Many of us have started new projects or developed new skills during lockdown; anything to keep us sane. But where most of us are happy to learn a few new chords or expand our future dinner party repertoire, Andrea Furlan and Hamad Al Marri instead took the time to set up an entirely new watch brand, completely remotely. The result is the beautiful collection of vintage-inspired timepieces that is Furlan Marri.
Furlan Marri is, in many ways, the best of both worlds – and I don’t just mean because the founders are that perfect mix of a Swiss watchmaking vet and a creative collector. Their first collection of pieces looks every bit the vintage racing chronograph, with more than a few hints of 1950s watch design.
That means bi-compax chronographs, operated by retro pushers and paired with subtle tachymeters around the edge of the dial. But where many a watchmaker will charge out the nose for throwback, archival designs and bi-compax layouts, Furlan Marri’s watches are nothing if not accessible, with retail prices from just €400. That’s not due to any lack of finishing – the attention to detail here is impressive for the sub £1,000 sector – but because the movements are quartz.
Even then, they’re mecha-quartz numbers, a cut above your usual battery-powered pieces from Seiko with a 32,768 Hz frequency, so it’s still of a serious quality. It just makes something usually out of the average collector’s price range that much more accessible. Which is great, as there will be a lot of watch lovers that want to get their hands on these.
There are five distinct variations of Furlan Marri’s watch, each defined by a different colour scheme and a fun pet name to go with it. The Loccato Nero is a cool, reverse panda in steel; the Farro is its twin in a rose gold finish. Tasti Tondi is a monochrome, silvered look while Mr Grey adds some subtle contrast with a darker main dial.
Then there’s Havana Salmon which I’ll be putting my name down for. It’s everything I want from the retro Carl F Bucherer Manero Flyback (bar the flyback, obviously) at a fraction of the price. It’s lovely.
Unfortunately, I may have a little while to wait to get it on my wrist. That’s because for all the hype behind Furlan Marri, the brand is yet to actually launch. The flipside though is that by backing them on their newly-launched Kickstarter campaign, you’ll be able to get your hands on the watches for an Early Bird discount, taking the price tag down to as little as €268 (around £230).
If this is just the start of Furlan Marri then I can’t wait to see more from them – and to try the Havana Salmon on for myself. At the very least, it’s inspired me to make a little more of lockdown than yet another triple-layered chocolate cake.
To discover more about Furlan Marri and to back their Kickstarter campaign, click here.
Price & Specs:
Model: Furlan Marri
Ref: Ref. 1022-A (“ Laccato Nero ” – two tone black lacquered and taupe dial, honey Italian grained calfskin leather strap)
Ref. 1041-A (“ Mr. Grey ” – two toned dark grey and light grey dial, black Italian grained calfskin leather strap)
Ref. 1011-A (“ Tasti Tondi ” – two tone creamy and grey dial, honey Italian grained calfskin leather strap)
Ref. 1031-A (“ Havana Salmon ” – two tone salmon and chocolate dial, taupe Italian grained calfskin leather strap)
Ref. 1022-B (“ Farro ” – two tone black lacquered and taupe dial, black Italian grained calfskin leather strap)
Case/Dial: 38mm diameter x 11.2mm height, stainless steel step case, two tone dial
Water Resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Seiko VK64 meca-quartz with mechanical technology, 32,768 Hz quartz frequency
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, central chronograph seconds, 60 minutes counter, 24h display at 3 o’clock, tachymeter scale
Strap: Italian grained calfskin leather or suede
Price/Availability: Super early bird kickstarter price (300 watches) €268 EUR, early bird kickstarter €290 EUR, future retail price will be around €400 EUR