Furlan Marri Introduces A Flyback Chronograph Trio With Revolution And Goldberger
I enjoy chronographs on a technical level. Even if I don’t time many activities, I find joy in the complex watchmaking craft. Many secretly lust after a perpetual calendar with a leap year indicator and sidereal time in case we want to jump aboard a Space X flight. However, a mechanical chronograph is one of the most difficult complications to produce. Next to the date complication, a chronograph is the most popular, partially due to our obsession with sports watches, and a flyback chronograph with a column wheel is a timekeeping grail for many of us. Luckily, Furlan Marri has introduced just that, and it comes in three versions — Taupe, Salmon, and Honey Blue.
For some reason, all I have now are meca-quartz chronos. After a scary experience with a service bill for a Chopard Mille Miglia two years ago, I stayed away, but I still hanker for the smooth spin of a mechanical one. A few of my chronographs are from Furlan Marri, including the GPHG-winning Mr. Grey, which might make me slightly biased toward this new trio. Let’s take a look.
First impressions of flyback allure
Let’s start with what many will find my questionable single criticism: the pushers seem small. I love big pushers like the Patek-ish “Tasti Tondi” ones on my meca-quartz FMs and even the oversized, gorgeous ones on the 37.5mm Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. But with two of these three Furlan Marri flybacks sporting some pretty sweet-looking olive pushers, my preference might change. But first, what does this trio mean for the brand? It’s a collaboration between the already collector-lauded Furlan Marri and two industry heavyweights — Auro Montanari (aka writer, collector, and photographer John Goldberger) and Wei Koh of Revolution and The Rake. With three references of 300 each, it’s a small but significant step for Hamad Al Marri and Andrea Furlan.
In 2022, they debuted their first mechanical timepiece, the Black Sector, the design of which has now extended into three stock references. But a fully mechanical chronograph is a big deal. Even seasoned small brands hesitate to take on the complexities, especially outside the meca-quartz safe harbor. The design language of these pieces is still the same ’40s- and ’50s-tinged picture of mid-century bliss, but the cases are slightly thicker and refined with a snap-back-hand surprise. That’s the kicker: the caliber is a new Sellita movement with a flyback function. Bravo to Furlan Marri for going straight into the big game with the first try. This also means a big uptick in price, but it’s still at a very agreeable level for a flyback. I don’t know of many others under €3,000, so the premise is tempting.
Ref. 3177-A “Taupe Flyback”
The collaborators have created a nice design choice for us. All three versions show a distinct flavor but have the same up-sleeve trick of flyback functionality. Brand identity is important for any emerging brand, and it is recognizable though tiered up in the details. A classic rounded case meets your eye with a vintage-vibing domed sapphire and a simple shape that echoes the grails of the vintage auction world. In all three references, the elegant two-tone dials are front and center, and the monochrome Taupe Flyback is the most understated of the group. It features two warm shades of gray and recessed registers overlapping the three sectors, and it comes on a textured black leather strap.
The applied indices at 12 and 6 o’clock are beveled, while both central hands and register pointers have a central polished cap with a beveled edge. These details and the new, sharper design of the leaf hands stand out. All of the dial markings are also done with a double-printing technique to give a clearer look with added relief. As with any mid-century sports watch or instrument with a pulsation scale, the dial is immensely busy, but it’s all the better for it. “No date and pure style” is the name of the game. While I know I’ll never use the pulsation scale, it brings a sense of symmetry to the dial. The sharp-cut Roman numerals look modern in execution, providing a nice balance with the printed indices. Also, as I mentioned, I’m a fan of big pushers, but these soft olive-shaped ones might have the power to change me.
Ref. 3199-A “Honey Blue Flyback” and ref. 3188-A “Salmon Flyback”
With a 13.2mm thickness and the complexities of the flyback chronograph, the 38mm case will have a pronounced stance on the wrist. But it all looks proportional, with the rounded bezel matching the curve of the crystal well. This sapphire crystal has no less than five layers of AR coating and an anti-fingerprint layer to boot. While the Salmon version has copious amounts of pizzazz, the Honey Blue is undoubtedly the glamorous party piece. Combining bright blue and black with “honey beige” markings makes it pop, as do the matching gold PVD-treated hands and tonal blue strap. You can also notice how much has gone into designing the sub-dial pointers to easily set them apart. With its lance style, the elongated 30-minute counter is especially refined, and gold-on-blue looks fantastic.
The Revolution-exclusive Salmon version stands out with a sharp contrast to its dial design and a clean, vertical brushing on its mid-dial. I enjoy the understated elegance of the calm Taupe dial, but this copper-pink hue really sings. And it doesn’t even have anything to do with the Tasti Tondi pushers making a comeback. But they work here, and I bet the brushed salmon color will look flashy in the sunlight.
A column-wheel-flyback delight
The dials might be the stars for many buyers, but except for the fine-tuned details, the biggest news lies within. It’s the column-wheel Sellita AMT 5100 caliber, a fairly new chronograph caliber with a flyback function. With a substantial 63-hour power reserve and manual winding, it has been customized with 18K rose gold plating. The bridge is also redesigned for this release, with the blued column wheel as a standout detail. The rest is very nicely decorated with perlage, Côtes de Genève, and blued screws.
I have spent my budget this year, but these 38mm flyback chronographs are already giving me some serious FOMO, I’m telling you. The superb work by Furlan Marri with Revolution and Auro Montanari sets the brand’s standards pretty high for 2024 and beyond. These three models are available individually for CHF 2,750 (270 pieces each) or as a three-piece set for CHF 8,250 (30 sets) from Furlan Marri and Revolution.
Fratelli, what’s your take on these? I’m standing by my views on these offering rather good flyback value in our times of rising prices. Whether you need this fascinating complication in real life is another matter. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.