Highend newcomer Franck Dubarry: Anything but off-the-shelf

By Montredo in Lifestyle
December 16, 2020
Highend newcomer Franck Dubarry: Anything but off-the-shelf

The exciting aspect about the watch industry are all the independent watch brands that manufacture pieces solely based on their own ideas and completely detached from conventions and rules.

A brand that is definitely included in this list for us is also Franck Dubarry. Although the Swiss brand was only founded in 2015, it has already built up an impressive portfolio of watches. Its formula for success goes as follows: in-house complications, Swiss Made quality and avant-garde design.

The eponymous brain behind the brand

Franck Dubarry, a French born jack-of-all-trades, who spent his adolescence in France but now calls Geneva, Miami or Buenos Aires his home, is certainly not a blank slate in the watch industry. Interestingly enough, those who take a closer look at his vita will quickly understand how the Franck Dubarry brand came about and why it is the way it is today.

Franck Dubarry Watches

It was in 1997 when Dubarry founded the TechnoMarine watch brand, which still exists today which and was one of the first to take fairly unconventional paths. By using colorful ceramics, diamonds, exotic leathers and plastics, the brand not only created quite a stir in the early 2000s, but also opened up a completely untapped new market. TechnoMarine thus manifested itself as an unconventional watch brand for individualists looking for something a little off the mainstream. However, true to the motto “Quit while you’re ahead”, Dubarry stepped back from the brand’s operations in 2007 at the height of its success, after more than 10 years and over 2.5 million watches sold.

New projectsSame ethos

Speaking of 10 years: This is how long the non-competition clause has been in force, preventing Dubarry from becoming entrepreneurially active in the watchmaking industry again. However, through a brief collaboration with Apple in 2014 (who were tinkering with their Apple Watch project) back then, the period was reduced to 8 years – with TechnoMarine’s consent of course. So it appeared that in 2016, Dubarry returned to the limelight of the horological world by presenting his newest take on modern watchmaking.

The Collections

If you today decide to go for a Franck Dubarry watch, you will see that the it boils down to three collections, meeting fundamentally different demands: one for water sports enthusiasts, one for horological technology geeks and for frequent travelers.


As befits any established watch brand, Franck Dubarry offers a dedicated collection of diving watches. The large minute and hour hands are decorated with a Maori tattoo pattern while the special bezel is made of a composite carbon. The skeletonized dial is made of an innovative, translucent epoxy resin, representing a novelty in the Swiss watch industry.

Franck Dubarry Watch Diver 1

Another highlight is the large date below 12 o’clock, which allows a view of the date discs thanks to the skeletonized dial. Also, what might look like a crocodile leather strap at first glance, is actually an Elastogator rubber strap that does not stand in the way of the case’s water resistance of 300m. Inside the 43x50mm stainless steel case ticks the in-house caliber DD 14580.

Crazy Wheel

The Crazy Wheel collection is one of the in-house inventions mentioned at the beginning of this article, which can only be found at Franck Dubarry. What may seem overwhelming at first glance, turns out to be amazingly straightforward on closer inspection, however.

Franck Dubarry Watch Crazy Wheel 1

The built-in CW0405 caliber boasts a “flying hour” complication, which relies on a self-developed module. It rotates 360° in 60 minutes, while the hours and minutes are displayed on a built-in sub-counter that revolves on a bridge around the dial. A total of 63 components are needed to make this technically feasible.

What may sound overwhelming in theory looks all the more fascinating in reality:

Fileteado GMT

The models in the Fileteado GMT collection are, in a way, a declaration of love from Dubarry to the Argentine capital Buones Aires. This is because the first Italian immigrants in the 1930’s used this colorful Fileteado painting style, emphasizing stylized lines, flowers and tendrils.

Franck Dubarry Watch Fileteado GMT 1

It is precisely these design elements that Franck Dubarry has tried to incorporate into these watches with a second time zone. As the most extroverted – and also the most noble – of the three collections, Fileteado GMT watches also make use of rose gold and diamonds in addition to titanium.

Expertise brings excellence

Dubarry knew the importance of experienced watchmakers at his side if the brand was to be a success, and with Dominique Renaud he found just that.

Renaud is, without exaggeration, one of the most accomplished watchmakers, particularly in the field of grand complications, which the watch industry has brought forward. As a former Audemars Piguet employee, he founded in 1986 and together with his business partner Giulio Papi (also a former Audemars Piguet employee) a company for the production of sophisticated complications. At the sight of the surnames, connoisseurs will immediately know that this one is “Renaud & Papi”. In the 1990s, the company, which incidentally is now part of Audemars Piguet again, developed into a premium supplier to the luxury watch industry, supplying customers such as HYT and Richard Mille with chronographs, tourbillons and more.

Franck Dubarry at Montredo

As an authorised dealer, we of course carry all Franck Dubarry watches in our store here. Make sure to check them out.

This is a sponsored article by Montredo for Franck Dubarry.

Previous comments (1)

  1. Interesting brand, first time I hear/read about it. 👍
    No wonder with Dominique Renaud in the background.

    December 18, 2020