I debated whether this should go in the Fashion Watch forum or Affordables forum. As you'll read, I think Farer has something going on here that's a little beyond typical expectations for a fashion watch.
So, here's the thing: I'm red-green color blind. No, that doesn't mean I only see gray or black and white when it comes to those colors, but I do see something subtly different than what the non-color-blind see. Really, the only time I notice this affliction is when I'm doing those tests where you try to pick out the numerals in the circles full of colored dots -- I go through page after page seeing nothing but dots.
Why am I telling you this? Because I read an article a while back on researchers finding that color-blind people tend to be much more muted and conservative in their fashion. I think this is very true of me, and extends to my watches. A watch I was gushing about recently was shot down by a fellow WUS as "Plain Jane" and "vapid." Ouch! I'll cop to the Plain Jane, though.
Well, this Farer Barnato GMT, in some ways, moves me out of my comfort zone. Among the features that first jump out at you are the blue hour and minute hand, black and red-tipped GMT hand, and yellow second hand, all in vivid, popping colors. I have no doubt such a combination will have detractors, but for me it sets a contemporary, light-hearted feel that is sorely lacking in my collection.
The watch comes well-presented, in a dark stained, signed wooden box with a nice grain to it. A hand-signed, personalized postcard from the UK is a nice touch.
That mix of colors is tempered with conservative elements. The dial is really remarkable -- an outer ring of shiny, sunburst-pattern stainless steel featuring the Arabic numeals and 24-hour markings, with an interior circle bearing the logo of matte white with maybe just a touch of gray. In the wearing of the watch, the light really plays with those two dial dynamics, making it look multiples of ways. The font used on the numerals and logos really drew me to the watch, contemporary but not overly so. The only other watchmaker who comes to mind who so well pulls that off is another British company, Bremont. Among the little details I appreciate is the circular date window at the 3, which is not merely a cut-out but is beveled and with rounded edges.
The slightly domed crystal is perfect for the watch style, and accenting the aforementioned dial dynamics. It's "sapphire-coated mineral glass," which I still don't understand. Whatever. It looks good, and I presume it will resist scratches appropriately.
The brushed, 316L stainless steel case is well-made, with great lines, rounded edges and perfect brushing. The case is 39.5mm. I have a nearly 8-inch wrist and I feel it wears perfectly on me, but at this size, and with its short lugs, I could see a smaller-wristed man or even a woman wearing this well.
The caseback looks good enough with the pattern and company logo. The watch features a Ronda 515.24h quartz movement and is made in Switzerland.
Farer is trying to stake a brand identity as an adventurer's watch. The Barnato is "
Named after Diana Walker Barnato – she was one of the greatest female adventurers and pilots of all time. She was the daughter of the famous racing driver Woolf Barnato, who was also the head of the Bentley Motors racing team. Inheriting her father’s love of speed and adrenalin, she became the first British woman to break the sound barrier and set an air speed record for women." That they named a man's watch after a woman is slightly puzzling, but hey, equality, man! Maybe they're really trying to push the unisex potential of this watch. Frankly, I don't concern myself with such marketing write-ups.
One of Farer's signatures is a bronze crown, even on a stainless steel watch. Frankly, I don't like it, and don't think it adds anything positive. But you get your choice of a few different leather watch straps with this, or a stainless steel mesh bracelet, and the leather hue I chose I think coordinates with the crown a little and makes it work slightly better.
This cost me just over $500. Cue the outrage! Cue the, "For that money, you could have bought X or Y!" Cue the, "I'd never pay that for a quartz fashion watch." (Said with as much disdain as possible.)
Too bad for you, then. Because you'll be missing out on a versatile (this could work with everything from a suit down to shorts, a T-shirt and sandals), well-made, beautiful, functional watch that does a great balancing act between understated and conservative and out-there and fun.