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Farer Unveil Chrono-Contempo Dual Time Zone Chronograph Collection

Farer Chrono-Contempo Collection Portobello

Farer have launched a new dual time zone chronograph called the Chrono-Contempo, designed to be a modern, contemporary take on the classic chronograph complication. That modern design can be seen in the bold colour choices that are popular in modern British watchmaking as well as the svelte sizing which is in keeping with current size trends. Let’s get to it.

First of all, there are two models being produced, the Chalcot and the Portobello. In classic Farer style, while these are the same watch, they’re also completely different. That might seem like an impossible juxtaposition but take a look at them side by side and you’ll see what I mean. They have the have broadly the same structure but the details are different.

Farer Chrono-Contempo Collection Chalcot
Farer Chrono-Contempo Collection Chalcot

Speaking of structure, the Chrono-Contempo in both forms has a 38.5mm diameter steel case. A year or two ago we would’ve expected a watch like this to be at least 40mm but tastes and trends have changed and now customers are favouring smaller watches. A 38.5mm chronograph completely aligns with this trend.

The size isn’t the only remarkable thing though as it has been constructed with Farer’s new ski jump lugs. Essentially, they have a concave chamfer with an uptick at the end of the curve making them look like ski jumps, rather than the traditional smooth downward curve towards the wrist with a convex chamfer.

Farer Chrono-Contempo Collection

As for the bezel, both the Chalcot and Portobello have bi-directional ones with ceramic inserts that feature a 12-hour scale. This is what makes the watch a dual time zone piece. By rotating the bezel so that the 12-hour scale and main hour hand line up with a second time zone, it can display the time in multiple time zones at the same time.

The only difference between this and a GMT complication is that a GMT uses an additional dedicated hand to point to the second time zone. (Technically that’s an over simplification because there are more differences such as office vs true GMT but you can read about that here).

Farer Chrono-Contempo Collection Portobello

The other thing that’s the same across both watches is the movement, which is the Sellita SW510M b manual calibre with 63-hour power reserve. It’s visible through the exhibition caseback where you can see the custom Farer arrow finishing. It features hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph seconds, 12-hour timer and 30-minute timer functions. Now that the similarities between the Chrono-Contempo Chalcot and Portobello are out of the way, let’s dig into the differences.

Farer Chrono-Contempo Collection Chalcot

Starting with the Chalcot, it has a dark blue bezel with a green dial with grainy texture and a big eye chronograph display. That means the subdial at 3 o’clock is bigger than the others, which has been further emphasised by the fact it’s also white while the others are green. On top of that, it has long, thin baton hour markers and a 12 numeral at the top.

Farer Chrono-Contempo Collection Portobello
Farer Chrono-Contempo Collection Portobello

In comparison, the Portobello has an orange bezel and a blue dial in a chocolate bar pattern reminiscent of Audemars Piguet’s famous Grande Tapisserie. Here, the subdials are all the same black colour and lack the big eye size difference. Lastly, the hour markers are also different to the Chalcot, being broader and squatter and without the 12 numeral./p>

Farer Chrono-Contempo Portobello

Picking a favourite between the two is tricky. My favourite colour is orange so I’m immediately drawn to the Portobello but I think on balance, the design of the Chalcot is more cohesive. The names, as you’ve probably guessed, are inspired by iconic locations in London, Chalcot Square and Portobello Road. Regardless of which version you prefer, they’re both priced at £1,650. If Farer weren’t already well represented in our best accessible chronographs guide, I’d certainly add the Chrono-Contempo.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Farer Chrono-Contempo
  • Case/dial: 38.5m diameter x 11.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, blue ‘chocolate bar’ pattern (Portobello) or textured mint green dial (Chalcot), bezel with twelve-hour scale
  • Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Sellita calibre SW510M b, manual winding, 23 jewels
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 63h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
  • Strap: St. Venere leather with stainless steel buckle
  • Price/availability: £1,650

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.