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From Sketchbook to Wrist with Andrea of Furlan Marri

In a world that incessantly ticks forward, the art of watchmaking remains a testament to human ingenuity and craftsmanship. Our latest podcast episode offers an intimate look into the life and work of Andrea, the co-founder of Furlan Marri, a watch brand that has swiftly carved a niche for itself in the horological landscape.

The episode opens with the origin story of Furlan Marri, as Andrea recounts his formative years, sketching his grandfather’s Rolex and interning at prestigious watch houses. This personal journey from admiration to creation is a classic tale of entrepreneurial spirit meeting meticulous craft. The discussion takes us behind the scenes, shedding light on the tribulations and triumphs encountered by Andrea and his partner Hamad Al Marri as they ventured into the competitive realm of luxury timepieces.

The narrative then transitions into an absorbing account of their Kickstarter campaign. Andrea candidly shares the challenges of high development costs as design students and the strategic pivot towards a digital approach due to COVID-19. The successful crowdfunding effort is attributed to their passion for vintage watches and an unwavering commitment to quality, evidenced by their homage to François Borgel’s storied case-making.

As we delve deeper, the episode highlights the contrast between cost-cutting microbrands and those, like Furlan Marri, who prioritize delivering maximum value. Andrea shares an anecdote about a luxury watch seller who was captivated by the exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail in Furlan Marri’s timepieces, such as the pearlage on the inside of the watch case. This story underlines the importance of tangibly experiencing the quality of a well-crafted watch, which can often be overlooked in a digital marketplace.

Design is a central theme of the conversation, with Andrea explaining their process of creating a simplified perpetual calendar module, which has been reduced to just 20 components. This segment is rich with insights into the design stages, from initial sketches to prototyping and the importance of collector feedback. The creative marketing potential of documenting this design process is also explored, highlighting the power of storytelling in enriching the character of a watch.

In discussing the future of watch brands, Andrea touches on the intricacies of launching a brand on Kickstarter and the vital role of community engagement. The importance of transparency in the industry is underscored, as is the ethical approach to sales, which favors honesty and customer value over making a sale.

The episode then examines the development of the Furlan Marri brand, focusing on the emotional connections customers form with their watches. Andrea speaks of the unique concept of customers participating in the assembly of their watches, creating a personal bond from the outset. He also reveals plans for expanding the watch assembly experience to international locations, making this personal connection accessible to a global audience.

The episode concludes with a heartfelt thank you to Andrea for his participation and an invitation to engage with the podcast community. The anticipation for future episodes is palpable, and the audience is left with a deeper appreciation for the dedication and innovation that defines Furlan Marri.

In essence, this podcast episode is not just about the ticking of hands on a watch dial; it’s about the heartbeat of a brand that aspires to tell time differently. The dialogue between the hosts and Andrea from Furlan Marri unfolds like a symphony, where every note is a meticulously crafted detail, every pause a reflection on the journey, and the crescendo, a vision of horological artistry coming to life.