Mario Maccaferri was a famous classical guitarist when he started designing jazz guitars in the 1930's. This model reflects a classical sensibility in the slotted head, and the width of the fingerboard. What is really radical about this design is the long scale, almost 26 inches, which is (and was) considerably longer then the average acoustic guitar (around 24 inches). One difference here is that the neck joins the body at the 14th fret - the original Selmer D Hole model joined at the 12th.
To most players familiar with the tonal contrast of a flattop and an archtop guitar, the Selmer-style guitars define a third point on a triangle - as different from the former two as they are from each other. It is usually described as having depth similar to a flattop but with the punch of an archtop.