Precision, September 2019

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Anyone with an interest in watches will know there’s no shortage of UK-based brands, the majority of which design their offerings here and have them produced overseas, usually by private label manufacturers in Asia or, more rarely, Switzerland.

One of the most interesting to fall into the latter category is Farer, which was founded in 2015 by a group of watch-loving entrepreneurs headed by Paul Sweetenham, the former boss of TJX Europe (parent company of TK Maxx, among other firms) who has used his retail experience to build the brand into a true force to be reckoned with.

Having launched with a range of good-looking quartz-powered models, Farer began to attract a growing following with the introduction of its first mechanical watches in 2016, and has now added a comprehensive range of manual wind and automatic pieces, including chronograph, GMT, time-only and dive variations.

Every offering in the range is designed at Farer’s London studio, with production being entrusted to one of Switzerland’s leading manufacturers – Roventa-Henex – that operates under the radar to produce watches for some of the biggest brands.

But what makes Farer especially interesting is that Sweetenham is a huge car enthusiast, who maintains a constantly evolving collection of around a dozen classics, all of which he drives regularly.

His love of cars has led to models in the line-up being named after celebrated characters from the motor sport world, including land speed record holders John Cobb and Henry Segrave.

The launch of a new watch is often taken as all the excuse that’s needed to take a road trip in one of the fleet, with a 1969 Aston Martin DBS being driven to the Scottish Highlands for the introduction of the 37mm hand-wound collection, and a 1962 Jaguar E-Type being piloted to Switzerland to announce the GMT models.

Farer’s retro dials have a stand-out look thanks to their interesting colours – many being taken from old Porsche and Jaguar paint charts. The sea-green on the Lander II GMT is an exact replica of a paint option available to Porsche 356 buyers in 1956.

Visitors to September’s Bernina Gran Turismo hillclimb will see the top drivers  awarded special editions of a hand-wound chronograph, 20 further examples of which will also be available to buy during the event.

We would recommend the Segrave chronograph – it’s a great driver’s watch and, thanks to the firm’s direct selling method, it doesn’t cost a fortune.

£1675. farer.com


Few would disagree that Petter Solberg and his son Oliver stole the show at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, so affordable watch brand T.W. Steel must be pleased to have recently signed Solberg senior as its latest ambassador. Founded in 2005 by the then 23-year-old Dutchman Jordy Cobelens, the big watch specialist now has a suitably extensive range. We especially like this military-styled quartz movement Maverick MS124 chronograph.

£349. twsteel.com.


French car enthusiast Bernard Richards – founder of B.R.M – has forged partnerships with several motor sport teams over the brand’s 17-year history, Corvette Racing being among them. It is also the official timing partner at several race circuits and claims that over 1000 racing drivers around the world wear B.R.M products. This year, B.R.M was the official watch maker of the Monaco International Motor Show and produced this special V12-44-GT-Monaco.

£6650. brm-manufacture.com.


Motor Sport’s monthly watch review Precision is written by renowned luxury goods specialist Simon de Burton

 

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