Farer Introduces 3 New Mechanical GMTs

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It’s hard to deny the appeal of a mechanical GMT or dual time watch. A classic complication, the GMT adds obvious functionality. Though most typically associated with travel, allowing for a quick telling of local and home time, they are also useful in communication with colleagues or family abroad, can easily be converted into a 24-hour hand if needed and can even be used as a solar compass with some practice. Unfortunately, they are fairly uncommon due to a lack of available movements, so when a new GMT comes out, it’s definitely worth a closer look.

The Three New GMTs, shot by Amy Shore

Farer of London is a relative newcomer to the industry, but they’ve already made an impression, first with their quartz watches and then with their automatics (check out our reviews of the Barnato and Hopewell). Inspired by exploration and the golden days of mid-century watch making, Farer’s blend of classical elements with playful color and a high attention to detail set them apart from the crowd. With their three new GMTs, the Oxley, the Ponting and the Lander, Farer has pushed their aesthetic even further, focusing on dial texture and printing, achieving nothing short of a new high bar for the brand.

The Oxley, Ponting and Lander

The three GMTs share the same case and movement. Starting with the exterior, Farer has continued to use the 39.5 x 45.75mm case that we found on their previous models, this time with mixed finishing and an increased water resistance of 10 ATM. It’s a striking case with flowing rounded sides, a box sapphire crystal, and Farer’s signature bronze crown. On the GMTs you’ll find polished sides and a polished bezel contrasted with brushed lugs. The added water resistance is a nice touch, speaking to the exploration theme that is at the heart of the brand and simply adding to their versatility.

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Brushed lugs contrasted with polished sides and bezel
the highly decorated ETA 2893-2 ‘Top Grade’

Flipping the watch over, you’ll find the display case back from the automatics, but within the window you’ll see the ETA 2893-2 “Top Grade” movement with customized Farer rotor. The 2893 is a 21-jewel automatic based on ETA’s 2892 movement, which is considered a higher-end movement than the workhorse 2824. Since it’s “Top Grade,” the movement is plated, features graining throughout and, more importantly, has been adjusted in five positions for accuracy.

Though the three new watches are based on the same platform with only differences found in their dials and hands, Farer managed to make three very distinctive watches. The Oxley takes its name from John Oxley, a Yorkshireman who after retiring from the Navy was an early surveyor of Australia. The dial features a dark central area with raised silver numerals and markers encircled by a wide, white border with a 24-hour index. This cleverly separates the two time-zones being displayed, maximizing legibility. The palette of the dial surface is stark and conservative, making the bright, colorful hands all the more visually impactful. The syringe hour and minute hands are bright orange, while the seconds hand has a sky blue tip and the GMT hand is solid grass green. All together, it’s a handsome combination

The Oxley

The Ponting is a salute to Herbert George Ponting, the photographer who accompanied Robert Falcon Scott to Antartica on the Terra Nova Expedition in 1910. If the Oxley was on the subtle side, the Ponting is on the aggressive, with strong, high contrast colors on a silver sunray surface. The hour index consists of dark blue arabic numerals over-printed on light blue, giving them a thin outline, making them pop. On the outer edge of the dial is a minute/second index that is orange with blue numerals from 45 – 15, and then blue with orange numerals from 15 – 45. It’s a bold design that visually splits the dial in half.

The 24-hour dial is then located toward the center of the dial and consists of a mix of orange numerals and blue markers. Once again, the two time zones are well separated. I particularly like this setup as there is no chance of mistaking the seconds hand for the GMT. The hour and minute hands on the Ponting are light blue, contrasting the dark blue hours, the seconds hand is matte steel with a yellow tip and the GMT hand is bright orange. There is a nice use of color coordination between the hands and indexes here, giving the design a purposeful, sporty look.

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The Ponting

The Lander is named after Richard Lander, who explored Nigeria multiple times in the early 1800s, and died at the ripe old age of 29. Despite the bleak story of its namesake, the Lander might be the most breathtaking of the trio, featuring a dial color that I still can’t quite explain, and am smitten with. It’s a sunray teal-blue that seems to shift between blue and green, creating an almost intangible, ethereal color that can’t quite be named. The hour index is then white over printed on a yellow/beige, adding warmth to the surface. The 24-hour index is printed just beyond in white with a circle of blue hashmarks subtly separating the indexes.

On the outer edge of the dial you’ll find a chapter ring in white with blue numerals within a sort of boxed-off railroad index. For hands, you’ll find a more subtle combo here, but still a fun use of color. The hour and minute hands are matte silver while the seconds hand is solid, bright orange, which really pops against the teal-blue surface. Lastly, the GMT is fire engine red, also popping off the dial and playing surprisingly well off of the orange seconds. All together the teal, orange, red and other subtle hints of color create a dial that’s nothing short of stunning.

The Lander

Three new Farer watches, all GMT’s, all unique and intriguing, but there’s one last element to set these watches apart: the price. Keeping in mind that Farer watches are Swiss-made, and the movement of the GMTs is a “Top Grade” ETA 2893, at $1,425, these are quite the good deal. GMTs are uncommon and tend to start around $2,000, so that makes these a good value in simple terms, but the quality, attention to detail and pure originality found in these watches add a value that is hard to put your finger on. Sure, it’s not everyday money, but if you’ve been looking for a GMT, are curious about the complication or are simply in the market for something uniquely attractive, these are very worth your consideration.

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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