutes. The watch has one hand that retrogrades after moving across an arc of 270° while pointing to numbers between 0 and 12 indicating the hour. On the side of the case is a stow-away lever that acts like a sort of “gear shift” that allows for the winding of the automatic movement and the setting of the time by turning the bezel. With Contagiri 8C Competizione, Giuliano Mazzuoli dedicates a special version of his exclusive timepiece to the glorious sport tradition of Alfa Romeo. With a stainless steel and black DLC case, and a black dial that faithfully reflects the tachometer in the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. The four-leaf clover, symbol of Alfa Romeo racing, in the window of the dial indicates that the watch is working regularly. Limited edition of 1050 pieces.

Technical specifications

Case
  • Stainless steel and black DLC
Diameter
  • 44 mm
Caliber
  • GM Cambiosequenziale/01
Functions
  • Retrograde hours
Dial
  • Black
Strap
  • Black rubber
Special 1
  • Wind and set the time thanks to the bezel!
Special 2
  • The watch can be personalized on the case back

Who's who

Nothing predestined Giuliano Mazzuoli to make watches. And nothing forced Laurent Picciotto to take them, still less to become their official retailer. But in the parallel universe of watchmaking, that means they were made for one another. That’s how impulses work: they are unreasonable, unpredictable and inevitable. The spark occurred in 2004. Giuliano Mazzuoli had designed and produced the first prototypes of the Manometro, a 45 mm timepiece almost 15 mm thick. It reproduces the shape and spirit of the manometer it is based on: easy-to-read Hours, Minutes and Seconds, a cream-coloured background, a steel case and a crown at 2 o’clock or 10 o’clock – depending on whether it’s a right or left-handed model. “This may be a detail, but it’s one of the things that drew me to it,” emphasises Laurent Picciotto. Details like this embody the fact that everything in a Giuliano Mazzuoli is thought through and styled to make its owner believe that it is amazingly simple – despite each detail being the result of extremely minute design work. Design is probably how Giuliano Mazzuoli managed to escape his father’s printing works. This booming business on a hillside in his native Tuscany was a daily chore for the young Giuliano, but a burden he had to bear to provide for his family. “In fact, I hated studying. My father had found me a place in a haberdasher’s belonging to one of his friends, telling him to make my life as hard as possible,” recalls Giuliano Mazzuoli. “I still didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up, but when my father died suddenly I had no other choice than to take over the printing works, whether I liked it or not.” It was there, however, that Giuliano Mazzuoli’s brushstrokes began to assert themselves. He began to customise various items such as typefaces, bindings and diaries. His two sons came to work with him, giving him more creative distance. He designed two lines of pens. One day, when his doctor was taking his blood pressure, he was intrigued by the design of the old manometer. “I was really drawn by its simplicity – and the most difficult thing to design is simplicity,” he explains today. Giuliano Mazzuoli undertook to transform the simple, functional design of this manometer into a watch using an ETA base. The Manometro was born. Laurent Picciotto was one of the first to discover it, and the piece really caught his attention. “It’s a very attractive design, the watchmaking work of someone who isn’t a watchmaker. It’s a simple, minimalist approach that has resulted in an extraordinary timepiece. Basically it’s a curiosity for us, in the literal sense of the word, and a great deal of care has gone into it.” A second timepiece, the Contagiri, appeared a few years later. The design is by Giuliano Mazzuoli, the movement by Giulio Papi. This more mature piece is a real watchmaking masterwork. As such it contrasts with the singularity of the Manometro – still the most original creation of an equally singular individual. Journalist : Olivier Müller
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