It’s coming. The 1980s are making a comeback in fashion and, as a natural extension, beginning to influence the niche sphere of watches. The Maurice de Mauriac Rallymaster is inspired by the heyday of tennis during the 1970s and 1980s, when stars like Bjorn Borg, Chris Everett, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe brought more to the court than their tennis skills. Those were the days of unruly hair, headbands, skimpy dresses and product branding when tennis stars shone like rock stars. The Maurice de Mauriac Rallymaster, a fun pink wristwatch with a vintage topspin, is the brand’s first watch for Racquet, an indie quarterly magazine devoted to tennis.
For those of you unfamiliar with the brand, Maurice de Mauriac is a family-run business based in Zurich. Daniel Dreifuss, a colourful personality who wants to inject fun into watchmaking, registered the brand in 1997 and was later joined by his sons, Massimo and Leonardo. With six collections on offer, ranging from minimalist Bauhaus-inspired models like the L1 to exuberant skeletonised chronographs and a very red L2 Red Sea diver, the latest watch from Maurice de Mauriac is the Rallylmaster. It’s worth mentioning that this is not the brand’s first tennis watch; the Stan Smith, designed and signed by the tennis legend himself, is also part of the Collabs (collaborations) section.
Like other Collaboration watches at MdM, the Rallymaster was designed externally, this time by Carlton DeWoody, an artist and designer from New York with a passion for vintage watches. Co-founder and creative direction of the Reunion studio, DeWoody is renowned for his interior decoration for hotels and restaurants and branding projects.
Racquet is a cult indie tennis quarterly founded in 2016 that celebrates the art, ideas, style and culture surrounding tennis, offering a clever and refreshing take on the modern tennis landscape.
From the court to the dial
DeWoody’s particular vision for the Rallymaster takes inspiration from the unusual patterns, typefaces and colourful sub-dials of vintage timepieces. Using a dusty pink and grey colour scheme accented with yellow and light green, De Woody has transposed elements of the tennis court onto the dial.
The dusty pink textured dial, designed to evoke the surface of a clay tennis court, hosts ten round tennis ball hour markers filled with yellow Super-LumiNova. A grey outer ‘rally-style’ flange with one-fourth-of-a-second markings is merely decorative since there is no central seconds hand or a movement below court to provide such precision readings. Traversing the dial’s centre is a yellow tennis net, complete with its signature mesh pattern. A cut-out area on the net at 3 o’clock reveals the date window with a magnifier balanced horizontally by the small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock. What’s relevant here is the segmentation of the small seconds in 20-second areas to mark the 20-second time limit for a serve. The 20-second segments are highlighted in different colours and indicated by a luminous lollipop hand. At night, the central hour and minute hands, hour markers, top and bottom of the tennis net, and small seconds hand emit a neon yellow Super-LumiNova glow.
Designed as a unisex watch, the Rallymaster comes in a brushed 39mm stainless steel case with a height of 12mm and 100m water-resistance. A quick-release mechanism on the reverse lets you switch the steel mesh Milanese bracelet for a grey and white stretch NATO strap.
The sapphire crystal on the reverse side reveals a decal of six pink tennis rackets with a yellow tennis ball in the centre printed on the underside of the crystal so it will not fade over time. Beneath the decal, the central winding rotor of the outsourced Landeron 24 calibre can be made out, a compact automatic movement designed to replace ETA 2824-2. Beating at 28,800vph, the automatic movement delivers a standard power reserve of 40 hours for the time and date functions.
Availability and Price
The Maurice de Mauriac x Racquet Rallymaster is a limited edition of 40 watches and is available to order on Racquet’s and MdM’s websites. The Rallymaster comes in a box with a pink tennis ball and the steel mesh bracelet and grey NATO strap abovementioned. The retail price is CHF 1,950 or USD 1,950 (excl. tax).