But, unlike most of its contemporaries, Furlan Marri isn’t puritanical about its classic approach. In September month, it collaborated with watch-world jokester seconde/seconde/ on a piece that put a fat 8-bit heart at 9 o’clock. The graphic was meant to show quartz haters that even Furlan Marri’s hybrid watches that combine a mechanical and quartz movement “have a heart too,” according to FM’s site. This certainly wasn’t something you’d find on a vintage reference from the ‘40s. “It was fun, it was fresh, it was something different,” Furlan told me.
Maybe FM’s biggest leap came in the form of a watch made for the now-delayed Only Watch charity auction. Only Watch is typically reserved for the finest horological wizards. The most expensive watch ever sold, a Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime, was part of the event. Participating was a level up for FM, which worked with two other watchmakers to deliver a perpetual calendar variation, a technical innovation far above its typical offering. And while the piece is a one-off, Furlan told Hodinkee it sets the stage for his brand to mass produce watches with these difficult-to-make complications in the future. “The goal we have is to provide those complications to more of the public,” Furlan said.
But while watch-world insiders are impressed by impressive technical achievement like this, what compelled me to write about FM now is that I kept hearing from non-watch people suddenly interested in the brand. As watches become a growing pop culture phenomenon, those new to the hobby are looking for ways in. Furlan can feel like a shortcut up the horological ladder for these people who want a nice watch but don’t want to wait until they’ve saved Patek-level money to get it. And the best thing about Furlan, for some of those people, is it scratches that itch entirely.
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