“We make quintessentially British watches.”
UK-based micro-brands often use this sales line, but what does it mean? There isn't a hard and fast definition of what makes a British watch but somehow, we all know the intention. Watches that benefit from slightly vintage styling, a flair for the imaginative, classic looks and perhaps a nod towards one of the activities we associate with an older golden era for Great Britain. It makes us think of a world of land speed records challenged by men who wore ties, national heroes exploring uncharted lands or long-haul flights in silver aircraft to exciting places.
Such people were called Wayfarers, or Farers for short. And much of this culture has been the inspiration for the striking Farer Lander IV 36mm.
Hands on with the Farer Lander IV
Farer Lander IV - Credit WatchGecko
At 36mm in diameter, the Lander will suit almost any wrist and it is hugely refreshing to find a GMT in this contemporary reduced size. The watch takes its name from Richard Lander, born in 1804 in Cornwall, he was a Victorian explorer of some note. On one occasion, Lander was the only member of his team to survive during an ill-fated expedition to West Africa.
Were it not for the bold seconds and GMT hands, the watch could be noted for its pastel look but Farer has chosen to accent these critical tools in bright orange, blue or red, depending on the dial colour. This gives the watch the feel of a vintage piece of navigational equipment.
Three dial colours are available. Sea Green, which is more blue, Pink sunburst and Spearmint. We had the Sea Green on test.
Dial legibility is outstanding with the watch's World War 2 Field look. Number indices are printed in Super Luminova with deep-filled syringe hands all working in harmony to give exceptional legibility. The GMT hand on our variant was bright red and this is used against a separate 24-hour dial printed as an inner track. The date window is at 3 o'clock and thankfully, with the wheel the same colour as the dial, it did not stand out.
Powering the Lander is a Sellita SW-330-2 automatic movement which beats at 28,800 VPH, has 25 jewels, and a highly respectable 56-hour power reserve. Farer has chosen to fit an elaborately decorated movement which is visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Through the back, you can see the movement at work and the modified rotor displaying the company name and arrowhead A logo.
Farer Lander IV - Credit WatchGecko
The fit and finish on the Lander is exceptional, with a polished case and brushed lugs. The dial is absolutely the star of the show with our model having a Sea Green sunray finish which plays with the light depending on which angle you view the watch. The crown is heavily textured for ease of use and also sports the Delta A logo in the centre.
Even though the watch is constructed to an extremely high standard, you can take comfort from the fact that it comes with a five-year warranty on the movement and Farer guarantee to replace or repair it if anything goes wrong.
At just 11mm thick, which includes the crystal, the watch takes up no real estate on your wrist and fits under clothing. In the unlikely event you choose to deploy the watch in honour of its namesake, perhaps by fording a river, the Lander is 100 metres water resistant, so it will take the knocks.
One other thing that's worth mentioning is that Farer has a very capable watch configurator on their website, so not only can you choose your watch head, but there is a plethora of high-quality strap options. You can also specify 25 characters of engraving on the bottom of the case back so there is a welcome opportunity to personalise this watch for either yourself or make it a special gift.
Farer Lander IV - Credit WatchGecko
So how does the Lander wear, and has it successfully slotted into the genre of thoroughly British watches?
The watch wears small, like a Rolex Explorer 1, so bear this in mind. A 36mm case is much reduced by today's standards. However, in a watch of this design, and with this ethos, it works well because despite the fact the watch is brand new it does feel vintage, like it comes from a different era of tool watches. And that’s no mean feat to achieve so kudos to Farer.
A Personal Perspective
I'm not sure the Farer Lander defines a British watch any more than a Marloe or Bremont but there is no question, if you wanted to use the Farer as the archetypal definition of a British watch, it would be an excellent choice.
Its inspiration is deep and meaningful, and the character Farer has tried to inject into the design works very well. This does feel like a vintage traveller watch.
At £1225, the watch is well priced given the technical specifications. But what is perhaps far more important (to some of us) is the story behind the watch and Farer has nailed this by marketing the new GMT as a future companion for your travels. It is very much a timepiece that represents the undertaking of a journey as well as the excitement of arrival in a new land.
Whilst the Lander comes equipped with some beautifully crafted straps there is always the opportunity to give a fine tool a different look and below we have three imaginative choices picked out of the extensive WatchGecko portfolio.
This original watch strap system seamlessly blends the durability of a one-piece military watch strap with the versatility of a stainless steel deployment bracelet buckle, making it the perfect choice for any style or occasion. So many colours are available that it was easy to find the Farer seconds hand orange.
ZULUDIVER have now extended the strap material to include HydraRib nylon, a premium, high-quality 100% polyamide yarn that's been tested and certified to BS EN 14362.
A vintage style racing watch strap made from vegetable-tanned top grain calf leather which very closely complements the Landers Sea Green dial.
Delicately hand-painted with coloured stains and wax for an authentic vintage look, the strap is crafted to a high standard with extra care to make sure the edge is painted in black for a clean finish; the same skill used to make hand-made vintage brogue shoes.
Lined with Arizona top grain leather, this strap is breathable, practical and comfortable to wear. No padding is added for a sleek and vintage feel, and the strap has been carefully stitched with durable contrasting beige thread.
The Leuven strap uses handmade horse leather that has been vegetable tanned with leaves and olive tree bark, achieving a beautiful and supple grain that feels very comfortable on the wrist. The tanning process also gives this strap the durability to last, developing a pattern as it ages which perfectly matches the aesthetics of a vintage-style watch like the Farer.
The handstitched edge of the Leuven strap has been expertly executed using contrasting thread and hand-painted with a colour stain to match the leather. This watch strap is available in various lug widths, and features a robust stainless-steel buckle with a high polished finish.
Spec of the Farer Lander IV 36mm
- CASE -36mm diameter, 11mm depth, 41.2mm lug-to-lug, 38mm pin-to-pin
- MATERIAL - 316L high-grade stainless steel
- FINISH - Polished case side and bezel with brushed lugs
- DIAL - Triple-stepped dial with sea green sunray finish and colour-matched date window. White Arabic numerals 14 times over-printed with Super-LumiNova. 24-hour scale and white outer minute track.
- HANDS - Syringe handset in astronaut silver with Super-LumiNova inﬁll, burnt orange second hand with British pillar box red GMT hand
- CROWN - Rounded stainless steel with solid bronze cap insert featuring embossed Farer 'A'
- GLASS - Boxed sapphire crystal with internal anti-reﬂective coating. Exhibition glass on rear
- STRAP - St Venere leather, 316L stainless steel buckle fastening
- LUG WIDTH - 20mm
- WATER RESISTANCE - 100M / 10ATM
- MOVEMENT - Swiss Made SELLITA SW330-2 ‘Top Grade’ movement
- FUNCTIONS - Hours, minutes, sweep second, 24hr. Stop second device for precision time setting. Quick date correction.
- JEWELS - 25
- WINDING - Self-winding mechanism with ball bearing
- POWER RESERVE - Approximately 56 hours
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