Many call him architect, and he responds “I do not have a degree, and please do not put a title in front of my name.” This is Giuliano Mazzuoli who for more than seventy years has lived and worked in the hills around Florence. He says that he discovered design when he was older. He says that there is nothing really left to design these days and that design is actually a reproduction of something that nature already made. You can’t look for it. It “drapes” itself with simplicity and if you know how to recognize it, it will find you.
A long list can be made with Giuliano Mazzuoli’s design successes starting from his early work in agenda book design followed by his innovative notebooks with curved or inclined lines and then his writing instruments with an original and fun design. His line of Officina pens were inspired by his childhood memories of a box of tools he used to keep from his grandfather’s bicycle manufacturing factory in Chianti on the hills of Florence. He designed his “Moka” pen while he was scribbling in a notebook during an English lesson. The “Moka” pen, inspired by the coffee-machine designed by Alfonso Bialetti in the 1930s, a symbol of Italian design and a fixture in every Italian home, caught the attention of MoMA in New York and the relationship has spanned almost two decades now. Every year, 3.6.5, one of the companies of the Mazzuoli Group produces for the prestigious museum the MoMA Pocket Calendar using the Stifflexible cover system invented and patented by Giuliano Mazzuoli.
We know Giuliano Mazzuoli’s origins and that his DNA contributed to his desire to enter the world of watch-making. In the Mazzuoli family tree there is a certain Lisandro who worked in an ancient craftsman factory producing tower clocks. In Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, the town in the Chianti hills where Giuliano was born and still lives, there is an attic in an ancient building that to this day has the designs of tower clock movements inscribed in the walls. Vincenzio Pistelli, a well-known craftsman, produced the movements for tower clocks in the 1700s. The Pistelli family continued this activity for generations and before the family became extinct Lisandro Mazzuoli learned the art of this trade and continued repairing and modifying the tired, old movements.
Drawing from the story of his ancestor, for years he dreamt of creating a watch that was different than any other watch available on the market. He collected books and articles about watches, and at a certain point he decided to throw everything he had accumulated into the trash so as to avoid not being influenced by anything for the design of his watch. He let some time pass, and the inspiration for his much anticipated watch came one day when he looked at the pressure gauge of an old air compressor in his typography shop. It was in this object that he found his Manometro (“manometro” means “pressure gauge” in Italian) watch. He realized that you shouldn’t look for design. Inspiration finds you. The pressure gauge, an instrument that reflected simplicity, was designed for its function of measuring air and water pressure and not for its aesthetic look. Twenty-four hours later he was wearing a non-functioning prototype that was faithful to the instrument that inspired it, transforming it into an instrument that measured time. The more he wore the prototype of the watch, the more it caught people’s eye, and as people enthusiastically starting taking his wrist asking him to show it to them, he knew he had found the watch he had aspired to make. More than ten years later the watch is just as relevant as when it was first introduced capturing a timeless presence on the watchmaking scene. The popularity and fame of his iconic watch continues to grow among an audience that has an eye for design, and an appreciation for style.
His creations have made the world smile, capturing people’s imagination with a uniquely Italian spirit and passion. The creativity of the designer Giuliano Mazzuoli is expressed in his writing instruments, paper products, and wristwatches revealing an authentic identity that combines project research, function and renewed aesthetics. Clean and essential design, original forms, use of fine materials, and workmanship make every Giuliano Mazzuoli product a real jewel of craftsmanship with the highest attention to every detail.