Farer Reveals Trio Of Three Hand Automatics In Full Farer Style

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Some watch firms punch way above their weight. The UK independent, Farer, is definitely one of them. You won’t see Farer in the posh boutiques; they prefer to sell directly. There are no swanky catalogs either, just a clear, efficient website. Yet the firm is quietly getting on with making watches that are often different and always striking. It says a lot about the company and its designer that you can pick any Farer out of an ID parade with no effort at all, yet each is different and has its own character. Here are three of their latest, just to make the point; all completely different but all recognizably Farer.

Farer started out with three-handers and these three hark back to those early watches. The genetics are pretty clear, too. Farer has a knack of teaming classic designs with striking, often multiple and overprinted, colors. It says a lot for the firm that this results in clear, easy-to-read watches rather than complete dogs’ breakfasts. 

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Where Farer chooses color to make a design point, they’re very much average – in a good way – when it comes to case sizes. The trinity of new three-handers uses a 39.5mm stainless steel case with 20mm lugs; so comfortable to wear and easy to swap straps around. The cases are 316L stainless, polished and water resistant to 50m; enough for everyday wear without worrying. The caseback is held on by a simple but very useful Farer four-point screw system, with one screw at the base of each lug.

Each watch has a box-cased sapphire crystal. Catch them at the right angle and the domed glass really sets off the dials. 

The stainless cases house the now very familiar workhorse Sellita cal. SW200-1.  As we’ve said before, they’re solid, reliable movements and you’ll never have problems finding spares or someone to service them. There’s 38 hours of power reserve from the 26-jewel, 28,800 bph (4Hz) hacking movement. Unusually, where a datesless watch like this would usually hide its redundant date wheel (and mechanism) behind the dial, this movement has no concealed ‘ghost’ date wheel.

So that’s what these watches have in common. What about the differences?

The Discovery goes for a new take on the classic Explorer 12-3-6-9 dial with a brushed purple sunburst. Change the light and you change the dial; in low-light it appears almost black but under direct sunlight you get a whole range of purple tones, lighter in the center and darker as you look towards the bezel. Standing out against the purple background are the blue five minute numerals, bracketing the separate minute tracks – one per five minute interval. The numerals – and batons – are applied, mirror-finished and infilled with off-white Super-LumiNova. The polished syringe hands match, apart from the distinctive central sweep-seconds that uses an orange, arrow-tip.

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The Resolute, in contrast, goes for a white enameled polished lacquer vintage curved dial, with almost Bauhaus matte black-edged numerals with ice-blue SuperLumiNova centers. It took Farer pre-production test after test before they’d perfected forming multiple layers of material into a single, solid block. The hands retain the syringe shapes of the Discovery, but this time they’re gloss black. The second hand takes the orange theme further in burnt orange along its length with a black arrowhead. The minute track here though is a circle of black tick marks – one per minute.

The Hopewell III takes a similar design theme to the Resolute but darkens it. This watch retains the solid, applied hour numbers and pairs them with a deep blue sunburst, double step, vintage curved dial. Farer says the English Brown typeface was inspired by the original London Underground font, Johnston Sans, so a neat link with the British pillarbox red gloss hands. The dial gets finished off with a yellow-tipped sweep seconds. 

Typically Farer, each of these watches is as striking in the dark as in daylight. They all make generous use of Super Lumi-Nova pigment for dial markers and hands. You don’t even need to see one in the metal; Farer’s website shows each watch glowing helpfully in the dark.

So should you open your wallet for any of these three? Farer are certainly taking on a tough market with them; there are more Sellita-powered three-handers out there than you could throw a lump of 316L at. But we think there’s a pretty compelling case for choosing whichever one takes your eye. The basics are there; you get a tried and tested movement, a solid, well-made case and back-up from an established maker. But the design of these watches is what makes them stand out. It’s structural as well as aesthetic. For a start, that 316L polished case eschews both the traditional screw-in caseback and a snapback, choosing a much simpler but better (no shearing of the rubber seal) four-point screw system. But the overall design is what’ll clinch it for most people. Each watch will keep you looking back even when you don’t need to know the time. 

Each of the Farer 3 Hand Automatic watches are priced from $890 with your choice of a broad range of straps, and even a steel bracelet for $140 more. Farer.

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Mark developed a passion for watches at a young age. At 9, he was gifted an Omega Time Computer manual from a local watch maker and he finagled Rolex brochures from a local dealer. Today, residing in the Oxfordshire village of Bampton, Mark brings his technical expertise and robust watch knowledge to worn&wound.
markchristie mark_mcarthur_christie
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