A watch is an opportunity! Which one? You choose.
When my eyes stopped on my Furlan Marri Havana Salmon I realized that I knew little about the country and its history that inspired it. Living mainly between Geneva, La Chaud de Fond and the Vallée de Joux, we had not yet taken the time to explore this beautiful mountainous country.
That’s why we seized an opportunity. My Furlan Marri was going to accompany us in a new adventure. For such an exploration, we had to turn to someone we could trust: Julien Tixier. A very good friend of ours and his workshop is next door to our office. So, when he advised us to go to the Chillon Castle, we did not hesitate and above all, I did not expect to become aware of something, which I will share with you along this article.
The Chillon Castle is only the first step of our exploration. I was far from imagining all the parallels that this piece of history would allow me to make with my Furlan Marri.
Located not far from Montreux, a few dozen minute drive from Lausanne, the Castle of Chillon is perched on an island. Its drawbridge connects it to the shore and since the 12th century, it has played a central role in controlling the passage between northern and southern Europe.
Along the shores of Lake Geneva, its massive form is revealed in the distance. Massive, it seems impregnable, unassailable, unbreakable. A monster of history that has survived the centuries.
You’re probably wondering what I’m getting at. Let me explain what I understood.
I am lucky to be in contact with Andrea Furlan and Hamad Al Marri, and each of our conversations immerse me a little more into their brand. I invite you to go see our video to discover what drives them, it will help you understand more.
The Furlan Marri I have on my wrist is like the Castle of Chillon, it is a concentrate of history.
Three of its elements create this connection. First, there’s its movement. Powered by a mechaquartz, it was created by Piguet and LeCoultre at the time of the quartz crisis. The two companions decided to take the best out of both types of movements: the precision of quartz and the feeling provided by a mechanical movement. The second element is their Tasti Tondi pushers. And the third one is the decagonal case back. These last two elements have François Borgel in common. He is the creator of the first watertight screwed case back, and that at the end of 1880. The decagonal case back and the Tasti Tondi pushers are part of its signature. Simply put, this watch, thanks to its details, connects you to a part of those who made watchmaking history.
But that’s not all. When Hamad and Andrea designed their first model, they made a choice regarding the typography. For the logo and the numbers of the chronograph, they used the Henderson Paul typography. It is driven by the spirit of speed and was created by the Buenos Aires-based studio Subtipos.
If this typography is inspired by vintage watches, it creates a bridge between the past and the present. Like the drawbridge of the castle, the watch connects with the present.
If the components and style of the watch allowed me to establish this bridge during our exploration, the visit to the castle will allow me to go even further.
As we walked deeper into this mass of stone and wood, my eye noticed some differences in the overall architectural style of the castle. Its differences in style are due to its evolution since throughout the centuries it has crossed, it has grown and its defenses have evolved.
The castle has known three great periods that have shaped it. The first one extends from the 12th century to 1536: it is the Savoyard period. The second, from 1536 to 1786, is the Bernese period. And finally the third one, which extends from 1786 to our days, the Waldensian period.
The castle is a defined place. Surrounded by walls, it cannot extend because it is surrounded by water. Within this defined space, it has undergone various evolutions. These same evolutions make it what it is now: an aggregate of the periods it has gone through. Realizing this, I thought again about Furlan Marri. I hope the brand will survive the centuries. One thing is for sure, Andrea and Hamad are inspired by watchmaking history to create. But the fact of dipping into the past to retranscribe it will only last a short time. As the months and years go by, Furlan Marri will have its own style, will work with currently unknown craftsmen and, in turn, will shape the history of watchmaking.
The mechaquartz is the Savoyard period of Furlan Marri. It is on this basis that the brand was built, but it is not its final form. Hamad and Andrea will have other periods. And perhaps they are already preparing the next one, who knows? How can you not be inspired when you decide to showcase artisans who have shaped watchmaking in their time?
Wandering through the different rooms of the castle, we found ourselves in the Hall of Arms. A reception area, it was created during the Bernese period. On the walls are the coats of arms of the Bernese bourgeois, the bailiffs of Vevey and the captains of Chillon who resided in the castle. Today, this room is empty. These coats of arms are the only witnesses of this ancient period, the soul of the room seems to have disappeared. This is what happens to brands that lose their soul. They are nothing more than empty shells that rehash the past. In addition to seeing this in the room, I imagine these unknown craftsmen who, by their talent, participated in the greatness of these bourgeois. These craftsmen are like François Borgel. So, by plunging my glance in these coats of arms, I begin to think of what Andrea and Hamad could prepare. The coat of arms remained mute, we’ll have to lead an investigation!
A door opens and here we are outside, on the guard tour. We take height and we are at the same time the observer and the protector. Seeing far ahead to anticipate the enemy’s arrival. To see far for Furlan Marri, it would mean to see far by consolidating the brand and by making it become an important actor of the watch industry, the acquisition of its own style to shape in its own way, here is the challenge which awaits Hamad and Andrea.
Furlan Marri has the potential to become a great brand. Its beginnings and the quality of their product attest to this. Its next periods to follow are exciting and we look forward to sharing them with you.
Now that you too are aware of these upcoming developments, what would you like Andrea and Hamad to do?