Following on the launch of its automatic chronograph a year ago, London-based Farer recently released a new collection of hand-wound chronographs, which are fairly unusual in this price category where automatic chronographs dominate. This time around, it’s more than just a new line as the watches are the official timers of the 2019 Bernina Gran Turismo, a classic car race across the Bernina Pass in the Swiss Alps.
Three standard models and one limited edition make up the new Chronograph Hand-Wound line, though the limited edition quickly sold out, and all carry the brand’s DNA with distinctive, retro designs and bold colours. Though the individual models share the same house style, each is detailed differently, right down to the size of the hour numerals, something Farer does for all its mode lines.
All models share the same, cushion-shaped stainless steel case measuring 41mm by 12.9mm (and 43mm lug-to-lug). It’s rated to 100m and fitted with a domed sapphire crystal. For contrast, the front and sides are brushed with a polished steel exhibition back, and the pushers are also polished.
The knurled crown is steel but topped with a bronze insert embossed with Farer’s logo, a standard feature on all hand-wound Farer watches; other models have a solid bronze crown. Let’s take a closer look at what differentiates the Bernina, Cresta and Moritz chronographs.
Named after the Bernina Gran Turismo – a hillclimbing race around St Moritz for classic cars – this is arguably the boldest of the collection, featuring a matte, ivory dial with embossed, bright white sub-dials at three and nine o’clock, while the hour register at six is tone and tone with the dial.
Racing red is seen throughout the dial with red Arabic hour numerals and red hands. But the constant seconds hand is blue to distinguish its function.
The scales on the outside of the dial are also in red and blue, as is the white ceramic bezel that has an engraved tachymeteric scale.
Limited to just 20 watches, the Bernina race limited edition was nearly identical, except for special branding for the 2019 Bernina Gran Turismo.
This model is named after the Cresta Run, a toboggan track in the ski resort-town of St Moritz. It’s a bit more subdued than the Bernina, with a dark blue palette and large Arabic numerals for the hours. The dial also has a slightly domed, “big eye” sub-dial at three, which reminds me of the Farer Cobb automatic chronograph. And the fixed bezel is steel with a blue, anodised aluminum insert that measures elapsed time.
Named after the tony Swiss ski town, is the most conservative of the trio and features a traditional matte black dial.
Applied blocks of solid Super-Luminova mark the hours, with Arabic numerals for “6” and “12”. Add to that the “big eye” register at three, and the look is reminiscent of a 1950s military aviator’s chronograph, albeit livened up with green accents on the dial and central seconds hand.
The heart of the Hand-Wound Chronograph is an Elaboré grade Sellita SW510 BH. An upgraded clone of the Valjoux 7750, it has 17 jewels and an extended 58-hour power reserve.
Being Elaboré grade, the movement is finished with perlage, blued screws, and also customised with the repeating Farer “A” logo on the main plate.
It’s hand-wound, obviously, but fairly uncommon in this price segment, although the recently launched Haven Watch Co. Chilton uses the very same movement.
Key facts and price
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 100m
Movement: Sellita SW510 BH Elaboré grade
Functions: Time, chronograph with 12-hour counter
Frequency: 28,800vph (4Hz)
Power reserve: 58 hours
Strap: Perforated bridle leather with a steel pin buckle
Availability: Direct from Farer
For more, visit farer.com.
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