A touch of high-end vintage with a friendly price tag to match...
It has almost become a daily occurrence to hear of a new watch brand beginning its journey. Ideas, concepts and designs are able to develop quicker than ever before into tangible passion projects in a short space of time.
This is exactly what happened with new watch brand Furlan Marri, two friends both with experience and love for watches collaborated to bring their passion fuelled idea to reality.
Andrea Furlan, Swiss industrial designer (who has been surrounded by horology since a very young age) has worked with many high end and independent watch brands such as Chopard, Hublot, Sarcar, HD3 Complication and Dominique Renaud, founder of Renaud&Papi. The other half of the brand is Hamad Marri. Like Andrea, he has been obsessed with watches ever since he was 14 thanks to his family passing down the watch loving gene. Since then Hamad has gone on to become a collector and all manner of watches spanning the whole industry with a strong love for independent brands doing things the right way.
So what happens when two people meet, realise they have similar passions and set their mind to something? Well, the answer is a brand that focuses on the core important aspects of watches such as design, cases, finishing and proportions. We’ve recently spent a short time with their first watch launching on Kickstarter on the 10th March, and it’s fair to say like what I see.
The Furlan Marri Chronograph
Their first watch is a 38mm wide, mecha quartz-powered, bicompax chronograph that takes design influence from hugely desirable watches such as the Patek 1463. The version we have with us today is the reverse panda dial version known as the 1022-A “ Laccato Nero".
On launch they have five different dial options available with two of those being exclusive to Kickstarter:
Ref. 1022-A “Laccato Nero”
Ref. 1041-A “Mr. Grey”
Ref. 1011-A “Tasti Tondi”
Ref. 1031-A “Havana Salmon ”
Ref. 1022-B “Farro”
The last two references, the salmon dial and the rose gold case with black dial are both Kickstarter exclusives.
Furlan Marri has been clever with this watch as they have made sensible decisions that benefit the end consumer, especially considering the price point. The movement used is the VK64 meca quartz, a reliable impressive piece of watchmaking that combines quartz timekeeping with a mechanical chronograph function. This ticks a few boxes as not only is the watch more reliable than affordable mechanical chronograph movements, it allows the brand to keep the proportions of the watch desirably reduced, as high-end vintage watches are.
There is a financial benefit of this also as the watch is €268 through Kickstarter rather than over €1,000 if it was mechanical. Sure I’d love to see this with a mechanical movement, and Furlan Marri has hinted that this is on the way, but the current price tag is hugely appealing. It’s a logical compromise as this watch is about the quality of the case, the design and the proportions. Watch people don’t like compromises but when they make this much sense I think it's a fair one to accept.
Once again we see a brand offering an enjoyable level of choice. If you want some conventional elegance than the various silver dials or black options are there, or if you want some a little more unique why not go down the salmon or rose gold case avenue? While people don't like compromises, they do like choice and Furlan Marri understands this.
Case width: 38mm
Movement: Seiko VK64 meca-quartz
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, central chronograph, elapsed minutes up to 60m 24-hour display
Case: brushed and polished steel case, rose gold plating for the “Farro’ model
Water-resistance: 5atm, 50 metres
Dial: black reverse panda, grey, silver, salmon, black reverse panda with gold colouring
Strap: Italian grained calfskin leather or suede.
Price: Starting from €268 via Kickstarter for the Super early bird price (during the Kickstarter campaign)
Availability: from 10th March 2021
I’ll be honest, I don’t really add watches to my personal collection lightly. The last significant watch to join the collection came around 6 months ago, but you would have to go back three years to come across the next significant addition. I believe it came as a shock to my colleagues when I told them ‘there is a new watch brand on the scene and I’m going to be buying one’ shortly after only just finding out about Furlan Marri. This almost speaks for itself when pondering if these new watches are worth it.
Straight away I could tell that this watch is a watch created by people who know what they’re doing. Of course, they have executed the big things well such as the dimensions, price point and general appearance, but it’s through the small details that you learn the most. Little things such as the way they included the watches reference number on the inside of the watch case by the strap and on the buckle, how they’ve included the model number cleverly on the dial at 4:30 and the finishing on the case is beautiful.
I discovered this watch through Wei Koh of Revolution.Watch on Instagram. He had posted their images on his story which led me down a path of discovery and eventually long chats with Andrea on Instagram over the following weeks.
For a while now I’ve been patiently waiting for a watch brand to come along that takes the lessons learnt from haute independent watchmaking and prestigious vintage watches and brings them down to a lower price point. There are a few brands doing this around the couple thousands of pounds mark such as Ophion (more on those guys soon!) but to have Furlan Marri enter the scene at sub £500 really gets me excited.
As a young person in the industry, I adore the creations of those high-end watches, but when it comes to actually owning them, the high price point always stops me in my tracks. This new watch combines aspects of the Patek 1463 (a gorgeous watch) and the Roger Dubuis Hommage Chronograph (a watch which was also said to be inspired by the 1463) and makes them available at a super approachable price point.
This watch encompasses two areas of the industry that are on fire at the moment: microbrands and independents. Furlan Marri truly believes it can offer a taste of the watchmaking knowledge found in independents for a microbrand price point, and after spending time with their watch, I’m inclined to believe them.
After chatting more with Andrea it is clear he has big plans for the brand and they intend to stick around for a long time. Their addiction to horology and burning passion translates to their first watch perfectly and I seriously cannot wait to see what they have in the pipeline. For now, I’ll be over here watching what they do with a Ref. 1031-A “Havana Salmon” on the wrist.
The Furlan Marri chronograph is launching on the 10th March 2021 on Kickstarter, be sure to click here to back their campaign and get your name down for one of these new watches from this exciting brand.
We’d like to thank Furlan Marri for sending this prototype in on loan.