Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

By combining British design with Swiss production and movements at fair prices, Farer have carved out a niche in a micro brand market which is now anything but micro. Introduced through direct to consumer watch sales in 2015 with no less than nine Swiss quartz-powered models, Farer have expanded their range several times. First, Farer added three ETA 2824-2 equipped models, and then very recently launched another new collection of three GMT automatic watches; the Oxley, Lander, and Ponting. In for review here is the black dialed Farer Oxley GMT Automatic, a distinctively styled, ETA 2893-2 Top Grade equipped watch at a price heretofore considered improbable for a uniquely designed, Swiss made automatic GMT watch.

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The model I chose to review is the Oxley, mostly because I like how the matte black dial contrasts with the stark white twenty-four hour surrounding. By the way, the Oxley is named for John Oxley, a Royal Navy veteran who later became an explorer and surveyor in Australia at the beginning of the 1800s. Oxley is best remembered for mapping the Tweed and Brisbane Rivers in New South Wales and was almost certainly a hard man who could have put the watch which now bears his name to good use. One can almost imagine John Oxley, having just fought off a fearsome pack of koala bears, squinting in the bright sunlight to check the Oxley's dial...

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

At a glance, the Farer Oxley’s dial is clean, organized, and memorable. There are a heck of a lot of various design nods coming at you from the contrasting white twenty-four hour chapter ring, to the syringe hands, all the way to the applied numerals. Despite the wealth of visual information, the whole thing viewed together is well done and highly legible. It’s one of the most balanced and interesting original watch dials you can get from a small company. This is also a good place to note that, design wise, Farer basically started from scratch with the intention of making a new piece.

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Oxley (and indeed Farer’s whole line) is refreshingly not an homage to any particular watch. What Farer have done is incorporate several base design concepts (primarily from iconic watches of the '50s and '60s) into a package which is actually new. It’s as though Farer have written a new book with design characters we are familiar with and fond of. Try as I might, I can’t work the phrase “this watch is inspired by” into this article. Originality like what we're seeing in this dial design, especially with the use of color, is a beautiful and rare thing in this industry.

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Colors other than black and white, often difficult to artfully integrate into watch design, are sprinkled as if by Salt Bae into the design of the Oxley dial. The narrow, burnt orange syringe hands (filled with Super-LumiNova) are outlined in orange. Second timezone duties are handled with a green hand which is devoid of lume, as you’d expect. Tracking of the seconds is negotiated by a super long white hand with a blue lume-filled tip which looks like it could almost touch the inside of the crystal. For a lot of watches, and indeed a lot of brands, this set of colors wouldn’t all work together harmoniously. On the Oxley, it just does. Some much larger brands have a thing or two to learn here about color's place in modern watch design. Maybe orange and blue aren’t the only options for your watch dial other than the traditional black and white. Once you’ve managed to look away from the dial, there’s actually quite a bit more with the Oxley which is worthy of notice, starting with the case.

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Farer’s full name is Farer Universal and that name has a lot to do with their cases. They are universally 39.5mm in size, fairly thin at around 10mm, and have a uniform 20mm lug width. This universality allows Farer to be a brand for both men and women and shows a more progressive approach to the often narrow watch customer base. In fact, the Oxley has become the watch from my collection which is most likely to be borrowed by my wife and the case size is a big reason.

Farer Oxley GMT Automatic Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The case itself is a fairly straightforward, rounded shape with polished sides, a brushed top, and a thin polished bezel just under the crystal. Farer's use of a somewhat more reserved case design allows the rest of the watch, particularly the dial and excellent crystal, to literally and figuratively shine. Complimenting the case is the Farer signed and tapered crown which is unexpectedly made of bronze. The choice of bronze for the crown is an interesting design choice as the crown will naturally patina and give the Oxley even more individuality and character over time. Coming back around to the universality idea, all of Farer's pieces have the bronze crown.

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (65)
  • I want it! (50)
  • Interesting (23)
  • I love it! (22)
  • Classy (12)
  • Dr. Renato Lazarus

    Colorful & Handsome…not unlike some guy that hangs ’round these parts…he’s also NOT delusional.

  • Pete Pete

    oh boy, british design? I believe the word “minger” is what british people would use for this fugly thing.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      We would use the word minger ( noun ) to describe a person
      We would use the word minging ( adjective ) to describe a thing / object.
      In context ” Look at that minger ower there, and look at his minging watch “

  • P. Leavell

    Nice peace not over stated but still colorful. Decent drive , affordable. Funky l would buy it because it different !

  • commentator bob

    The lack of a rotating bezel and the ETA 2893-2 make this watch fail. A proper GMT needs a rotating bezel (it can be an internal bezel) and a movement with an independently adjustable 12 hour hand, NOT 24 hour hand. Rolex, Omega and Grand Seiko movements get this right. If you are going to settle for a 2893-2 watch the best choice, by far, is the Glycine Airman. Glycine invented the multiple time-zone pilot watch design with the Airman, introduced a year before the Rolex GMT. The GL0064 42 MM blue dial bracelet version below is $1,750 retail, $749 grey (Joma). https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29e8117f274a8702f718f2cd00ff857fc86349b8a3697e85a8773267495b86e8.jpg

    • A rotating bezel is not necessary for a “proper” GMT. It’s only necessary for reading a third time zone, which, for most travelers, is one time zone too many. A “proper” GMT only needs the ability to set one indicator to, well, GMT. The ability to quickset the hour hand is an altogether other argument. I have an 90’s model Omega Seamaster GMT with the quickset hour hand, but for such a feature, I lose the quickset date. Guess which one I’d rather have?

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/17ba964e5b2d2fdabcabacc02014a842ed1095ea2d08aff42b41d546e843547e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/836722f8254b2b427642d3523a9ee7ee9815568fb202f0e87b99acb4444d4640.jpg

      • commentator bob

        The watches you picture lose the quick-set date function also, and, because they lack rotating bezels, are inferior to the Rolex GMT Master II and Grand Seiko SBGE001.

        • Don’t know much about Seikos outside of their dive watches, but the GMT Master II has the exact same 3186 movement as the Exp II. I wouldn’t mark a watch as “inferior” to another because it doesn’t have a third time zone ability. I would say it’s “different”. My aforementioned Omega can track two time zones AND it has a dive bezel AND twice the water resistance. Is the GMT Master II inferior to the Omega?

          • commentator bob

            Your Omega is a better dive watch, the Rolex GMT Master II is a better travel watch.

            The Explorer II is inferior to the GMT Master II as reflected in both new and used pricing.

          • Nonsense. The MSRP of a new GMT Master II in steel is $8450. The MSRP of the Exp 2 is $8100. The price discrepancy is due to the manufacturing and parts cost of the bezel in the GMT Master. It costs *more* because there’s *more of it*. The pre-owned market is an altogether different animal, as prices reflect rarity and desirability trends. A Rolex Sub 16610LV 50th Anniversary on the used market has an average cost of about $9,500. And that’s *used*. The MSRP of a brand new Sub 116610LN is $8550, street, about $8400. Average pre-owned price is about $7800. If *function* is the only metric by which you compare the two models, the 116610LN should be more expensive than the 16610LV, as it is, in every way, shape and form, technically superior. But it’s not. So it’s not.

            The MSRP of a base model Mercedes SLC 300 $47,950. The MSRP of a base model Ford F-450 Super Duty is $53,945. Would you say that the Mercedes is inferior to the Ford?

          • commentator bob

            And Omega and Grand Seiko.

      • IG

        On a proper GMT watch the rotating bezel is for setting the home time between standard and daylight saving time without resetting the GMT/minute hand, keeping them always on GMT time.

    • You don’t need a rotating bezel to track a second time zone with the 2893-2. You set the GMT hand to the fixed 24h internal marking and you automatically see the time on the second time zone.

      In the first photo the second time zone shows 3:08pm or 15:08. If you change the GMT hand to say, 18:00 you don’t affect the main hour hand and the second time zone would show 18:08.

      The 24h rotating bezel can be used to track a second time zone (when there is no GMT hand) or a third one when there is a GMT hand.

      • commentator bob

        If you are travelling and need to set your watch to a new time zone the quick-set hour hand in a Rolex/Omega/Grand Seiko is much better. If you are a secretary tracking the time zone of your boss then a 2893-2 is fine.

        • The idea of a GMT watch is to display two timezones at once. I work a lot with people from different times zones and I need to know mine and their local time in order to plan my calls/emails. The quick-set hour hand is very useful indeed, but it has nothing to do with the primary function of a GMT watch.

        • ndre

          I will never get these comments. Most times I am travelling, I stay in the new country for more than the couple of minutes (tops) it would require to set the time on this.

          • Of course the quick-set for the hour is very (more) useful. That is not the point. The argument is whether a GMT watch is defined by a quick set hour and a rotating bezel — which if it is, then that would make the original Rolex GMT *NOT* a GMT watch.

  • Marius

    I have always been an unconditional supporter of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (also known as SAX, SarbOx, or SOA).

    • BNABOD

      Different Oxley ….so how about that watch

    • Berndt Norten

      I loves me a rare Sarbanes Oxfilet

    • egznyc

      SOX. Neither red nor white.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Are you an accountant or Auditor?

  • One definitely senses the excitement and joy of ownership of this piece in the article; sometimes reviews tend to come across as more of a gushing press release than an honest appreciation of form and function. This one does not. The overall design is clean, novel, legible, and the bronze crown goes a long way towards forging brand identity.

    But, one thing I take issue with:

    “For a lot of watches, and indeed a lot of brands, this set of colors
    wouldn’t all work together harmoniously. On the Oxley, it just does.”

    I, respectfully, disagree. The handset looks as though it came off a completely different watch. Not because of the colors themselves, but the application. Applied hour markers + painted colored hands = visual incongruity. Which, in and of itself, and used sparingly is not necessarily a bad thing, but here it’s a bit overwhelming. A bronze (or at the very least, bronze colored GMT hand) would have really cemented the overall look. Looking at their online catalog, I guess color is sort of their “thing,” and as it all comes down to personal preference, I prefer the way the “Lander” model incorporates color into the design. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/766baf2d547760f7c6fd66acf864464b5e225dcbb0965e118388b33ef8eb6e1b.jpg

  • Yan Fin

    Specs seem attractive, price should drop below 1K to sell. Maybe change the caseback to solid. However altogether the watch looks somehow bulky. Not impressed.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Put up a picture of your ARSA. I like them. They originally made the movement that is now the Unitas 6497 or 6498.

      Would like to have a look.

  • SuperStrapper

    it’s notbinattractive nor is it inappropriately priced. Just no interest here. The brand, however, I do like.

  • BNABOD

    Kind of a leave it or love it here isn’t it. The bronze crown will irk some people the colored hands will butt hurt others but that is the beauty of this useless hobby. I personally like it quite a bit. Good size but how thick is it? Since 39mm ish if you go more than 12mm thick it will look odd. Can tell you my gs gmt is 39/14 and 14 is way too thick for that watch. Either way it is a good effort though. The price isn’t bad, maybe shave off a couple hundred, get rid of the bracelet (this is a vintage all the way strap on something like this) and there u go. 1000 to 1200 seems like a fair price.
    Good effort

    • Yan Fin

      10mm thick, see page 1

      • BNABOD

        Missed that thanks

        • Yan Fin

          Does not it look much thicker on the pictures above?

          • BNABOD

            Says 10mm depth on their website so must be picture angle that makes it look taller

  • Omegaboy

    This is a great looking watch – except for the crown. Needs to be stainless and NOT tapered. Love the movement in it. Great choice.

  • Word Merchant

    Because credit is literally free money nowadays, if I was after something of this general price, I’d rather stretch a bit and get the Bell & Ross GMT – https://www.bellross.com/our-collections/vintage/br-v/br-123/br-123-gmt-24h

    • commentator bob

      Anyone considering credit to buy a watch should be looking at this GMT model: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84149be89ca959ff7964dd5753a74db4d1891daad0e28e52adb35524ebc0c225.jpg

      • Word Merchant

        What a unique design! Those clever people at Penis have done it again…

        • Berndt Norten

          Parnis?

          • Raymond Wilkie

            That went right over your head Berndt 🙂

          • Berndt Norten

            explain it to me, please

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Well Word Merchant said penis instead of Parnis to describe Parnis in a very derogatory way on account it’s a pretty crappy name.

          • Word Merchant

            I didn’t actually mean to type in Penis – I’d like to blame autocorrect but it wasn’t that either. So who knows… I’m not going to delve too deeply into my subconscious…

          • egznyc

            Probing deeply can lead to truly penetrating insights.

            As for that Bell & Ross, that’d be stretching by 2.5 times the Farer watch price.

          • Word Merchant

            Sure, but credit… See?

          • egznyc

            Credit, I follow, but you still have to pay it back … with interest. Maybe you’re making a play in words and I’m too dense for it to penetrate …

        • commentator bob

          Not saying a Parnis is a good idea, saying it is less of a bad idea than going into debt on a Bell & Ross.

      • IG

        When I couldn’t vomit by any other means I will look at it.

      • P. Leavell

        Nothing personal but if you can’t afford cash you can’t afford it

        • Berndt Norten

          Not sure I can afford cash. Where do I buy it??

          • P. Leavell

            I’m sorry I don’t know what to answer I don’t want to ruin your guyses fun anymore

  • commentator bob

    To expand on my comment bellow:

    The problem with the ETA 2893-2 that this watch uses is that it has a quick-set 24 hour hand. That makes it a “local” watch (to sit in the office and track your boss).

    The Rolex, Omega and Grand Seiko GMT watches use quick-set 12 hour hands, making them “traveller” or “true GMT” watches.

    If you have, for example, an Omega GMT (Rolex and Grand Seiko work the same), you do the following when landing in a new time zone (assuming you already have the 24 hour hand set to GMT):

    -Pull the crown to the 1st position, and click in one-hour increments to adjust the hour hand to the new time zone (minutes and seconds stay in place and do not require adjustment).
    -Set the bezel to home time.

    If you have an ETA 2893-2 like this watch you do the following:

    -Pull the crown to the 2nd position and adjust the hours, second and minutes to the local time like a traditional watch (both the 12 and 24 hour hand will move together when you do this).
    -Move the crown to the 1st position and move the 24 hour hand back to GMT in one hour increments.
    -Set the bezel to home time (this watch does not even have a rotating bezel to set to home time).

    It may not seem much more complicated, but once you have used a proper “traveller” GMT movement the ETA 2893-2 comes off as very mechanically inferior. I bought a Glycine Airman when the grey prices fell below $1,000, and although I loved its look and finish for the price I sold it because I hated the ETA 2893-2 function. I am hoping that one of the movement makers (e.g. Soprod, Sellita, STP, Eterna) will make a “traveller” GMT movement so that there are legitimate GMT watches outside of Rolex, Omega and Grand Seiko.

    • George

      ^^This times a 1000. I travel a fair bit. And I’m not really a “Rolex guy” (although their functionality on the gmt is fantastic, micro-link extension etc). I tried going complex (Ball world timer), but that is an ENORMOUS PITA to set every time you are in a different time zone because of this exact issue bob talks of. I ended up going with the Seiko GMT because I like the fact that no on (except you guys) really knows what it is

    • otaking241

      In case you’re interested, the Panerai P.9001 (as found in the 320, among others) also functions as a “true” GMT, with the additional bonus that the second hand resets to zero when you pull the crown out to the time setting position. Of course in the 320 the GMT hand only runs on a 12 hour scale so you have to keep track of AM/PM and it also lacks a rotating bezel, but there are other models that have these.

    • Ranchracer

      But how much do the Rolex, Omega, and Grand Seiko cost?

      • commentator bob

        They are pricier, but that is why I want to see more movement makers getting involved.

        • Ranchracer

          Understood and agree.

  • Berndt Norten

    Breaking news. This just in. Incorrigible curmudgeon Berndt Norten just placed an order for an Apple Watch, KRAVITZ RED DOT version. I plan to strap it on my right wrist

    • Dr. Renato Lazarus

      YCBS

      • Berndt Norten

        I get so many texts I figure why not embrace the digital shackles

    • P. Leavell

      I think the red. On the Crowne represents Apple red for Apple

    • Gokart Mozart

      Does it still look better than a normal 2tone Daytona?

  • Rick

    Very enjoyable review to read about an interesting and different watch. However, it would be appreciated if the reviewer could give the important lug to lug distance with the other technical data as this is a rather important stat, especially for those with smaller wrists. Thank you.

  • Ranchracer

    I’m not a GMT guy (don’t travel), nor do I get particularly excited about micro brand releases. This, however, is one of the best values for your money on the market. I’m considering picking up the blue dial version.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I need to get as farer way from this horrible watch ASAP !
    Even the strap is hideous.

    *Clunk™

  • John Stevens

    Seems good value for money although it falls into that price bracket where I feel someone might save up to get something a notch above. I don’t like these Milanese bracelets although they seem to be the thing at the moment, probably because they are appearing on every fashion watch including the horrendous Daniel Wellington’s. I do like the contrast in colours from the hands to the dial and outer track.

  • otaking241

    This rings a couple OCD bells for me:

    – The top ring of mesh in the strap doesn’t line up with the end piece and seems to be pulling
    away on the right side. Design or QC error I don’t know but Do Not Like.
    – Crown looks like it’s a replacement part for the wrong watch. Distinguishing characteristics are fine but this is too cute by half.
    – Two arrow-shaped hands is one too many. Should have reserved this for the GMT hand alone.
    – Don’t all the hands seem a bit too long?

    Sure these are details but this is a hobby where you’re supposed to obsess
    over details. This one comes off as a bit half-baked.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Wow,…and i thought i was picky ! 🙂

    • Mark1884

      I concur!

    • Hands90

      Really well put

  • Anrake

    I have a Farer Ponting and absolutely love it. The unique design with contrasting colors is fantastic. I have several watches from micros to high end brands but never received as many questions or comments as the Farer. It fits perfectly on a somewhat smaller wrist and has become my go-to watch for work. It easily slips under a sleeve or jacket.

  • Mark1884

    Don’t like the watch at all.
    Really like the cute nail polish in pic 16.

  • Ian john horwood

    I hate watches with cheap ugly plastic hands, they have no place on a proper watch. I hate batons and arabic together, it should be one or the other. This watch is no bargain at all at around just short of £1300 in the Uk online only purchase, in fact its a ripoff price.