HANDS ON – The Farer Segrave Monopusher Chronograph delivers a big eye with a colourful twistMike Christensen
Pride is not an emotion I often overplay when it comes to my Britishness, but last week while dipping in and out of appointments around Switzerland’s prettiest city for Geneva Watch Days I was brimming with the stuff – emanating predominately from my left wrist.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a place where the ratio of wrist candy is greater than in Geneva. For the most ardent of watch lovers it’s a dream scenario – endless watch spotting of the highest order, so add the Swiss industry’s only physical watch fair on home soil this year to the equation and as you can imagine the “what are you wearing” stakes were as high as ever.
With Pateks, Rolexes and Omegas crossing paths at a high frequency, I was proud to add Farer to that list. Tucked under – but purposefully not covered by – a customised denim jacket, sat the British brand’s latest Segrave Monopusher Chronograph. As you’ll have already gathered, I was more than happy to parade it around in all its glory but must confess I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of attention the watch garnered and how many people came in for a closer look. I wasn’t exactly being Shawn Mendes-esque hassled, but each and every time I flashed the watch’s asymmetric “big eye” 30-minute sub dial on demand, let’s just say the reaction was positive.
For the non-Farer followers out there, a bit of background for you. Farer was established in the UK in 2015 and is at the forefront of the British watch industry’s recent rise in notoriety alongside Bremont, Christopher Ward and Fears. Where Swiss brands boast heritage and unparalleled precision-making, Farer takes a fresher approach to the industry and has gradually gained a reputation for its simple but daring design and flashes of bright colour – but importantly not for colour’s sake.
Featuring a trio of energetic hued hands (sky blue, signal orange and teal) all moving around the dial, this new Segrave is no exception to the rule. Besides the allure of being a monopusher chronograph – in my mind a most curious watch type given its perceived limitations compared to the two-pusher design – for me this timepiece adds horological fun and character to the humble chronograph. Day to day, my life is much the same as the “start, stop, reset” feature of a monopusher, and while some people like to press pause on the day before continuing as they were, I’m more full throttle until the end, then hit the hay and go again tomorrow. It is a simpler, more traditional, more stripped back approach to life before things became more complicated and is similarly so in the horology stakes, in the sense that the monopusher is the OG in terms of pure form and function, superseding the more modern two-buttoned chrono.
Intentional or not, for the Segrave I like that Farer plays with this rationale because as a relative baby in the grand-watchmaking scheme of things, it’s a nice way of including an ode to the industry’s rich history as a whole as well as being a decent example of how to subtly breathe new life into something.
I like the imperfection of the watch not being symmetrical (one button at two o’clock above the crown) and for someone who has a large but bony wrist, it’s important to note that at 40.5mm thanks to the rather masculine lugs, it hugs my forearm adorably and is comfortable to wear and elegant to catch a glimpse of. At under £1800, it is also an affordable tool watch when you consider there are far more expensive and complex timepieces knocking around.
Practically speaking, I used the stopwatch-built-within-the-watch to time a few rounds of hide and seek with my kids and I may or may not have been distracted by the smooth nature of the delicate blue split hand gliding around and over the two subdials on the dial. As I said earlier, ample Genevan attention was afforded to the rather stealth black matte dial that, when caught in the September sunlight, draws the eye to all the more discreet details of this piece – like teal and signal orange sub-dial counters, the lettering details in the same orange and the date at six o’clock. The harlequin-engraved flanks are another noticeable aesthetic to bear in mind, again adding elegance and charm to the overall proposition and by night you have the mint green Super-LumiNova infills on the sword-style hour and minute hands coming out to play too. The Segrave is available with three quick-release St Venere leather strap options and my favourite from Aragosta Orange, Marine Blue and Agave Green – despite my love of lobster and the sea – is the latter. Might I add, how good is the job of coming up with colour names?
A word as well on the movement inside which keeps time ticking along very smoothly for a watch under £2K. Powered by the new Swiss-made Sellita SW510 MP Elaboré – Elaboré upping the ante on the more standard-practice SW510 MP – it has a handy and enhanced reserve of up to 62 hours, which powers a whole lot of pride, not to mention hours of hide and seek.
For more information on the Farer Segrave Monopusher Chronograph, visit farer.com. This watch retails at £1750/US$1995.