I love monopushers. There, I’ve said it, my dirty little secret is out. I’m well aware that they’re intrinsically not as useful as the kind of dual pusher fare we’re all more familiar with; the inability to stop and start without resetting limits their uses slightly. But with that kind of thinking mechanical watches would have fully died out with the advent of quartz.
Instead, the fact that I’m sitting here writing about an outdated method of timekeeping shows that there’s room for the archaic complication. And while monopushers are seeing the light of day more and more – Vertex, Montblanc and, most recently, Bamford Watch Department have all given them a go – I’ve been waiting with bated breath for something more modern than vintage. And the Farer Segrave Monopusher Chronograph is just that.
On the surface, a black dial with white indexes seems far too classic for the British brand. But in true Farer fashion, they’ve opted for a big-eye layout, with the larger of the two subdials in high-contrast white for stopwatch minutes. The contrast is in more than colour too; not only is it inset, but it’s been given a radial, turned texture to set it apart.
Like the white-on-black date at six o’clock, the running second subdial at nine all but blends in. Or it would if it weren’t for the bright orange hand. Farer being Farer, that’s not the only hint of colour, with the chronograph minutes opting for green and the chronograph seconds an eye-catching sky blue. As ever, it’s a combination that on paper shouldn’t work but, as I’m sure you can see from our images, really, really does.
It’s not all about the dial though. The 40.5mm monobloc bellytanker case is in a word, lovely. It feels relatively small on the wrist, partially thanks to the sizing, partially to the drop away lugs, but still has a nice heft to it. The knurled sides are a great touch too, adding detail to a part of the watch most wearers – and very few designers – ever bother to look at.
The one downside is that I’d say it could be a touch bigger. 40.5mm is a nice, retro size but it doesn’t leave much room for the telemetre around the circumference of the dial, which to my screen-fried eyes is a bit hard to read.
The movement inside is a Sellita, but not your entry-level workhorse. Farer has opted for the SW510 MP Elaboré, a monopusher movement with a distinctly non-entry-level of finishing. Blued screws, a touch of guilloche and a cool, navy-blue Farer rotor mean that the exhibition caseback is welcome. Aside from the finishing, the movement has a substantial 62-hour power reserve, which is even more welcome.
I have felt more mechanically satisfying monopushers in the past, but then I’ve played with a lot more expensive ones to boot. It’s solid enough and responsive, so I can’t complain that it doesn’t have the heft of a piece of haute horology. In fact, for £1,750, this is a lot of watch.
Unlike other Farer collections so far, there is only one variation of the Segrave, which makes me wonder when the rest are coming out. It’s not like them to miss the opportunity to flex their design muscles with a few funky twists on the formula. Still, it does come with plenty of different strap options, so you can pick out which of the colours you want to show off.
A monopusher is a difficult thing to pull off, and there are multiple reasons why there just aren’t that many of them around, let alone ones that actually have a bit of fun with the formula. I’ve liked Farer for a while, so I was expecting good things from the Segrave; now it might just be my favourite piece in their collection.
Price & Specs:
Model: Farer Segrave Monopusher Chronograph
Case/Dial: 40.5mm diameter x 12.2mm height, stainless steel case, matte black dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Sellita SW510 MP calibre, Elaboré grade movement, automatic, 27 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 62h
Functions: Hours, minutes, 60 second chronograph, 30 minute counter at 3, small seconds at 9, date, hacking capability
Strap: St Venere leather with stainless steel buckle
More details at Farer.