Hands-On: The New Chrono-Classic from Farer in Meredith Trim

Farer watches aren’t exactly shy on personality, and historically, I’ve always found that their chronograph collections sit at the apex of the brand’s vibrant style. The original trio of the Mechanical Chronograph Collection included the Cobb, Eldridge, and Segrave, and each brought a mix of unexpected colors and configurations to the table in true Farer style. The watches also featured a compelling case execution, both in terms of its dimensions and its design and finishing. That line would go on to spawn one of our all-time favorites: the Lander, which we have on hand to help contextualize the latest iteration in this saga, the Meredith. One of three new chronographs in a collection Farer is calling Chrono-Classics. 

At a glance, the Meredith chronograph feels like a matured take on the classic Farer chronograph formula. A bevy of bright colors aren’t immediately apparent, the copper/salmon dial is chic and of the moment, and the applied numerals do their best to remain near black at all times. Even the hands have taken on a slightly more demure shape. A look at the other two watches in this family, the Swann and the Jackson reveals a similar story. The result is arguably a more cohesive collection of watches, but has it come at the expense of some of that Farer personality we know and love? Not entirely.


Hands-On: The New Chrono-Classic from Farer in Meredith Trim

Stainless Steel
Dubois Dépraz DD2022
Copper; Blue Checked; Burgundy
Sapphire domed crystal with inner multi layer anti reflective, flat sapphire exhibition glass on rear
Over-stitched St. Venere leather
Water Resistance
Lug Width
5 yrs

One of the new releases in particular keeps a firm hold on the old school Farer charm, and that is the Swann. This reference is directly analogous to the the Lander, with larger sub dials that cut into the Arabic numeral hour makers, a more prominent chapter ring at the dial’s perimeter, and a blue running seconds hand within the sub dial at 3 o’clock. This joins an orange timing seconds hand and a minute totalizer hand with a hint of red at its tip. All this sits atop a rich burgundy dial color that’s about the same value as the Lander, just a shift in hue. The multi-color hands and oversized sub dials preserve exactly the personality we found so endearing within the Lander, though we still dearly miss that particular shade of teal. 

The Meredith, on the other hand, presents slightly more buttoned up, with a uniform color scheme that limits itself to a tighter palette of more subtle tones. It’s still beautiful to be sure, but there’s no mistaking the ambition put forth in the design and execution. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of fun details to explore with this watch, because there certainly is (and from pretty much every angle, too). 

Before we get too deep, I want to point out one of the smaller changes with these newer chronographs that might not be immediately apparent, but plays a big role in shifting the overall vibe of the watches. That is the manner in which the bezel has been brushed. Early Farer chronographs get a uniform concentric brushing that matches the lug shoulder in a manner that didn’t particularly call attention to itself. With the new watches, this same area gets a radial brushing emanating outward, and it catches a lot more light in a more diffuse manner. It’s ultimately not a huge detail, but it is one that you’ll find yourself noticing more often with this watch compared to the originals.

The Meredith has the trappings of a flagship chronograph, hoping to live up to the lofty reputation of Farer Chronographs of the past. To do this, every surface, nook, and cranny feels like it’s received a once over. The lines of the case feel that much more intentional, the finishing that much more impactful, and the dial that much more purposeful. Whether or not that’s what you wanted to see from these new watches is another story, but what this Meredith is looking to do, I’d say it ends up doing rather effectively. 

One of the most compelling features of this, as well as the ones that came before it, is the case. It’s a multi-part construction that gets a variety of finishes, including a recessed channel that runs the legs of the case wall, framed by polished edges. The surface within that channel gets a blasted matte texture that differs from the polished surfaces as well as the brushed surface. The shape of the lug is powerful, with a shallow polished chamfer that defines its edge, and creates a transition to the case wall structure. It’s a powerful case that almost forces you to take it in from every angle. 

Along the crown side of the case you’ll notice the pushers and crown itself all perfectly aligned within that central channel. The original couldn’t achieve this due to the use of a module for the complication, shifting the crown lower. With the Meredith (and Swann and Jackson), Farer is using an offset rod design to shift the crown tube up and inline with the pushers themselves. It’s a small thing you might not even think about, but it’s the kind of attention to detail we’re dealing with here.

The case works well with some of the bolder details and color combinations found on the dial, though it nears overpowering on the Meredith in particular. It still works, but it draws just as much attention as some of the focal points on the dial, and the Meredith doesn’t have those big pops of color (nickel in the jar) to wrestle that attention back. 

What the Meredith does have is a perfectly arresting warm copper dial that ventures into what some might consider the ‘salmon’ realm. There’s a light radial brush texture that gives a sheen that brings the color into lighter tones, like a freshly minted penny. It’s a captivating base of the dial, neatly framed by a white ring containing the tachymeter. 

The light airiness to the dial is cut by the applied numerals marking each hour, which are rendered in “highly polished octane blue” according to Farer. They read as blued steel and stay predominantly in the dark near black black range, until they find some light, that is. At the right angle, this is a dial that absolutely sings, and that’s when those numerals show their true blue flair against a shimmering copper backdrop. The contrast is beautiful, and it immediately explains the lack of more colorful hands or sub dials. This dial is about preserving that experience.

Small touches of red accents can be found within the tachymeter scale, which don’t really play into the feel of the what as a whole, but it’s a nod to Farer’s ability to hide surprising uses of color in their designs without impeding the overall direction. A 30 minute totalizer joins the running seconds providing symmetry to the dial, and those sub dials are slightly sunken into the dial to set themselves apart. This is a chronograph, after all, and this configuration finds a welcome balance between the timing elements and the time keeping elements. 

Powering these functions is a new movement for Farer, a top grade Dubois Dépraz DD2022. The ETA 2894-2 units found in the original are of course no longer available, and the DD slots in without much consequence to the overall dimensions of the watch. The diameter remains 39mm, but the thickness has gained about a mm, going from just under 13mm, to just under 14mm. Truth be told, it’s not entirely noticeable on the wrist, as the case remains in the same footprint with the same shape so overall, there’s little to complain about when it comes to the measurements here. 

The Farer Meredith is a striking watch, with subtle drama that builds at each angle. What it may have lost in playfulness, it’s gained in moments you’ll find yourself savoring. Fans of the brand will still find that indelible Farer fingerprint, however it will have a hard time converting those faithful to the original examples. Thankfully, the Swann fills those shoes nicely, and the Jackson rounds out the new collection with confidence. In all, the Chrono-Classic collection lives up the name, and adds a new crease to the expanding and unmistakable fabric of Farer’s DNA. 

The Chrono-Classic watches are priced from $2,395 on a variety of St Venere leather straps. Each model, including the Meredith seen here, is available now directly from Farer.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.