Andrea Furlan On The Furlan Marri Black Sector￼10 July 2022
Furlan Marri is one of the most interesting watchmaking phenomena in recent years. Born from the vision and audacity of Swiss Industrial Designer Andrea Furlan and Saudi Collector Hamad Al Marri, the brand made a splash by winning the “Horological Revelation” award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021 with the Mr. Grey chronograph, Ref. 1041-A, as we wrote here.
Now, following the success of its launch collections with the mecaquartz caliber, Furlan Marri has debuted with its first mechanical watch, the Black Sector – Ref. 2116-A, powered by a La Joux-Perret movement. “We always wanted to propose a mechanical watch after our mecaquartz. And since the new movement from La Joux Perret with 68-hours power reserve we use was something new at that time, we wanted to share this with our community,” Andrea Furlan told Watch Insanity in an exclusive interview.
A full tungsten oscillating weight with palladium coating ensures smooth rotation and weight distribution. Moreover, all the movements have a high-end finish with Côtes de Genève and coquillage decorations, and their oscillating weight is engraved with the words “Furlan Marri, crafted with care, designed for details.”
Perhaps, this first automatic caliber deserved a transparent back, given the finishes and the engraving on the oscillating weight: “We wanted to get as close as possible to a vintage feeling, when the watches had a closed case back with a movement inside that were fully decorated,” Andrea Furlan told us.
The stainless-steel case is 37,5 mm wide and 10,5 thick. It’s assembled from several parts and it is characterized by cow-horn lugs, which are added to the case after the finishing operations. The lugs are connected by a bridge visible at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock, and engraved with the brand name, the model’s serial number and the production number.
The bezel is also finished separately, while the internal parts of the case have a circular grained finish, starting from the underside of the bezel and going all the way to the decagonal screw-down case back. The case features a polished and brushed finish on both the sides and lugs, while the crown is polished.
Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin are the reference style for Furlan Marri’s watches, but the brand is also looking beyond: “For the mecaquartz, the inspiring story was François Borgel’s (later Taubert & Fils), the casemakers. Borgel made cases for those amazing watch brands, you will be able to see the same details such as engraved pushers (called Tasti Tondi by the Italians), the decagonal screwed caseback, etc. Movado shared the same DNA as well – and many brands used these kinds of cow-horns lugs in the past.” Shaped or square boxes are not to be excluded in the future, even if, Furlan told us that “this year we will focus on other shapes. It’ll be a surprise.”
The dial is a sector-style dial and features a printed finish achieved by electrical discharge machining for a thin and finely grained finish. The printing is done in relief and the applied Breguet-style hour markers are in polished steel. The hands are curved and the crystal is made from scratchproof sapphire crystal with five layers of anti-reflective coating and one layer of anti-fingerprint coating.
Furlan Marri watches have always come with two straps, but with the Black Sector the brand has taken a step further. They wanted to let the client choose whether to wear a strap with curved or straight bars, so they made the lugs with two holes: one positioned for a strap with curved bars (black French leather strap) and one for a strap with straight bars (caramel French leather). After all, customer feedback is everything for the brand, as highlighted by the reactions on social media to the presentation of the timepiece: “Very good critics, we were surprised that many people liked those cow-horns lugs, which is not common in the watch industry, especially at that price,” Andrea Furlan confirmed.
Pre-orders for the Black Sector were open from June 24 to July 4 (at a price of 1,250 francs) and, since they closed, this reference is no longer available: “We do preorders in order to take the pulse as well, to see if we are on the right way. And to thank the community, we propose a unique dial, or references that will not be produced again in the future, after the preorders end.”
Certainly, the introduction of the mechanical caliber will not stop the production of quartz watches, as Furlan told us: “We will keep producing the mecaquartz collection, as it is an interesting product. We will introduce a permanent collection this year, which will be available all year round: once it is out of stock, we will produce a larger batch.”
In communicating the Black Sector news, the brand has anticipated the “new experience” it intends to activate this year for its customers. Driven by curiosity, we asked Andrea Furlan to tell us more: “This is something we have been thinking about for a long time. And we didn’t see yet such an existing concept between a brand and the customers. We are opening our experience to everyone who come to visit our showroom/office in Geneva (to keep the Swiss Made label). Our customers, visitors, friends, and everyone is welcome to assemble their Furlan Marri watch, putting the hands, the dial, assembling the case and the rotor. They will leave with their watch on their wrist, after a 2-3 hour workshop with a professional watchmaker. It’s a new in-depth experience with our partner in the old town of Geneva. We think it’s a very nice experience in order to be closer to our community, to propose a better experience and relation between a customer and a brand. Plus, the customer is able to see all the decorations and the finish inside our cases.”
Andrea Furlan confirmed what we already understood: the brand is a volcano of ideas for which contact with the customer is essential. Now, fans just have to get comfortable and wait for the next news. We are positive that they won’t be disappointed.
By Davide Passoni