By Steve Huyton
Previously the founder of a late 1990’s brand known as TechnoMarine, Franck Dubarry, has always had a penchant to create more unusual timepieces. When he founded TehnoMarine in 1997, he made a name for the fashion-forward brand by adorning rubber strapped dive watches with diamonds. Having long since left that brand behind (it is currently owned by Invicta), Dubarry took a bit of a break from the watch industry. However, just about five years ago he resurfaced — with his own eponymous brand.
In 2015, the Franck Dubarry collection of watches made its debut – and, as one who knows Dubarry’s style would expect – they made a splash. This new brand is exclusive, colorful, full of craftsmanship and geared for a more upscale audience. Watches include a dive series (no surprise there), a Crazy Wheel watch with unusual time indication and the intriguing Fileteado GMT. With tattoo-inspired art, intricate case engravings, and a recollection of Momento Mori, the GMT is pretty intriguing.
The flagship Fileteado GMT enticed me the most, especially in the 18-karat rose gold version (REV0501). If you are looking for a watch that makes a really bold statement, this creation is definitely worth considering. In recent conversations with Franck, it became apparent how passionate he is about watch design. Even though I love all of the brand’s watches, there seems to be a more personal aspect to the Fileteado GMT.
For this collection, Dubarry, who resides in Argentina, was inspired by the vibrant street art of Buenos Aires, with incredible paintings found on taxi’s, street signs, lorries, buses and on the walls of historic buildings. Before writing this article, I wasn’t that familiar with Fileteado street art, which dates back to the early 20th Century. Effectively it is a linear painting style that includes lettering and has a bold, colourful graphic appearance. Normally the artwork contains poetic phrases and has a philosophical theme. Dubarry has done a great job of reinterpreting this artwork on a miniature scale for the Fileteado GMT dials.
Dimensionally, the Fileteado GMT is on the larger side and measures 43 x 50mm (excluding the crown). However, due to the innovative curvaceous shape of the Art-Nouveau inspired solid 18-karat rose gold case, it’s still comfortable to wear. What makes it even more special are the intricate Fileteado engravings that have been executed to absolute perfection. Except for extreme sports, this exquisite timepiece would be suitable for both casual and formal occasions.
Aesthetically, the Fileteado GMT has a really bold identity that might not appeal to the fainthearted. I love the hand-painted dial (with gothic skull design) that encapsulates the essence of Fileteado street art. My degree is in illustration so I can really appreciate the effort and detail that has gone into this miniaturized artwork. The drawings are beautiful executed on the dial. Other fine details include a carbon fiber bezel, skeletonized hands, a date window (located at 3 o’clock) and an ornately decorated crown.
A the heart of the watch is a high quality Swiss automatic movement sourced from ETA. The calibre 2893-2 comprises 21-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. Functionally, the Fileteado GMT features hours, minutes, seconds, date indication, and, as the name suggests, a GMT Indication. The watch is water-resistant to 100 meters and has a power reserve of approximately 42-hours. As a perfect finale, the timepiece is presented on a 3D printed alligator (Elastogator) pattern rubber strap with black PVD buckle. There are four versions of the Fleateado GMT that range in price from $7,900 to $22,000 for the men’s gold version, and from $35,000 to $38,00 for smaller-sized solid gold versions with diamonds on them.