This year, it seems as though every man and his dog is jumping on the bandwagon and releasing colourful watches. Not that that is a bad thing. After years of being dominated by conventional vintage reissues, the market had begun to feel stale at times. However, some brands are just releasing current models with a new coloured dial, and that just feels a bit lazy and obvious.
Fortunately, British brand Farer are here to show those brands how it’s done with their latest release, the AquaMatic. This new dive watch comes in four bold colour ways, each named after a popular surfing location (or a wave in the case of the Cribbar) in the UK.
The model Farer lent me for this review is the Thurso, which is named after a popular surfing spot in Scotland, and is available to purchase for £895.
A Bright Pop Of Colour
As I’ve come to expect from Farer, the design is distinctly theirs, and the watch doesn’t feel like it’s drawn inspiration from any previous model. The AquaMatic employs some of Farer’s boldest use of colour to date, and I’m particularly fond of the combination used on the Thurso.
The bold teal of the bezel frames the dial perfectly, and allows for a vibrant pop of colour without overpowering the dial, which is itself mainly a bead blasted silver. Meanwhile, the orange minute track and mint green hour markers provide further bursts of complementary colours. These elements work together in perfect harmony to produce a watch that looks very bright and summery, without being overly complex or gimmicky.
And, as usual with Farer, the devil is in the details. The design is littered with small touches that I think raise the design up above those used on most other dive watches. Such details include the use of negative space on the minute track to denote the hour markers, a day wheel that’s colour matched to be the same orange as the minute track, and the incorporation of Farer’s logo into the hour and minute hands, along with the bezel.
Another neat feature that I just have to mention is that the rehaut has been polished to a mirror finish. You won’t notice it most of the time, but at extreme angles you can see the dial reflected perfectly in the rehaut. It’s a small thing, but the effect is fantastic, and I can’t recall seeing it on other watches.
An Uncompromising Dive Watch
Despite the Thurso’s bright and playful colour scheme the watch is still a proper dive watch at heart. The AquaMatics have 200m of water resistance, a screw-down crown, and a sapphire crystal. The crystal has an anti-reflective coating on both sides, which helps reduce glare and improve legibility. The dial markers and handset are big and bold, which makes them exceptionally legible. They’re also packed with Super-LumiNova, and so glow very brightly in the dark.
For the movement Farer chose to use the reliable Sellita SW220-1 movement. This automatic Swiss calibre is known for its reliability, and features 26-jewels and a 41-hour power reserve.
All of this makes the Thurso a very practical tool watch, should you wish to use it as one, and it’s nice to see that Farer have not compromised the watch’s functionality for the sake of design.
How The Watch Wears
The AquaMatics have a 38.5mm steel case, which wears on the smaller side thanks to a short lug to lug of 45mm. The watch is just 11.9mm thick, so it sits very unobtrusively on the wrist. Overall the dimensions are perfect for a unisex watch, and the Thurso is certainly a watch that anyone could pull off.
Three Straps For The Price Of One
The AquaMatics come with three straps. A jubilee-style steel bracelet, a fitted rubber strap, and a NATO. I was pleased to see that all three options come with quick-release spring bars, which makes it very simple to swap between each option as the mood takes you. The steel bracelet is easily the most sombre choice of the three, and the brushed steel gives the watch a toolish look.
The fitted rubber strap is definitely my favourite option of the three. It fits flush against the case, and the bright teal of the rubber perfectly complements the colours of the Thurso. The strap is exceptionally well made, and very supple, which makes it exceptionally comfortable.
The NATO is soft and comfortable with chunky steel hardware. It’s a perfectly good strap, but I prefer the slightly more muted teal of the rubber strap a better match to the watch than the bright orange of the NATO.
The AquaMatic collection is clearly designed to stand out from the crowd, and the Thurso is certainly not a “me too” piece. The masterful use of colour sets the watch apart from the standard humdrum dive watches offered by other brands, and makes the watch perfect for the summer months.
As expected, the watch is of excellent quality, and Farer hasn’t compromised on that in order to focus on the aesthetics. The watch might be a bit on the small side for those with larger wrists, but it’s a good all-round size for both men and women. And, as someone who likes to change the straps on his watches fairly regularly, it’s also pleasing to see multiple straps offered in one package. Each option changes the look of the watch considerably, and the quality of each is excellent. Indeed, the quality of the watch overall is superb, and the finishing is top notch. I could easily see this watch selling at a higher retail price, and I think that the Thurso is a bargain at £895.
The AquaMatics can be purchased directly from Farer’s website here.