Farr + Swit is a new Chicago USA based microbrand that has recently introduced its first watches, the Seaplane Automatic Midnight Landing and the Seaplane Automatic Day Trip. Founded by three watch guys, Adam Farrand Hodge, Andrew Paetzol and Zach Switalski. Both of these watches are being made in a limited numbered edition of 500 pieces each and they are intended for pilot and dive use. I believe this explains the “Seaplane” portion of the watch’s name. The watches are assembled by hand in the USA, in Mentor, Ohio. Instead of a display box, which is rarely of any use to the collector, each watch is shipped with a 5L dry bag. I would really like all watch brands to include a bag, travel case or watch roll with each watch.
Both watches are powered by Swiss Sellita SW200-1 movements, the upgraded version of the SW200, resulting in greater shock resistance. This movement has become the choice of more and more watch makers using Swiss automatic movements due to it’s better availability and lower cost than the ETA 2824, It is a 28,800 bph, 26 jewel, 38 hour workhorse and uses the Novodiac shock absorber, which is used on the Standard and Special grades of this movement. Both watches are made of 316L stainless steel. The only difference between them is the Midnight Landing case, bezel edge and strap clasp are finished in a black PVD coating. The Day Trip case, bezel edge and strap clasp is totally finished in brushed stainless steel. All other components of these watches are identical.
The sapphire bezel inserts used on these watches are almost flat, while the slightly raised flat sapphire crystals have beveled edges that are slightly raised above the inner edge of the bezel. White markers on black are the bezel’s color scheme and a blue with white outlined triangle is the lume pip. The bezels and watch face use SuperLuminova on the normally white 20, 30, 40 and 50 underlined minute numerals as well as on the seven lumed indices at 5, 10, 15, 25, 35, 45 and 55 minute positions. The 120 click unidirectional bezels have a small amount of back play and turn with a very satisfying clicking sound. The stainless steel beveled bezels are edged with eight groups of five carefully engraved grooves which look great and give a good grip without feeling sharp to the touch. The bezel is flush with the vertical sides of this watch case, a nice touch.
The black faces on these watches use a unique horizontal wave pattern on the lower half of the face. Small white stars in the night sky are discreetly printed on the upper half of the face. Under the 12 o’clock position on the face is the brand name, while the area around the 6 o’clock position on the face is printed with a seaplane, the watch model name (Seaplane Automatic) as well as the watch’s 330 ft/100 meter water resistance rating. ‘The exhibition screw down case backs are beautifully engraved with pertinent watch information. The identical watch faces use long rectangular indices at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 positions. Shorter indices are behind the numerals 6, 9 and 12 with a very short indice behind the 3 o’clock black on white date window. The blue rehaut (which matches the blue on the diamond shaped hour/minute hands and the bezel triangle) is sloped and finished with 60 each, white minute/second markings. The needle like second hand slightly tapers from it’s tail and is also white, lumed and uses a very nice open lollipop near it’s tip.
Dimensions on this watch are 43mm in diameter, 12.6mm thick, 22mm strap lug width and just over 50mm lug to lug. I find this watch to be suitable for average and larger size wrists with a carefully executed conservative design. The well shaped, integrated, protective crown guard works perfectly with the solid and substantial gear edged, smooth, domed topped crown. Both watches are offered with your choice of straps. My examples both came with very comfortable and well made, signed, deployment clasp leather backed straps with matching blue stitching on the black rubber or silicone outer layer of the strap. The stainless steel of each deployment clasp is finished to match the watch case and there is one fixed and one loose strap loop made from what appears to be the same waffle square rubber/silicone type material used on the outer strap layer. The strap has eight almost rectangular holes that work exactly as they should.
The only thing I would like to see changed on the Seaplane Automatic is the hour and minute hands. I prefer hands that are thicker and slightly longer using a more pronounced stick or blade design. For a general outdoor activity dive/pilot watch that is very well made using a top quality Swiss movement, this is a great first watch from Farr + Swit. In PVD black the watch is $649 and in stainless steel it is $629. The watches come with a 1 year standard warranty or a 2 year warranty with registration. Shipping is free. farrandswit.com
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.