I’ve spoken about the British Invasion before, as it pertains to watches. There is a load of brands coming out of the UK right now offering a huge variety of watches. You’ve got the high-end tool watches of Bremont, the high-value timepieces of Christopher Ward, the classically British (and historic) charm of Fears, and no fewer than a dozen other serious contenders for your money (sterling or otherwise). To me, Farer is where you go for something fun. The brand’s designs are incredibly diverse and have never shied away from a healthy dose of color (check out the Aquamatic line for the fullest effect). On top of that, the brand has nestled itself into a nice price range from around $900 to $2,400, with most of its models priced between $1000 and $2000. It’s a challenging segment that forces brands to make themselves stand out while also maintaining wide appeal. Farer has opted to use classic designs with engaging splashes of color, and it’s back again with just that: a new 36mm version of its Three Hand Automatic in an array of colors. Considered herein is the Farer 36mm Three Hand Discovery Red, and it’s absolutely lovely.
With a 12-3-6-9 dial, the Discovery name, and, shall we say, a classically styled 36mm case, my mind went to certain vintage Rolexes when I first glimpsed the Farer 36mm Three Hand Discovery Red. I soon realized that those similarities are shallow, and the Farer, like its brand siblings, is very much doing its own thing. The new 36mm line also comes in a salmon or white dial with Arabic numerals and a black dial with baton markers and 12 and 6 numerals (with hollow syringe hands). That said, I think the Red is the best option, as it has a greater pop and more engaging dial than the others. The 10.4mm case is fully polished save for the tops of the 20mm lugs, while the 3 o’clock pull-out crown is set with a brass cap embossed with the Farer logo. On a proper strap, the watch sits perfectly on the wrist with an easy-to-manage 41.2mm lug-to-lug, though, obviously, that size is not for everybody. This is a small watch by modern standards (though perhaps not for long), and anyone who hasn’t yet realized that they can wear any size and enjoy it (I pity you), may prefer to look at the original Three Hand collection, which clocks in at 39.5mm.
I want to talk a bit more than usual about the strap because it’s the only thing I didn’t like about the watch. The stock red strap is too thick for this watch. (Never mind that it’s also too stiff, which nowadays is unforgivable, but not uncommon and so not the point here). The red strap is of fine quality, but it’s the thickness that makes it incompatible. My immediate thought was, “This belongs on a chronograph” because it dwarfs the lugs and due to the stiffness, the watch head fights the rigidity of the strap, shifting on the wrist instead of sitting neatly where it belongs. As such, I immediately changed the strap to thinner options, all of which made the entire experience more enjoyable.
As you can see throughout the review, the Farer Three Hannd Discovery dial has some real color range. In a full blast of light, it can play almost fire engine red, though most of the time you’ll find it a deeper cherry red, true to Farer’s own description. It’s this variability that makes the dial so lovely though—you never know when that brighter shade is going to pop out, and if you’re like me, you’ll catch yourself in public tilting and turning it trying to get the color you’re in the mood for (and looking rather silly doing so). And it’s not just the color, it’s the dual and dueling finishes, both brushed but separated into a central circle and outer ring. At the far edge of the dial, small cutouts mark the minutes along with 5-minute numerals. The cutouts can be a bit difficult to make out in certain lights, though, which occasionally annoys when setting the watch. Set atop the outer ring are lumed Arabic and baton indices with polished surrounds, while the syringe-style hands are similarly finished. The Super-LumiNova is strikingly bright on the dial, to the degree that even when I returned to brighter environs, a subtle green glow remained.
Running inside is a Swiss La Joux-Perret G101. This is part of Citizen-owned La Joux-Perret’s more recent push to offer ETA alternatives. In this case, it’s the manufacture’s take on the 2824, though it is not exactly a clone, like the Sellita SW200. Though LJP goes as far as to say the G100 series is interchangeable with its ETA counterparts. As far as its layout, the G101 is closer, in fact, to the Miyota 9015 (not a shock considering that Citizen owns both), except that it features improved components and specs. The G101 runs at 28,800, with 24 jewels and a competition-obliterating 68-hour power reserve. For my part, I’m excited to see another legitimate contender in this space. Whereas the options used to be Sellita or ETA, brands can now choose from STP, La Joux-Perret, Soprod, and a few others for run-of-the-mill date/no-date movements. And more, need I remind you, is better.
There’s a lot to like here: the proportions are just right, the dial is vibrant with great legibility, and for those who care, it’s got a newcomer movement that’s poised to be a proper challenger to more common options. Forgetting and forgiving the strap issue, the Farer 36mm Three Hand Discovery Red is an excellent addition not just to the brand’s catalog, but to the expanding list of new 36mm watches being offered. The watch is priced at $995 USD and available directly from Farer. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.
>Model: 36mm Three Hand Discovery Red
>Price: $995 USD
>Size: 36mm-wide, 10.4mm-thick, 41.2mm lug-to-lug, 20mm lugs
>When reviewer would personally wear it: To brighten up an outfit—or my whole day
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone with a smaller wrist who’s looking for a pop of solid color in his or her collection
>Best characteristic of watch: Vibrant, dual-finish cherry red dial
>Worst characteristic of watch: Included strap is far too thick, minute hashes are hard to make out