Terra Cielo Mare Tazzoli Oceanico - 2 weeks on the wrist (and a lot of beautiful patina)
Do you remember the Terra Cielo Mare Tazzoli Marinis AES? I am sure you do, at least for two main reasons; the Italian brand created the only 88 watches in the world equipped with a Protox-treated bronze-made case, a coating that guarantees a natural oxidation process and that gives your watch an extremely authentic vintage look. The Tazzoli was a big success even beyond expectations, the very reduced production typical of a collector’s piece and its original style turned it quickly into a wish-list item and these features are I guess also the basis of Terracielomare’s choice to craft a numbered edition of the new Terra Cielo Mare Tazzoli Oceanico, the second part of what we can consider the flagship of the small tailoring manufacturer of Italian timepieces.
The Terra Cielo Mare Tazzoli Oceanico is the second half of a beautiful story that is made up of authenticity and the willingness of a brand to come up with a two-digit limited number edition geared towards a restricted groups of aficionados who are capable to appreciate the finest things in life. The marine bronze and Protox-treated case have been replaced by a case that is the same size as the first Tazzoli’s, namely 44mm in diameter. The structure of the new case, however, is more complex as it is made up of a PVD-treated (Physical Vapour Deposition) titanium-made central part and an additional phosphor marine bronze frame. The phosphor marin bronze alloys that exist today differ quite a lot from each other but they generally sport one common trait: high resistance to corrosion and the ability to get easily welded. These are the characteristics that have probably prompted Terra Cielo Mare to craft a structure of the case that looks like being definitely more complex than the Tazzoli Marinis’s, simply take a look at the strong slots present on the sides of the case-middle and you will immediately understand what I am talking about.
This year, I have tried on two different timepieces with a bronze case from two different brands; the Terra Cielo Mare Tazzoli Oceanic is actually my third experience. The first two watches have been generically classified as “timepieces with a bronze-made case” with no additional information given about the features of the bronze used and if you consider the vast amount of alloys existing on the market, I think that not even a chemist wouldn’t be able to identify the different features. Terra Cielo Mare is the only brand that explicitly declares the type of bronze it used for the case of its timepieces and that actually helps both the most curious users and aficionados to deep even further into a watch’s specifics.
From what I could see after using this timepiece for two full weeks, the oxidation process of phosphor bronze gradually tends to uniformly coat the Terra Cielo Mare Tazzoli Oceanico’s case with a thin dark gray film that gives the case an incredible glossy effect. I have waited two additional days before taking a picture of my watch so that the oxidation process could reach its full potential because I really wanted that process to be completed so that it only left intact the original thin polished yellow ring in the gap between the bezel and the lugs. Don’t panic if you are not familiar with this oxidation process since it actually represents an additional protection shield from external agents.
A timepiece that while still in its box I was not yet fully familiar with, because of the extreme polished look of the case and the strong contrast between that polished look and the vintage treatment used on the strap, has quickly acquired a new personality and it seems as if I had inherited it from the captain of a vessel from the middle of last century. What I still can’t fully like is this timepiece’s titanium-made case-back that has undergone a PVD treatment. It is nicely done, but I can’t fully discern the Tazzoli effigy on it and I would have personally opted for a bronze coating instead, no matter if that could have stained my wrist in the long run.
The first thing that I have noted when I first fully wound the watch is that there was no vibration whatsoever coming from the winding rotor and, without the need to immediately turn (again) to the watch’s specifics, it made me think that there was something else beating inside the case than an ETA-derived caliber. I reckon I am not exaggerating in saying that Terra Cielo Mare is rapidly moving towards the concept of a true manufacture; the idea to equip the inside of the Terra Cielo Mare Tazzoli Oceanico with a Concepto-built caliber, the very leader in supplying high range mechanic movements, represents an important step and I wish that it also marked the beginning of a new path that will lead Terra Cielo Mare to become the first Italian high range integrated manufacturer.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter