I don’t have to remind you that the hottest microbrand of 2021 was Furlan Marri, launching its Mechaquartz chronograph on Kickstarter. After speaking to Andrea Furlan about starting a microbrand and several late-night Instagram chats, I have nothing but respect and love for the brand and its two founders. Earlier this summer, they took a big step up with the mechanical Ref. 2116-A. This La Joux Perret-powered delight still punches above its weight at CHF 1,250, but the sub-€600 Mechaquartz story continues in parallel. If you enjoy stylistic purity below 40mm, the Furlan Marri permanent collection is a superb entry ticket.

You might have feared that Furlan Marri was moving permanently upmarket with the new three-hand model. The brand could have, believe me. Rather, the first pre-order window of the Ref. 2116-A mechanical is closed, and there is a surprise for the fans of the first success. The brand’s Mechaquartz family now has a permanent collection of three models to be sold and shipped from stock and continuously restocked. That means no more frenzied cross-timezone rush to get an allocation for a hot drop. It also means three fresh, new dial designs, inspired in part by their new mechanical Ref.2116-A. My favorite is missing something, and to paraphrase Coco Chanel, it is all the better for it.

The Furlan Marri Permanent Collection

The first permanent collection from Furlan Marri

First things first, Furlan Marri’s permanent collection is based on the same 11.3mm-slim, remarkably sharp 38mm case. With its sweeping Patek-like lugs and mid-century formality, it wears like a dream. Add the “Tasti Tondi” engraved pushers, flat crown, and brushed mid-case, and there’s no way that this sells for CHF 555. The Seiko VK64 — a solid meca-quartz movement that, to my surprise, I have come to love — lends everyday wearability to the suave look. Like many Patek and Vacheron collectors (oh, the sweet associations), I love the vintage feel coupled with a carefree attitude. But unlike many other watches in the price range, this does not come with a lack of quality or standards of execution. The new trio leaves the sleek framework intact, adding three new dials and ordering predictability. Oh, and there are some rather nice new straps to boot.

The Furlan Marri Permanent Collection

Nero Sabbia Ref. 1072-A

This is where Coco Chanel comes in with one of her famous quotes. We all know the ethos “less is more”, and one of her most famous sayings is, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” The meca-quartz Seiko VK64 is a great movement for accuracy and reliability, and it keeps the sweeping, mechanical feel of the chronograph seconds hand. There is no ticking small-seconds hand to reveal the nature of the game, and now, there’s no irrelevant 24-hour indicator either. This has been omitted from the Nero Sabbia reference, leaving an asymmetrical dial. This is their only model sans applied numerals, instead boasting a semi-sector dial with pure rich print.

What gets you is the rich combination of golden-sand-colored print and the matching cyclops panda visage.

This is a design that I can’t help but thoroughly enjoy, just like a Heuer Skipper or the Aquastar diver. The outer scale is a doctor’s pulsometer and the register at 9 o’clock is a 60-minute counter. What gets you is the rich combination of golden-sand-colored print and the matching cyclops panda visage. With a new buckle design and two straps in soft leather, I feel like adding another Furlan Marri to my box. Is it dressy? Yes, but with a soft set of leather straps that will age nicely, this will make for a killer look with a denim shirt (you reading this, Lex?).

Furlan Marri Permanent Collection

Rosso Grigio Ref. 1085-A

This is easily the freshest of the three, coming on a deep red vintage-style leather strap with cream stitching. We have the same accomplished design as the original Mechaquartz chronograph but with subtle tweaks to the dial design. It now includes cherry-red five-minute markings and an outer asthmometer/respiration scale. The gray details and polished hands with a touch of red might seem a tad maximalist, but it works. Gone are the roman numerals of the debut models, replaced by a touch of Breguet at 6 and 12. It shows that the design nous of Andrea Furlan and Hamad Al Marri has increased in the short year and a half since their debut. The Rosso Grigio also comes with a tan Italian leather strap, but I’d rock it on the burgundy two-stitch. It deserves the flashy combo picking up those dial details.

Castagna Ref. 1009-A

The Castagna is perhaps the closest to the long-sold-out Kickstarter-only Havana Salmon reference. But instead of a salmon/brown colorway, this has a tonal gray-taupe dial and a dark brown strap. The dial is a warm triple-toned affair with a semi-secor centre. Turn it around, and you’ll spot the revised case back, completing the sense of quality that Andrea and Hamad have made possible for less than €600. The curved Feuille hands, applied Breguet numerals, and snailed registers are not new in design but are a lot sharper than you would expect if you haven’t seen a Furlan Marri in person. In keeping with the medical theme of the Rosso Grigio, this reference also has a finely printed respiration scale. The Castagna’s muted colors make it a refined daily wearer, while the slim case lets it slip under any cuff with elegance.

A permanent conclusion?

All three references in Furlan Marri’s permanent collection are available from the brand’s website. They each carry a price of CHF 555 and will be restocked regularly. It takes a good eye for design to maintain the momentum from a hypebeast such as the first chronograph. The job of making the transition from a flash in the pan to an established small brand is not an easy one. However, judging by this new trio, yes, Furlan Marri has what it takes. And with more to come from the brand this year, it’ll be an interesting second half of 2022.

Dear Fratelli, did the Furlan Marri permanent collection tickle your interest in the everyday wearability of meca-quartz watches? Let us know what feeling this new trio evokes in the comments below.

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