Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic

From the Windy City of Chicago comes Farr + Swit, a new microbrand with a nicely thought out debut model, the Seaplane Automatic. This watch is available now at farrandswit.com, and they gave me a turn with both the brushed case Day Trip ($629) and the PVD black Midnight Landing ($649). 

Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic Day Trip and Midnight Landing

Despite the name, there are actually three people behind Farr + Swit: Adam Farrand Hodge, Andrew Paetzo Id, and Zach Switalski. Please spare a thought for poor Andrew, whose name was reduced to a conjunction that was replaced by a symbol. Much love, Andrew. Much love. 

In keeping with its name, the Seaplane is a pilot/diver. I have always liked that hybrid design and have owned several in varying styles, including the Ventus Caspian, Redux COURG, and the first generation Orient Mako. Pilot/divers work because they marry the aesthetics of two distinctive tool watches, generally incorporating the most appealing aspects of pilots (e.g., dagger hands, large numerals, and the occasional navigation triangle) with the burly case and useful water-resistance of a dive watch - in this case, 100m, which should be sufficient for most tool watch use and all but the deepest dives. Farr + Swit did not deviate from this design brief, but they did impart their own unique spin. 

Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic Day Trip

The Seaplane’s brushed stainless steel case meets modern expectations for sports watch size, measuring 42mm wide, 50.5mm long, and 12.5mm thick with 22mm between the lugs. Vertical sides, a large screw-down crown, and prodigious crown guards lend it some visual heft, while the 30mm dial aperture shrinks it a tad. I managed to carry it off on my 6.75” wrist just fine.

Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic Midnight Landing wrist shot

An exhibition case back allows a view of the Sellita SW-200-1, an ETA 2824 clone with 26 jewels, a smooth 28.8k bph sweep, and a 38-hour power reserve. This Swiss unit meets the Seaplane’s case here in the US, where all Farr + Swit watches are assembled. It is not easy to create a truly “American Made” watch (indeed some would say impossible), but the team has done what they can, even going so far as to source their silicone straps from Barton of Austin, Texas, and their packaging from Florida. 

Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic case back

Farr + Swit have placed all of the watch’s aviation cues on the dial, in the form of long, blue, dagger-shaped hands, the 12/6/9 number layout (the 3 is replaced by a white date), and an image of a seaplane, but the most clever cue is the horizon design that features a night sky complete with stars and a wave-textured ocean beneath. The airplane logo and water resistance figures are printed on a rounded that encompasses the 6, around which the model name wraps. A bright blue chapter index surrounds the dial, offering a neat pop of color that is especially nice on the all-black model. A white second hand with a hollow loop near the tip finishes it off. It’s a whimsical dial that stops just short of looking campy. Color options are limited, so if you want a Seaplane, you really have to love blue and black. 

Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic Midnight Landing

As the Seaplane is a Diver, it is only fitting that it features a 120-click, unidirectional bezel. Eight textured sections on its edge offer adequate grip, and the action is excellent, with smooth, positive movement and no shimmy.  I love the glossy black sapphire bezel and its somewhat compressed, underscored numbers. A blue triangle ties the bezel to the hands and chapter index. Of course, the crystal is sapphire as well, and AR coated on the inside.  

Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic lume

Lume junkies will undoubtedly enjoy the bright BGW9 SuperLuminova that lights up the hands, indices, and every marker on that bezel. 

Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic Day Trip sailcloth

Buyers will get their Seaplanes with two straps. The first is black sailcloth and blue stitching that tapers to a 20mm signed deployant clasp. The second is a textured Barton elite silicone with a standard 20mm buckle, quick release pins, and two tail ends (long and short) to ensure a fit on almost any wrist. Both look and feel great (I particularly like the super slim profile of the Barton), but I think the most appealing aspect is that they stay true to watch’s character. There is no embossed leather here, no pretense that you should wear the Seaplane with a suit or to your grandfather’s funeral*, they offer very different looks, but both are practical choices for a dive-worthy sports watch.

Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic Day Trip sailcloth

Speaking of practical, the fellows at Farr + Swit pack the Seaplane in a simple, foam-padded cardboard box and a generously sized, PVC dry bag that folds to almost nothing. An odd choice for a watch accessory? Maybe not. Unlike the usual display box, it is actually something I would use, and it is by far more memorable. If you are using the Seaplane as intended, you will probably need the dry bag. 

Farr + Swit dry bag

Overall, the Farr + Swit Seaplane Automatic is an appealing piece that delivers a quality feel without taking itself too seriously. It boasts a quality Swiss movement, some clever design choices, and a healthy dose of charm. For more information or to order your own watch, bag, or swag, head over to farrandswit.com. ⬩

* Unless Grandpa was both a pilot and diver, in which case you should wear one and bury another with the old man. Respect! 

© The Time Bum | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig