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Farr and Swit Seaplane
Have you been longing for a watch that is a combination dive watch and Flieger? One that has the looks and feel of a solid diver, but also has distinct elements of a pilot watch? If so, the Farr and Swit Seaplane may check a lot of boxes for you. Farr and Swit are based in the United States, (Chicago to be exact) and the Seaplane is assembled by a very popular microbrand you may have heard of – Lum-tec. The Seaplane is limited to 500 pieces total, 250 for the stainless steel (Day Trip) and the same for the PVD version dubbed the Midnight Landing. Both watches come in at under $700, and for a watch with a Swiss automatic movement assembled in the USA, that is not a bad price at all.
Farr and Swit Seaplane Specifications:
- 42mm Stainless Steel Case
- 22mm Lug Width
- 50.5mm Lug To Lug
- 12.5mm Thick
- 115.6 Grams on Leather Strap
- Sapphire Crystal
- Sapphire Bezel Insert
- BGW9 SuperLumiNova
- Sellita SW200 Automatic Movement
- 100 Meters Water Resistant
Before I get into the full review here, let me state that for a while, I have been publishing the video review before I publish the written article here. There are a few reasons for that, but in this specific case, it allows me to get the review out there and do a little more research in the meantime for the article, and get a little more in-depth with the watch and the company. For the most part, I do not like to look at other reviews or videos before doing a review. I try to get as much info off of the brands’ website or directly from the brand rep or owner. I like to review the watch for what It is, as to me, that its the most important part of a review. With that said, I did overlook how Farr and Swit came about, and I caught an interview online yesterday with one of the brand owners, Adam, and gave me a little more insight. The name, which I mispronounced in the video, is a combination of the 3 brand owners. For whatever reason, I had it in my mind it had something to do with planes or the military, but it’s just a made-up name. There is nothing wrong with that, it just surprised me is all. Maybe because I am familiar with the watch because of doing some research or having it in hand for review, but the name Farr and Swit, somehow does convey to me what the watch brand is about. Maybe that doesn’t make a lot of sense and even though I can’t pronounce it, I do like the name they came up with.
So, getting into more specifics of the Farr and Swit Seaplane, I have to say, I do like this watch, and would wear one on a regular rotation, but as usual, there are a few things I would probably change. The case size is perfect for me at 42mm, and the large crown guards and crown allow it to feel just a little bit larger, without it being a large and bulky watch on the wrist, especially with the thickness being only 12.5mm. The Seaplane is a solid watch, it has a heft to it without being overly heavy, and the entire case is satin-brushed, no high polished sides, no chamfers, just a straight-up tool watch, or what I envision a tool watch to be (let’s be real, a tool watch is a made-up term that has taken on a meaning of being a rugged and useful watch, as opposed to a useless watch the only tells time, which is still a tool, as it is a tool to tell time…).
As with most microbrands at this price range, you have all the things us watch nuts look for; the stainless steel case, sapphire crystal and bezel, an automatic movement, a quality strap, and a good looking and well-finished case. The Farr and Swit Seaplane is not an overly expensive watch, but at over $600, most of us expect certain things, and one of them is for it to not look cheap. I can easily say this watch does not look nor feel cheap in any way. A few comments on the video review stated the chapter ring looks misaligned. I can assure you it is not. There are a few hash marks that appear to be a little off-center of the markers, but if you look at the chapter ring all around and closely inspect it, it is not misaligned and the markers line up exactly with the bezel markings, as they should. On another note, some have wondered, including me, why this watch is not 200 meters water-resistant instead of the 100 meters it is. I don’t have an answer for that, only that is still is a sturdy screw-down crown and is a combination diver/pilot watch and they felt it didn’t need that high of a rating.
A few other notable comments were that the Seaplane is derivative and mentioned the dial looking like that of a few Breitling’s and the bezel of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms. I don’t see that at all, but let’s all recognize that no watch is going to be completely original and you can always compare a dive watch to another dive watch, or this to that, and pull out likeness and similarities. Most of you reading probably know at this point that we at Watchreport are not here to sell you a watch. When comments are valid, I have probably stated something similar in the review. At its core, yes, this is a round dive style case with a dive or elapsed time bezel with Flieger style broadsword hands. It is not re-inventing the wheel, but I do not see that they were intentionally copying any brand (that I know of).
Let’s discuss that dial for a bit though. I like the dial overall and feel that the wave pattern and night sky design is funky and fun, I know it is not going to be a dial that everybody will love, especially with that Seaplane logo on the bottom of the dial. There is a part of me that feels the Seaplane on the dial puts it over the top and almost into gimmick territory. The Flieger hands do feel a little small proportionally to the dial and I think it was a missed opportunity to not put some lume on the second hand as well.
Speaking of lume, that is another area of contention I have, and probably even more so because Lum-Tec assembles the Farr and Swit Seaplane. I looked online and found a few images from other review sites and customers alike that make the lume looks really bright and beautiful, and in my experience, that is just not the case. Knowing photography a little and how you can charge up a watch and overexposed it and take a lume shot, I can see what is happening, but below is as true of a lume shot you will probably see of this watch. It will get the job done but needs improvement.
In the article here, you will see pictures of the Seaplane on a Horween Leather Strap. This strap is made by 922 Leather, a strap maker I was not familiar with before receiving this watch. The Horween strap is a $50 upcharge and if that is not something you are willing to spend or have your 22mm leather straps ready to go on this watch, you can get either a sailcloth style strap with a deployant clasp (shown in video) or a Barton Elite silicone at no extra charge. The specific leather used is Horween Chromexcel, a wonderful pull-up leather that only gets better looking and more character the more you wear it. This strap is super supple and has a waxed rough-out finish on the back and this strap just drapes on the wrist. The issue I do have with all the straps though is that they use quick release pins. I have never been a fan of these, and on this leather strap specifically, because it is so soft and pliable, I suggest replacing them with standard spring pins asap.
I have said since day one since I started doing these reviews, the summary of a review is usually the hardest part. You want to wrap up the review with a few sentences that sum it all up, but I also try and word it very carefully, as to not sound like a full-on advertisement. I believe the Farr and Swit Seaplane to be a great debut piece and while it does have a few quirks, I think many who like this style of the watch would be happy with one. It is a solid watch with a reliable Sellita SW200 automatic movement, with a unique dial, with a familiar and comfortable case. If I were to rock one of these daily, I would probably use my own strap, possibly a good quality rubber, but obviously, strap options are endless, and with the dial, you get a watch that stands out in a collection. Make sure to check out the links above to learn more about the Farr and Swit Seaplane.