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Only Watch 2023: Why Furlan Marri’s Secular Perpetual Calendar is a game-changer

The Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar in rhodium-plated silver case and hand-worked mesh bracelet.

Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier have made the perpetual calendar simpler, modular, and more complex all at the same time.

The 62 lots for Only Watch 2023 were announced just a few weeks ago, and many collectors have been obsessing over the highlight pieces such as Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo in Verde de Alpi marble, Girard-Perregaux’s Neo Constant Escapement, and Ulysse Nardin’s Freak S in rainbow, a tribute to the multi-coloured logo of this year’s event. Others are even more eagerly waiting to discover what Patek Philippe will present for Only Watch – it’s sure to be a record performer.

The Tempus Fugit watch by Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier with Dr. Benoît Dubuis.
The Tempus Fugit watch by Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier with Dr Benoît Dubuis.

But our eyes are focused on one single model that’s quietly capturing the attention of watch geeks everywhere: Furlan Marri’s Secular Perpetual Calendar in partnership with Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier. Tixier and Renaud have collaborated before on the Tempus Fugit project, a multi-millennial calendar that’s accurate to the year 9,999 but counts down the days based on the concept of a life reserve: an algorithmic calculation of your lifespan. Basically, this watch is a call to action for your life, telling you how much time is left for you to reach your goals. (If you're a pessimist or procrastinator, best not to get this watch.)

The Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar, in collaboration with Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier.
The Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar, in collaboration with Dominique Renaud and Julien Tixier.

First off, what’s a secular calendar? It’s a level-up of the perpetual calendar, which accurately expresses the day, date, and month on a wristwatch to the end of the century. In a Gregorian calendar, the leap year system is imperfect. As a result, centennial years that are not divisible by 400 will not have a leap day. Simply put, the years 2100, 2200, and 2300 end February on the 28th, while the year 2400 ends on the 29th. A secular calendar takes that into account, meaning within the movement, there’s a control in the form of a Maltese cross that only moves once every 100 years.

Julien Tixier works on the calendar module of the Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar.
Julien Tixier works on the calendar module of the Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar.

What’s truly impressive about this secular perpetual calendar is the slimness of the module, which is just 1.25mm thick and can be adjusted to fit pretty much any movement, whether it’s an ETA or La Joux-Perret. And most impressively, the entire calendar module constitutes 30 parts, with a peripheral rocker that allows elements of the module to be removed easily. That means you can easily dial the watch down to a simple, annual, or perpetual calendar.

The caseback of the Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar reveals the hand-engraved oscillating weight.
The caseback of the Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar reveals the hand-engraved oscillating weight.

Another practical improvement is in the sliding corrector, with just one for the days and date by sliding it left and right, respectively. In addition, a clever addition of a small Maltese cross to the end-of-the-month indicator hand reveals the leap year for those who find that important. To be frank, I’ve always wished perpetual calendars would leave that out or on the back of the movement since most of us know how to divide numbers by four (a long number is divisible by four if the last two digits are). 

The day and date corrector for the Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar is a slider at 6 o'clock.
The day and date corrector for the Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar is a slider at 6 o'clock.

What is valuable about this module is that it’s developed with an accessible micro-brand and simplifies the modular creation of the perpetual calendar. That’s an achievement no one has undertaken since IWC before it developed its own in-house version. For collectors who have loved this complication, it gives them a future opportunity to get this watch.

It’s a big move from Furlan Marri, a brand that just two years ago was crowd-funded on its Mecaquartz chronographs (one was specially made for Watches of Switzerland this month, check it out here). We can hardly wait to see how Andrea Furlan and Hamad Al Marri will apply this module to future watches.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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