Hands-On by Ariel Adams from Ablogtowatch
The Maurice de Mauriac Stan Smith Signature watch is an ode to a pastime the Zurich-based brand enjoys (well, at least one of them). For as long as I’ve known Daniel Dreifuss (founder of Maurice de Mauriac), he has enjoyed tennis and sports shoes. In this timepiece, he gets to celebrate both, as well as an icon of fashion. It was not two days ago that I was at a meeting and noticed a gentleman wearing the iconic, mostly white with green trim, tennis shoes produced by Adidas with Stan Smith’s face on the tongue.
“Hey, I know those shoes,” is what I thought when seeing them, especially after learning about the Stan Smith watch project some time ago from Maurice de Mauriac. Later in this article, I have an exclusive interview with Stan Smith, himself, but first let’s talk about the timepiece itself since there are some fun features in it.
In brushed steel and 42mm-wide (about 9mm-thick) with 100 meters of water resistance, the case of the Stan Smith Signature watch has a smooth, rounded stepped bezel and comes with both a black and green rubber strap, as well as a color-fitting white and green NATO-style strap (which I believe most people will prefer to wear the watch with). Inside the watch is a Swiss Made ETA caliber 2824-2 automatic movement that offers the time and the date. Over the dial is a slightly domed sapphire crystal that is given an appropriate amount of anti-reflective coating.
Toward the last minute of the Stan Smith watch project, Maurice de Mauriac actually decided to release two additional colorways of the watch — each is a limited edition of 100 pieces — which are white and blue and white and red, respectively. What all the watches have in common is the “tennis ball” seconds hand that casts the lume dot on the running seconds hand to look like a small tennis ball, easily one of the best details on the watch. This detail was actually borrowed from an inexpensive Adidas-branded watch collection (which came in a few forms) that was also dedicated to Stan Smith. Another great detail on the Maurice de Mauriac Stan Smith watch is the satirical replacement of “Swiss Made” on the dial with “Smith Made.”
The watch dial itself represents an interesting aesthetic that is not novel to the Stan Smith Signature watch collection, as Maurice de Mauriac has used it before — but not too often. I call the it the “reverse dial” because it juxtaposes the traditional position of the hour markers and the minute track. This has been done before on a lot of aviator watches but rarely on other types of watches. This particular dial design is entirely unique to Maurice de Mauriac, and I happen to like it a lot, visually. Over the 6 o’clock hour marker is the Stan Smith signature, and there is a printed graphic with Stan Smith’s face (just like on the shoes) on the rear of the case on the sapphire exhibition crystal over the movement.
For the most part, the Maurice de Mauriac Stan Smith Signature watch is an “inspired creation” that combines what the Zurich-based boutique watchmaker is good at with the world of both tennis and shoes. It requires a pretty deep understanding of these various areas to notice that the resulting product is well done. It is also thoroughly a watch that is a manifestation of the “collaboration effect,” which is extremely popular in fashion product design today. That the watch looks cool on Stan Smith’s own wrist is all the validation most people will need.
BY ARIEL ADAMS