Marcia Mazzocchi understands time’s mystique. Not merely the passage of seasons displayed on an impersonal, digital read-out, but the comforting sound and feel of a mechanical timepiece…a work of art that represents the marriage of artistic excellence and reliability as it marks each minute, each hour of every day.
Mazzocchi is President of North and Central Americas for Parmigiani Fleurier, a company with a mission to defy the trend of mass-produced, quartz-based watches and return the art of Swiss watchmaking to its traditional prominence. It is a commitment that resonates with her core values and life philosophy. “My path has always been to be involved with manufacturing of exclusive, luxury products,” Mazzocchi says.
Her personal statement watch, the one that’s usually on her wrist, is Parmigiani Fleurier Hemisphere Rose Gold Grained White. “I love it because it shows two time zones and I can set the second hand on both.” However, she confesses to a not-so-secret love affair with the Bugatti Super Sport. “The thinking behind the shape, the way it mirrors the lines of the car — it’s an exquisite timepiece. And a woman can wear this just as easily as any man,” she says. Her smile has a from-the-heart sparkle, the first hint that beneath the sophisticated, ultra-chic business persona is a woman who also possesses a lively sense of humour and a zest for living.
Mazzocchi can see the dial of her watch at all times while steering her classic sports cars thanks to the driver-centric design of the Bugatti Super Sport watch.
Although her working life is filled with exotic and glamorous hotels, Mazzocchi says it is meeting people and treasuring the everyday experiences that bring her the most spiritual clarity — often in unanticipated moments. “I remember one night in South America when the moon was incredible. A group of wild horses was running past me, and right behind them was a donkey trying to keep up. I was worried about that donkey, but the locals told me they made sure he had food and water. Moments like that can be very profound but often pass by in a flash. It’s like talking with a person who’s dreadfully ill or living under desperate conditions, yet they’re still able to smile — it’s inspirational.”
Mazzocchi has learned the hard way that one of the best things about life is being able to enjoy every moment of every day. “Sometimes it takes a wake-up call before we’re able, or willing, to reflect more on the things that really matter,” she says making an oblique reference to being widowed very early in her marriage. “It’s so easy to fall into a routine, to do things like saying ‘I love you’ without really thinking about it, while at the same time we put too much emphasis on small irritations. Little things like your spouse leaving their socks on the floor — are they really important? I don’t think so.”
“For me, the most precious thing will always be family. I’m one of seven children, all of us extremely close. I have no children of my own, but I have many nieces and nephews that are a constant source of inspiration and joy.” She cares for two rescue dogs, Chico and Charlie, which she counts among the many joys in her life. The three of them can often be found tramping the beaches near her Malibu home.
Despite an often-gruelling travel schedule with Parmigiani, Mazzocchi still lists travel among her favourite personal indulgences. Clearly, her globetrotting tendencies are a family trait. She describes her father, who lived to be 101, as “an inspiration and a character right to the end. He travelled the world, he had a tremendous stamp collection, and he always wanted to know what we kids were doing with our lives.”
Although she considers Tanzania “the best of the best” in recent memory, she’s looking forward to visiting Machu Picchu — a trip she’s already planned for next year. Closer to home, a long-time favourite adventure is summer car rallies with friends. “I own two classic cars — a Jag XKE and an MGA,” she explains. “Touring is great fun.”
Like many who travel constantly in the course of their work, Mazzocchi says running and exercise help keep her balanced mentally, physically, and emotionally. But wherever she is, she finds a deep solace in exploring the local museums and art galleries. She is particularly drawn to the dynamics of contemporary art, but with a wide circle of friends who are artists, her indulgences include a broad, eclectic range of styles.
Food, to her, satisfies far more than the necessity of eating — it’s a personal luxury and an adventure she embraces. “Whether I’m travelling for business or pleasure, I love venturing out to the local restaurants, tasting the spices and flavours of different cuisines. When I was in Brazil at the World Cup, the many Portuguese and Amazon influences were amazing.”
In New York, Mazzocchi’s secret, go-to eatery is Carbone. A small, family-owned restaurant, Carbone’s traditional brick walls and checkered red-and-black tile flooring might initially seem at odds with her jet-setting life and preference for contemporary art. She laughs as she shrugs off the suggestion. “My husband was Italian, so of course I love the food, but the tomato sauce must be exceptional wherever I am in the world.”
Parmigiani Fleurier watches can be found in Western Canada exclusively at Palladio in Vancouver. Visit www.palladiocanada.com