Can a sub 500 GBP challenge the watch industry? Entering Furlan Marri
When I started writing watch reviews I always believed that the best way to do this was to get a ‘’hands-on’’ with the piece that I intended to write about, I was also a firm believer that whole article needed to be about the watch, it kept things simple and also with watch companies going back to 100 plus years I was entirely sure that at least in one small corner of the internet there was someone who already did the history of any brand.
Just like every watch nerd in 2021 I was intrigued by Furlan Marri, and of course, I am talking about their popular Mecaquartz chronographs. Before we get into the watch being offered, I think is important to understand how the collection is constructed, Furlan Marri does what they called ‘stories’ and before you roll your eyes and think this is another fancy/marketing for a group of watches with different cases and colors, the truth is that is more than that. Each one of their watches offered in the Story is now discontinued (yes, that really grabs your attention, right?), if you really want one of the watches being offered, well is not possible anymore, sure they will launch more variation or new models but if you think on pulling the trigger for a couple of days you will miss out. Many people might say that the success might come for creating that ‘’fear of missing out ‘’ feeling on the buyer but the truth is that the success is made by the quality and design of the watch itself, they are just too good looking and at a price point that is unheard of in the watch industry, sure there are some similar offerings
on Mecaquartz chronographs but nothing with this level of attention to detail. A Mecaquartz chronograph makes so much sense these days, it is thin, accurate and you can really focus on creating a beautiful vintage piece with the right proportions, the amount of beautiful mechanical chronographs ruined by the thickness of a valjoux 7750 movement has destroyed my faith on sub 40mm watches, until now. Going back a bit on the references that were offered no so long ago (yes, I missed out on the latest one, yes, the Mare Blue...) we can find the very popular Havana Salmon or Mr. Grey (which won the GPHG this year) or the Laccato Nero which we are very lucky to have for our review. To me nothing screams 30s or 40s like a panda chronograph on a 38mm case, leaf hand and bi-compax layout, perfection, pure perfection.
As mentioned before the proportions are perfect for a vintage looking piece, 38mm on the case and also 20mm watch strap which tappers nicely to 16mm, the markers are applied and together with the leaf style hands you can really see the level of finishing at macro level, no blemishes or scratches to be found, printing is exceptional not only at this price point but even comparing it with watches that cost easily 20x the price, yes is that good, hopefully the pictures will do justice. Furlan Marri prides themselves with their attention to details and I can really see why, the Laccato Nero has many (almost too many of them), from the engraved pusher making a nod to the Patek Phillipe reference 1463 to the glossy dial, which is immaculate, all wrapped with a soft Italian leather strap that really looks/feels luxurious. The watch is powered by a Seiko VK64 movement which is an all time great, it keeps the thickness to a mere 11.3mm (thank you) and gives you that mechanical feeling when you start and stop the chronograph, a win in both counts in my book. The watch also comes in a lovely box, perfect for traveling and as elegant as the watch, again attention to detail, there is nothing sadder that opening your new watch and it comes on a generic white box, I am looking at you Seiko.
On the wrist:
The watch is made to wear every day, yes it might have a classic vintage face and of course because of the inspirations that Fulan Marri took to create this piece the result is a more dressier watch, but it is so good looking that I cannot take it of my wrist even if I am stuck at home with shorts and shirt, I did put it on a grey suede strap and just looks incredible, so good looking and so versatile. I forgot how great it feels to have a piece that is always working but thanks to the mechanical module still gives me that satisfaction that no ordinary quartz can’t. The Laccato Nero is light and with the antireflective treatment plus a sapphire crystal, everything checks out, it is easy enough to pull on every occasion. The case back is a perfect canvas to engrave the piece, I can really see how you can benefit for not having a clear case back or a complicated engraved that does not relate with you, I used to be obsessed with clear case backs but lately I don’t really like them unless the movement is finished at certain standard, so I enjoy the possibility of adding a lovely touch to the watch.
I really like this piece, yes homage territory is a difficult one but isn’t everything a homage of something? If you need inspiration, you might as well get it from the best and I think this watch can really stands on its own merits, the quality is there together with a price which I cannot argue. I have to say that dealing also with the brand has been also a treat, they really love watches, and it is not a financial exercise, it does really feel like a passion project which is something rare in this industry. What really intrigues me is to know what Furlan Marri will come with next, can they do a sports watch? Or perhaps a 3-hand dress piece? Perhaps we are all expecting to much but when the watches sold out in hours then they really got us craving for the next taste. My time with the Laccato Nero really made me realize that watch collecting should be affordable and fun, this piece feels like something you would only wear on special occasions and having the opportunity to wear it every day really took the enjoyment to another level, after 2 weeks I am still smiling.
For more information please visit www.furlanmarri.com
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