Farer’s hot streak of releases has continued today with a bit of a surprising departure. Last we saw from the young, but quickly establishing house, they released a trio of mechanical chronographs, one of which we reviewed here. Both their most complex and expensive watches to date, they were exceptionally well-received thanks to their attractive, nuanced designs. Now, Farer is back with more chronographs, but rather than being on the higher-priced side of their catalog, they are on the entry-level, and they are quartz – but quartz with some pretty awesome features.
Before even getting into the design, there is a lot to unpack in the name. “Chronograph” should be pretty self-explanatory, but “split-second” and “flyback” are less common at the price and rarely seen together. “Split-second” is sometimes referred to as rattrapante or doppelchronograph, but means that the watch is hiding a very cool feature. Under the chronograph seconds hand is another hand. When the chrono is started, they move in unison. When the pusher at 10 is pressed, the hidden hand underneath stops while the other continues, thus allowing one interval to be recorded, but also the two hands to be compared. This hidden hand can catch up to the main hand. It’s a bit confusing, but a very cool complication that is truly rare on affordable watches, as mechanical split-seconds watches are very complex. While the quartz variety likely functions very differently from a technical perspective, the result is the same, and makes this unlikely feature accessible.
Split-second flyback, great combo
A flyback is then a chronograph that can be instantly reset without stopping. You know how you’ve always been told not to push the reset button on your chrono while it’s running? Well, this lets you do that. The advantage is that there is no delay between two timing actuations, which would come in handy during lap timing of a vehicle that is already in motion, for example. By combining the two complications, you have a sort-of ultimate chronograph. Sure, it’s not mechanical, but it’s also not $50k. Making this possible is the ETA 251.294 FK which also features “powerdrive” technology, 1/10th second display, 30-minute counters, sub-seconds and date.
The two new models, Pendine and Ainsdale, build on a pretty classic dial format that Farer has honed through several models. Both versions, one light the other dark, feature a primary index of large numerals with a surrounding track of small marks for minutes, second and sub-seconds. At two, six and ten are sub-dials for the 1/10th second, active seconds and 30-minute counter respectively. At the very edge of the dial are numerals at intervals of five for additional readability, especially of the chrono-seconds.
The Pendine takes a soft, vintage approach to its palette. The surface is “heritage white” which is a warm off-white that is accented by seafoam green numerals, black and red indexes, red hands for the chrono functions and sub-seconds, and bold blue metal hands for the hour and minutes. The overall look is very appealing, with a slightly preppy, Americana feel.
The Ainsdale takes a sharper approach with a dark, gloss midnight blue surface accented by orange numerals. The outer indexes are then soft blue with orange numerals, while the sub-dial hands are orange, chrono-seconds is vivid yellow and the hour and minute hands are white. It sounds like a lot, and is a bit intense, but everything plays off of each other harmoniously, speaking to the motorsport influences the series clearly draws upon.
As for the case, Farer went back to the 39.5 x 45 x 11mm (to the top of the box sapphire) case that can be found on their earlier models, such as the Oxley GMT and Hopewell automatic, save the additional pushers. No complaints here, it’s a beautiful case that wears well and has top-notch finishing. Farer also kept their unique tapered bronze crown, though the pushers are steel.
With a price tag of $625, the new Farer Quartz Chronograph Split-second Flybacks are what luxury quartz should be. Sure, they aren’t cheap, which is what is often associated with quartz watches, but they aren’t outrageous either. Most importantly, the cases, dials, hands, straps, etc, are made to the same high-standards as Farer’s more expensive pieces, which feature exceptional fit and finish, while also being Swiss-made. The added functionality brought by the rather unique movement chosen then earns the new watches a special level of intrigue, making them very tempting for any chronograph, or, frankly, Farer fan.
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.