Maurice de Mauriac L1
Having found fame for his minimalist furniture, Fabian Schwaerzler is now bringing his purist ideals to the world of time-keeping. The first model that the prize-winning designer has created for niche, Zurich-based watch brand, Maurice de Mauriac, will be known as the L1.
“I have always been fascinated by the ‘architecture’ of watches,” says Schwaerzler. “The minimalist graphics must be instantly functional, but there is still so much leeway in the detailing to steer the attention of the viewer. A watch is like an amphitheatre; the universe – and fleeting time – might be the unforgiving producer, but as the designer, you are at least the stage director.”
Apart from a tiny Maurice de Mauriac logo and the words Automatic and Swiss Made, the only graphical elements incorporated into the dial are straight lines that are faintly luminescent. By using four different widths and lengths, however, Schwaerzler blends an exactly proportioned temporal cocktail that draws on neoplasticism and monochromatic universal symbolism for its inspiration.
The quarter-hour batons are slimmer and longer, allowing the wearer to locate them instantly. To further emphasise the importance of the quarter hour in our style of time-keeping, the minute markers at these locations on the edge of the face are shorter and remain untouched by the sweep second hand in its eternal return.
As the dial itself is a matt black, the functional white lines set up a discreet graphical interplay between these contrasts – a purist’s delight.
The Maurice de Mauriac L1 will be launched in Basel on 27 March 2014.
About the designer
Fabian Schwaerzler is a master of reduction and his prize-winning furniture for companies like Vitra has won him a devoted following among design aficionados. While he may not be the first to bring this kind of purist thinking to the fascinatingly miniaturised world of watches, it has seldom been done with such no-nonsense directness and such a matter-of-fact, easily legible style.
About the company
Daniel Dreifuss founded Maurice de Mauriac as a family company in 2010. He is convinced that there is room on the market for a Zurich watchmaker, especially one offering an exclusive series of mechanical watches featuring contemporary design, interchangeable straps of the highest quality and automatic workhorse movements tested by generations of watch lovers.
About the watch
Maurice de Mauriac L1
Case: stainless steel
Case size: 39 millimetres
Movement: automatic ETA 2824-2 movement.
Functions: three hands with date window at 3 o’clock. Sapphire caseback and screw-down crown.
Water resistant: 100 metres.
Straps: hand-tooled straps made from the finest leather.
Strap colours: black ivory, brown rouge and natural umber
Price: from CHF 2,300 (including 8% VAT).
Photographer: Nicolas Bruni / Detail AG