There are countless GMT designs out there, but few can match the fun quirkiness of a Farer!
British brand Farer is one that I’ve had my eye on ever since their launch in 2015. Back then I was just getting into watches, and Farer’s quirky designs and bold colours really caught my eye. Fast forward to 2021 and the brand now has 10 separate collections to choose from, covering everything from divers to pilot’s watches.
One of these collections is their GMT Bezel range, comprising of the Maze, Crooms and Charlton. The names refer to the three roads that surround Greenwich Park in London, which is of course home to the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Mean Time.
What’s more, Farer are very transparent when it comes to how their watches are made. The brand designs its watches in Britain, before using Swiss manufacturer Roventa-Henex to actually build them. In a world of vague and misleading marketing spiel, it’s a refreshing change to see a company so open about it’s manufacturing process.
For this review Farer sent us the Maze, and all three watches retail for £1,250, of which £25 is donated to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. This will mean a total donation of £22,500 for the whole collection. Personally, I think it’s great to see brands donating to charitable causes, and it’s a gesture I hope more brands make in the future.
The Farer Maze GMT – What it does
Now, don’t let Farer’s penchant for bright colours and funky aesthetics fool you. Despite the overall playful vibe, the Maze GMT is a serious tool watch at heart. For starters, the movement is a Top Grade Sellita SW330-1. This 25 jewel Swiss automatic has a 42-hour power reserve, with an Incabloc anti-shock mechanism. It’s also beautifully decorated, with a custom skeletonised rotor and perlage finishing on the rest of the movement. All-in-all it’s a very solid choice for a watch at this price point, and I’m glad to see Farer using a Top Grade movement, rather than the standard base calibre.
On top of the decent movement, the Maze has a healthy 200m water-resistance, and a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. Basically, it’s got everything you need in a solid tool watch.
Hands On Thoughts
The first thing you notice when you put the Maze on the wrist is just how legible it is. The black painted hands naturally stand out very well against the stark white dial. The “swimming pool tile” pattern of the dial is really neat too. It’s pretty subtle and adds a nice contemporary detail to the watch. The GMT hand is equally legible against the dial thanks to its bright red colour. Combined with the anti-reflective box sapphire crystal I can’t see anyone having problems reading the time on the Maze.
The applied markers catch the light nicely, and I’m rather fond of Farer’s arrow logo acting as the 12 o’clock marker. The date window is also nicely executed and is situated at 6 in order to keep the symmetry of the dial. Overall, the dial of the Maze is very well executed. Everything is well proportioned, and the finishing is flawless.
The same is true of the 40.5mm case, which with it’s 44mm lug-to-lug and 11.75mm thickness, it wears very well on the wrist. And though it’s cushion-shaped design is fairly modest; the finishing is excellent. The bidirectional bezel has a perfect action. There’s absolutely no play and it rotates with a nice crisp click. The insert is matte aluminium, and whilst in some ways I’d prefer ceramic, the matte finish does work well here.
The screw-down crown is set with a bronze cap adorned with the Farer logo. The use of bronze here is unique and is an instantly recognisable signature of Farer’s design language.
When it comes to legibility at night, the Maze does not disappoint. The watch’s markers and handset have a healthy application of Super-LumiNova, and as a result they’re very easy to read in the dark. Lume is the one area I often find manufacturers fall down on when making tool watches, even at this price point, and it’s great to see that Farer have not tripped up here.
Farer offer the Maze on a wide selection of leather, rubber, and metal straps. This particular one came in the black St. Venere leather strap and the quality of it is excellent. The leather itself is nice and supple, but doesn’t feel flimsy, whilst the steel buckle is nice and solid. The strap also comes with quick-release spring bars, so there’s no fiddling around when it comes to changing straps!
Watch Straps for the Farer Maze GMT
Of course, despite Farer’s excellent taste in straps, it just wouldn’t be a WatchGecko review without us recommending some our own straps to pair with the Maze.
Zuludiver Modern Tropical Style Rubber Watch Strap
A firm favourite amongst our customers is the Zuludiver Modern Tropical Style Strap. The plain black rubber doesn’t distract you from the watch itself, whilst the crosshatch texture adds a subtle vintage twist. Also, this improved version of the strap now features quick-release spring bars for easy strap changes.
Premium ZULUDIVER Military Herringbone Military Nylon Watch Strap
Next is the grey Premium ZULUDIVER Military Herringbone. The neutral grey acts as a good mid tone between the black hands and bezel, and the steel case. Being a military nylon, it also lends a very functional, military vibe to what is otherwise a playful take on a tool watch.
ZULUDIVER Quick Release Sailcloth Waterproof Divers Watch Strap
Last, but not least, is the ZULUDIVER Quick Release Sailcloth Watch Strap. Like the Modern Tropical Style strap (and as the name suggests) this also has quick release spring bars for fast strap changes. Being made from sailcloth, this strap is a great pairing for anyone looking to wear the Maze in the water. There’s a variety of colour choices for the stitching, but by using the grey version the colours on the watch are allowed to pop.
Things to Change
The Maze is one of those watches where I look at each element and can’t actually find anything objectively wrong. The whole watch is very well made and oozes quality from every detail. There are no cut corners or glaring oversights.
However, for me personally there are a couple of design elements I think could be better. First off, I think that there are too many colour elements on the dial. Both the markers and hands are meant to use ice blue Super-LumiNova, but in reality, the markers are more of a mint green. This means there are four colour elements on the dial, which is a bit much in my opinion.
Second, I think the bezel could be a bit thicker, and the dial a bit smaller. This would help even out the proportions of each element and give the watch a more balanced look. Of course, these are just my own preferences, rather than anything objectively wrong with the watch. My personal tastes aside, the Maze is a very well-executed GMT indeed.
Final Thoughts on the Farer Maze GMT
I think it’s fair to say that the Farer Maze GMT is anything but conventional. The brand’s greatest strength is its ability to take a staple watch genre and come up with a design that is distinctly its own. The striking colours, and unique textures come together to produce a wonderfully quirky and contemporary watch, that can go toe-to-toe against more traditional tool watches.
With a retail price of £1,250, the Maze is certainly not cheap. However, the watch offers everything I’d expect from a watch at this price point – with decent water resistance and lume, a sapphire crystal, and a well-finished Top Grade Swiss movement. In short, it ticks all the boxes.
So, if you’re after something that’s just a little bit different from the usual Swiss fare, that stand out from the stuffy traditional brands, but can match their quality, I suggest you give Farer a go.
We’d like to thank Farer for sending the Maze GMT to us on loan. The Maze GMT is now available for £1,250 on the leather strap. To find out more and to order your very own be sure to head over to farer.com.