A Sea-Green Dream — Farer Lander II GMT Hands-On Review
Rationally, it’s pretty simple to sum-up what makes Farer watches stand out from so many competitors. But the magic of Farer is the result of putting all these elements together and making them work. Because honestly, the chances of getting it completely wrong are pretty big if you don’t have a great eye for design. That great eye for design is the reason why you need to see and wear a Farer watch in real life. That’s the only way you’re able to truly feel what makes it special.
Part of that experience started immediately when I received the Lander II GMT for review. When I took the watch out of the packaging my first reaction was, “That’s a blue dial isn’t it?” Farer calls it a “sea-green sunray” dial but I was convinced it was a blue dial. I was checking the color late in the afternoon which had me doubting. The true color and beauty revealed itself the day after in the morning light. You really have to see it for yourself to be able to judge whether it’s blue or green. It’s this case with almost any Farer dial and a big part of the success story of the brand.
A multi-layered success story
Farer has built quite an extensive collection of mostly mechanical watches and a few quartz watches that all have their own presence. The Lander II GMT is one of the most popular models the brand offers. It’s part of the GMT Automatic range. Additionally, that range features the Oxley Black LE and the Ponting models. The thing that immediately catches your eye when scrolling through the range online is that all three of the watches look completely different. Regardless, each family retains the feeling of being a typical Farer watch.
I have to give the brand credit for succeeding in finding that British vintage-inspired design language that ties all their watches together. And even better is the fact that Farer watches are immediately recognizable when compared to competitors. The secret formula consists of typically British design inspired by vintage watches from the past, the use of a combination of less than ordinary colors, and, of course, the incredible dials that the brand is famous for. Next to that, there are quite a few small details that Farer has made their own. The trademark Farer “A” tip of the seconds hand, for example. Or how about the bronze crown? There are few crowns with as much immediate presence as these. They stand-out instantly against the Lander’s stainless steel case. It’s all very well thought out and I like that.
The impressive good looks
The sea-green sunray “triple step dial” is an absolute stunner. Although the sea-green color might look blue to some, it comes up really green in some lights. That shifting color effect spoke to me. It had me checking the dial over and over and over again. During the day, the light changes so the dial also changes appearance. The result? A dial that seems alive. The human benefit? Constant entertainment and intrigue, every time I look at my wrist.
The dial is contrasted by the white numerals and indexes outlined with Super-LumiNova. In combination with the silver syringe style hands filled with white Super-LumiNova, they offer great readability. The printed blue seconds track really pops against the sea-green base, and the hands bring the dial to life. Next to the silver syringe hour and minute hands, the watch features a long orange-colored seconds hand with the typical Farer “A” tip. Lastly, a red GMT-hand moves around the dial indicating the second time zone on the 24-hour clock.
To top things off the watch also features a date aperture at 3 o’clock, with the date printed in white on the same sea-green color as the dial. It makes sure that the date indication integrates perfectly with the overall design of the dial. As a consumer, it is that kind of detail is worth paying for.
Great eye for design
When you see the dial summary in black and white, you might think there is a lot going on. Well, there is. To Farer’s credit, however, the result is surprisingly easy to digest. This is where the great eye for design comes into play. Never since opening the box did I ever have the feeling the dial design feels cluttered or that the design is too busy. All the elements are perfectly balanced and it makes the Lander II a very nice watch to look at. The base is always that incredible dial. From there you have a great overview of all the elements that come into play.
I have to highlight two design elements that I think as well done. First is the clear stylish font type used on the dial and the second is the brand logo. Especially new brands seem to have a hard time creating a logo that is not only fitting to the style of watches they produce but also is a proper logo and not just a weird-looking wordmark. The designers at Farer have created a nice logo with an arrow-shaped icon placed above the wordmark. The arrow shape is also used in the Farer “A” and used on the seconds hand. It’s all evidence of good eye for design and smart recognizable branding.
The quality of the lume amazed me. The press shots paint the lume performance in a very positive light (all puns intended). Rare it is, however, that lume lives up to its billing. But this time you will not be disappointed. Reading the time in the dark is as much fun as looking at the watch during the day. At night, or in low-light conditions, that beautiful sea-green dial gives way to a dazzling lume show. It is an impressive feature considering the price.
The Lander II facts & figures
The first thing that stands out is that the Lander II wears very comfortably. The polished stainless steel case measures 39.5mm in diameter and is 10mm thick and has a lug width of 20mm which makes it very easy to wear. The lug tops are brushed to create a contrast with the polished case. As I am a tall guy, I generally like my watches to be between 40mm and 43mm. Recently I have been gearing more towards watches under 40mm. Although the Lander II is a fraction under 40mm, it once again proves my recent shift in preference. The magic is in both the comfortable size and the wrist presence of the watch.
The Lander II I received for review is powered by the ETA 2893-2 movement. Recently Farer made the choice however to change from the ETA 2893-2 to the Sellita SW330-1 movement for the Lander III (notice the different production run number). So with the new production run that is available for pre-order now, you will receive the Lander III with the Sellita SW330-1 movement. The Sellita SW330-1 is a 25.60 mm automatic movement with a ticking speed of 28,800vph that features a 42-hour power reserve. The movement shows hours, minutes, seconds, the date and features the additional 24-hour hand to indicate a second timezone. It’s a reliable movement seen a lot more often in affordable GMT-watches. As such, it is a fine fit for the Lander III GMT especially in light of the €1,325 price tag.
Wearing the Lander II
I have to give Farer credit for creating a very nice timepiece. The review model we received was fitted with a tan leather strap and it really compliments the dial color very well. When you order a Lander III on the Farer website, you have the choice of five different leather straps: tan, chestnut, navy, black, or green. From what I can see on the website I would choose the tan version that we received and it’s also the most popular color combination. But I do think I would change the tan strap and replace it with a lighter sand-colored suede strap. Just because I like that color more and it creates an even bigger contrast with the dial.
It’s the only thing I can think of that I would change, to be honest. Farer has created a cleverly designed watch with the Lander II GMT that features an incredible dial and comes at a great price. Besides that, a GMT function is one of the most practical complications a watch can have and one I use from time to time whenever I am traveling. The Lander II Farer proves that the great success the brand has is based on clever thinking and creating great products.
At this price point, it is very hard to find any other watch that can compete with the Lander based on good looks and technical features. My guess is that the new production run of 150 individually numbered Lander III’s will sell out in no time so be quick if you want one. I can assure you, if you do, that dial will never get boring! Learn more about Farer here.