British independent brand Farer has built a distinct design language over the years, with bright and unexpected colors playing a central role in its signature aesthetic. Although a fairly wide assortment of different models exists within its catalog, all of Farer’s watches are united by their unique use of color, and the brand has successfully applied this approach to everything from chunky divers to refined dress watches. As its latest new release of 2023, Farer has created a new line of manually wound chronographs, and the new Farer Chrono-Contempo collection makes its debut appearance in two different styles, with each one inspired by a vibrant London street.
While the two different Farer Chrono-Contempo watches are fitted with different dials, hands, and bezels, both models feature the same stainless steel case that is characterized by concave “ski-slope” lugs that have large polished chamfers with a very slight upward curve at their tips. As far as dimensions, the case of the Farer Chrono-Contempo measures 38.5mm in diameter by 11.5mm thick, although the total height of the watch comes in at 13.4mm once you factor in the domed sapphire crystal that sticks up above the rim of the bezel. The curved lugs are spaced a standard 20mm apart and extend to create an overall lug-to-lug profile of 43.7mm, while the total distance from one springbar to the other measures 40mm.
Surrounding the domed crystal of the Farer Chrono-Contempo is a bidirectional rotating bezel that is fitted with a ceramic insert, and since measuring elapsed time can be achieved by using the chronograph, the bezel insert features a 12-hour scale finished with Super-LumiNova BGW9 for quick access to a secondary time zone. The reverse side of the Chrono-Contempo receives a display-style caseback to showcase its manually-wound chronograph movement, and it is secured around the perimeter by four small screws to help support the watch’s 100 meters of water resistance. Meanwhile, on the right-hand side of the case is a signed winding crown flanked by a set of pushers for the chronograph, and the crown features the brand’s signature bronze cap that is embossed with the Farer “A” logo.
The first of the two Farer Chrono-Contempo models is known as the Chalcot, and it is named after Chalcot Square in London, where the facades of the terraced houses are painted in a variety of bright pastel colors. Featuring a mint green dial with a grain-textured finish and a trio of recessed registers, the Chalcot version of the Chrono-Contempo is Farer’s take on a “Big Eye” chronograph, and it features a minute totalizer at 3 o’clock that is both larger than the other two sub-dials and finished in a crisp shade of white.
The applied hour markers on the dial of the Farer Chrono-Contempo Chalcot are filled with Super-LumiNova BGW9 to aid with low-light visibility, while the hands are painted entirely white and filled with mint green lume to complement the dial. The ceramic bezel insert on the Chalcot version appears in a dark shade of blue, while the centrally-mounted chronograph seconds hand is bright orange and provides the watch with Farer’s signature use of color.
The other Chrono-Contempo model is known as the Portobello, and rather than being named after the popular variety of edible mushrooms, this watch is inspired by the colorful buildings that line London’s Portobello Road. Like its Chalcot sibling, the Farer Chrono-Contempo Portobello features a three-register layout, although it opts for a more traditional approach with all three of its recessed sub-dials appearing the same size and color. The dial itself is dark blue with a textured “chocolate bar” pattern on its surface, the chronograph registers are black, and surrounding the dial is a thin white contrasting ring that contains the markings for the minute track.
The applied hour markers on the Farer Chrono-Contempo Portobello offer a different design compared to the style found on the Chalcot, and they feature a taped shape with polished facets, while the handset also receives a polished finish with dark blue center sections to match the dial. The hour markers and hands on the Chrono-Contempo Portobello all receive an application of Super-LumiNova BGW9, and to provide the watch with Farer’s signature dose of color, the ceramic bezel insert appears in a bright shade of orange.
Since the differences between the Chalcot and Portobello versions of the Farer Chrono-Contempo are purely cosmetic, both watches are powered by the same Elaboré grade Sellita Caliber SW510M b manual-wind chronograph movement. Running at a frequency of 28.800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 63 hours, the Sellita SW510M b is essentially the manually-wound version of the standard Sellita SW510, which itself is based upon the core architecture of the familiar ETA/Valjoux 7750. A proven design that is trusted by a number of different brands throughout the industry, the Sellita SW510M b offers no real surprises, and the version fitted to the new Farer Chrono-Contempo collection is decorated with perlage, blued screws, and a custom engraved upper bridge.
Similar to other Farer watches, the new Chrono-Contempo models are available with a handful of different strap options, and the brand lets customers choose their favorite when ordering from its website. Two-piece St. Venere leather straps are available in several different colors such as black, brown, blue, and tan, although the Farer Chrono-Contempo is also offered with a blue rubber strap that features a textured outer surface and fitted ends that form an integrated appearance with the lugs. Additionally, Farer sells its straps separately on its website, and all of the various strap options connect to the lugs with integrated quick-release spring bars to allow owners to swap them back and forth without the use of any tools.
Rather than just being two different colorways of the exact same model, each of the new Farer Chrono-Contempo watches offers its own distinct aesthetic. With that in mind, despite their differences, the Chalcot and Portobello versions of the new Farer Chrono-Contempo cost exactly the same, and both models are accompanied by an official retail price of $1,850 USD, which makes them slightly less expensive than the other two chronographs that are currently part of Farer’s lineup. Given that this price point makes the new Chrono-Contempo more affordable than comparable options from brands such as Hamilton and Tissot, this latest release from Farer ultimately presents a rather compelling option within the landscape of mechanical chronographs, and it pairs a proven Swiss-made movement with the brand’s signature colorful design language. For more information on the Farer Chrono-Contempo collection, please visit the brand’s website.