Farer ‘Swiss Made’ Automatic Watches From London With Unique Vintage Style
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London-based Farer watches recently launched their debut collection of products in 2015 and have now introduced their first collection of automatic timepieces. Using reliable Swiss Made ETA 2824-2 mechanical movements, the new automatic watch collection is classically inspired with a modern design language consisting of three models including the Beagle, Hopewell, and Endurance.
Each of these timepieces is thematically inspired by important British exploration vessels including the HMS Beagle from 1820, the Hopewell from the 16th century, and the Endurance from 1920. Farer designs its watches for more modern explorers of today yet you can see the inspiration of vintage watches from the 1950s and 1960s in everything they do. The brand then adds a layer of their own personality to these historically relevant designs with bold colors, interesting textures and a signature solid bronze operation crown that naturally patinas over time giving the watch a sense of life.
Following their popular collection of Quartz-movement based timepieces the Automatics are set to launch this week. An interview below with co-founder of Farer Mr. Jono Holt explains more about the unique personality of the brand, followed by additional technical specifications of the new automatic timepiece collection.
What is it about wrist watches that attracted your design and entrepreneurial attention?
Jono Holt: Firstly, horology is a passion of all of ours. Paul, who is one of the founders of Farer has worked in the industry for many years and has a great collection of vintage watches. We’ve all worked together in different guises for many years before launching Farer and spent most of our time in meetings talking about the watches we loved rather than the work we had to do. Two years ago we decided we wanted to create Swiss made watches with a British design personality that were inspired by what we loved of the past but built with a quality for the future. We take great joy in designing watches for people who share our passions and tastes. It is by far the most enjoyable part of the process yet also the most nerve-wracking.
From a business side of things it seems there’s been no better time to launch a brand with the ability to reach a truly global audience with the use of digital marketing. (Nearly half our watches are sent across the Atlantic to the US as well as to over 30 different countries since launch). We all bring different skill sets to the table from watch design, brand marketing to running global retail businesses so between us we’ve got ambitions to create a watch company that hopefully is going to be around for a very long time. It’s been a great start to date and we are just pleased to have found a customer base who like what we are doing. The launch of the automatics though is where the journey gets really exciting.
What did you feel the wrist watch market was missing that you could contribute?
JH: Its important to say that there are many watch manufacturers that exist whom we greatly admire and make brilliant product. We feel the bottom and the top end of the market are very well populated, but much less so in the middle and the brands that exist in this segment are a little less known but in our humble opinion amongst the best out there such as Junghans, Nomos, Oris and Zodiac. With Farer we simply wanted to create a watch brand that could compete with these mid-market brands- combining our unique British design personality with the very best in Swiss watch making to offer something different at a price that makes sense to customers.
With the launch of the new automatics we’ve always wanted to create boldly designed mechanical watches that could act as either someone’s first meaningful watch or fit nicely into an enthusiasts collection. Well designed, well made and affordable.
What cultural or design influences helped inspire your watch collection?
JH: The period of sixties watch making in Switzerland for us is a massive influence on that we do today. We love some of the bravery in design and colour of what the likes of Omega and Universal Geneve were doing back then. It’s brilliant to see some of their vintage watches in the market today and appreciate the colours and boldness in what they were doing.
Further a field from the watch market we look towards some of the very best British classic cars from a Jaguar E-Type to an old Aston Martin or even a series 2 Land Rover. Some of the vintage exterior lines and interior colours and detailing of classic British car design can be seen on the walls of our studio most of the time. Finally, You don’t see it as much as you used to but historically the best British fashion and product design has always included great colour and pattern so I guess we’re trying to do our bit to keep it alive as much as possible.
How does offering an automatic mechanical model in your opinion help further complete your collection?
JH: It’s always been our plan to introduce Automatics. The launch quartz collection has been very popular but since day one we’ve probably received an email a day saying- “I like your watches but make an automatic!” So if anything we’re just giving our customers what they have asked for. It’s taken around a year in the making to design and build. We’ve labored over the details (much to the annoyance of our Swiss partners at times) but we feel it’s all worth it as our customers like us want a watch that has been considered in absolutely every aspect possible.
Most importantly we wanted to deliver an automatic watch that maintained the Farer design detail but used the very best materials and movement without it having to cost a fortune. As much as anything we’re proud to have been able to deliver the watch spec and design we have at a $1,075 price point. We felt this was important to really stand out in the market by offering our customers decent value.
Explain some of the harder to see details in the automatic watches that your customers should know about?
JH: In my opinion, the colour combinations are great to look at. Never overwhelming but each time you look in a different light the domed sapphire crystal combined with the vintage curve dial highlight different details. We talk alot in the studio about the second or third look. Making the wearer or the admirer look again and again.
Across all three watches you’ll also see subtle changes in textures and places where we’ve switched the pop colours over that only get picked up by a keen eye.
The signature solid bronze crown is unique to the Automatics, it gains patina over time and can be cleaned or left to reflect your own individual appeal. We like it because it gives the watch a personality and sense of character of its own. The Farer compass mark can also be seen engraved on the crown as well as on tip of the second hand if you look closely.
The sapphire portal rear case, allows you to see the Farer marked oscillating weight keeping time which sits at the center of the case engraving. Each automatic is individually numbered which adds a nice personal touch. Finally, this time around we’ve used Hermes inspired leather, Barenia leather for the straps- which is more typically found on the finest leather saddles- brilliantly smooth and luxurious to touch.
Sum up the value and appeal of the Farer Automatic watches in your own words.
JH: Personally I think the automatics are striking in colour and detail, perfectly blending classic watch details in a more up to date form. At 39.5 mm they are a universal size to suit every wrist and our bold British design personality makes them stand out just enough to get noticed. By using the very best of Swiss movements and materials we hope they appeal to a watch fan who not only has an appreciation for design and build quality but also a recognition of great value products. We are extremely proud of the Farer automatic watches and hope people enjoy wearing them as much as we have making them. Price is $1,075. farer.com
– Case: 39.5mm diameter, 10mm depth
– Material: 316L stainless steel
– Finish: Polished case and rim
– Dial: Oyster gloss or Silver Sunray or Blue sunray, Super Luminova numerals and indexes, vintage curved, date window
– Hands: Metallic postbox red, matte silver second hand with primrose yellow tip, or crisp blue steel, sky blue second hand with postbox red tip, or apple green, matte silver second hand with postbox red tip, vintage curved, rhodium-plated
– Crown: Solid bronze crown
– Glass: Domed sapphire crystal glass
– Strap: Barenia bridle leather, 316L stainless steel buckle fastening
– Lug: 20mm wide
– Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, 25 jewels
– Water Resistant: 5ATM