We were so excited about the release of the Farer Field Watch Collection that we initially ran an On Spec piece. Although it took us a long time, last week we finally got hands on. And I can officially confirm that our early excitement was not misplaced.
The polished case back of the Exmoor Field Automatic is engraved with a lovely mountain rising out of a lake. Beneath it is a single line of text, “ON LAND AND WATER.” This is perhaps my favourite part of the watch. Not the case back itself, but the functionality it pronounces. Other field watches offer decent water resistance. The CWC T20 offers 50m. The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical will get you to 100m. But the Exmoor, through its screw down crown and flat sapphire crystal, boasts a dive watch-worthy 200m. Do you need 200m of water resistance in a field watch? Heck, you probably don’t need it in a dive watch. However, allow me to quote King Lear here: “Reason not the need.”
The number 200 is not what’s important anyway. It’s that screw down crown. In my humble opinion, a tool watch should be over-engineered. A screw down crown simply offers a level of confidence you can trust. And the Exmoor Field Automatic is a watch I feel that I can trust implicitly.
To begin, the Exmoor is constructed with marine-grade 316L stainless steel, making it that much more resistant to corrosion. It is a fashionably comfortable 38.5mm in diameter and a handsome 45mm lug to lug. Despite the elevated water resistance, the watch is only 12.3 mm thick. In silhouette, it is recognizable as a traditional field watch, with a round, fixed bezel and a straightforward design. The finish is a mix of fine brushing—case back excepted. However, one element of surprise here would be the partial crown protectors, which, again, only adds to the robust nature of the build.
Where the Exmoor truly separates itself from other field watches is through its dial. This should come as no surprise to those familiar with the brand. Farer’s use of colour is distinctive. Here the dial is a field of deep, lightly-textured, olive green with stark white numerals and yellow trapezoidal hour markers at the centre. Around the outer edge runs a secondary register for the days of the month. For a dial with so much happening in so little space, it remains pleasantly legible. Two other touches of colour come in the burnt orange elongated pointer date, and the softer blue of the second hand. The syringe-styled, sword handset, like the markers, has been treated in Grade A Super-LumiNova, as well, for a little flash of colour after the dark.
The unique pointer date is brought to you the Sellita SW221-1. This is the first watch I’ve handled with such a rare bird on the inside. It has a built-in anti-shock system and a 38-hour power reserve.
It’s also worth noting that the Exmoor Field Automatic comes not only on the lovely, brushed five-link bracelet featured here, with its butterfly deployant clasp, but also with two reserve straps. One is a padded Horween leather and the other, a nylon NATO. All three are equipped with quick-release spring bar systems.
|Case||316L Brushed Stainless Steel|
45mm Lug to Lug
200m Water Resistance
38-Hour Power Reserve
|Crystal & Dial||Double AR-Coated Sapphire Crystal|
Chapter Ring with Date Indicators
Syringe-styled, Sword Hands /w
Custom Pointer Date
Grade A Super-LumiNova
|Straps||5 Row Integrated Bracelet /w|
Farer Exmoor Field Automatic
On the rugged coast of Southwest England, in the moorland and rolling hills of Somerset and Devon, is Exmoor National Park. It is from here that Farer took inspiration for this reference of the Field Automatic. It’s the perfect incarnation of these windswept downs and steep wooded valleys.
The Exmoor Field Automatic is designed in London and made in Switzerland. Like all of Farer’s timepieces, it bears a 5-year warranty on the movement.
The Exmoor Field Automatic is a ruggedly handsome piece. But I do have one issue: the polished case back. It’s a scratch magnet. You wouldn’t think so, as it spends most of its time against the soft flesh of your wrist; however, just setting it down on your nightstand day in and day out will eventually be enough to scuff the mirror polish.
When you think of field watches—the Explorer, the Ranger, the Khaki—you get the overwhelming sense that form follows function. Farer’s Exmoor Field Automatic is not bereft of that same utilitarian directness. Its case is straightforward and brushed in its entirety. Dial legibility is at the forefront of the design. However, there is also a sense of flair in its achievement of these things. Colour, of course, is essential in the rendering. And texture. But not only that. The pointer date, for one, adds a degree of functionality without disturbing the balance of the dial with a date window, for instance. The slightly asymmetrical case provides crown guard protection, without leaning too heavily into a dive watch aesthetic. On the whole, it is as though Farer has given the ubiquitous field watch a contemporary face lift.
Add to this the Swiss movement and manufacturing, the water resistance, the bracelet, the extra strap options, and it’s difficult not to think of the Exmoor Field Automatic as a value proposition, of sorts. Its certainly in tight against watches like the Seiko Alpinist, for example, which can match its water resistance, and offers a dollop of colour most other competitors do not. But I question whether the build quality and bracelet can really hold up to the Exmoor. And the calibre war must certainly fall to Farer. I’m impressed with the Exmoor Field Automatic. More than many other watches I’ve handled, it deserves the GADA title for “go-anywhere-do-anything” watch. It’s wickedly tempting.
The Farer Exmoor Field Automatic retails for $995USD. For more information on the Farer Field Watch, please visit their website.
About the author
Brent Robillard is a writer, educator, craftsman, and watch enthusiast. He is the author of four novels. You can follow him on Instagram.
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2 thoughts on “Off the Cuff: Farer Exmoor Field Automatic”
Just knew you’d enjoy Farer…,It’s by far one of my favorites, for many of the reasons you and King Lear pointed out… Build quality is beyond expectations and use of color just adds to the Artful play of what each piece truly represents. Glad you liked it Robi👍🏽😎
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Thanks for reading! The quality is obvious here.