British company Time Factors has a variety of interesting watches, many in smaller runs, and certainly with designs that are not found quite anywhere else. While the company has already been stewarding the Sewills name (more on that later), they have decided to introduce a new watch bearing that name. Over the past two years, they have been working to pull everything together to create the Sewills Ferreira.
So, why that particular name, the Sewills Ferreira? Well, Ferreira comes from the name given to a clipper by a Portuguese shipping company (of the same name). Interestingly enough, that ship, before it was purchased, had a name that many of you are probably much more familiar with – the Cutty Sark. That’s right, that ship on the bottle of whisky actually existed. So, how does Sewills enter the picture? Turns out, there was a Sewills Chronometer was on-board the ship; it now resides in a museum.
One of the things that Time Factors has been doing in the two years they have taken to produce the watch was to modify the movement. In this case, they started with a Unitas 6498 hand-winding movement, and did quite a bit of modification to it. These changes include a screwed Glucydur balance with Nivarox hairspring, swan-neck regulator, and 3/4 top plate with Geneva stripes, along with some more decorative touches. Given the work taken with these movements, Time Factors limited production to only 100 pieces, and they are doubtful that they will produce it again.
So, inside the 42mm polished stainless steel case we have a tidy (and worked over) movement. As for the watch itself, it definitely draws inspiration from the marine chronometer. You have the Roman numerals and “railroad track” that mimic the look of the original, as does the small seconds register. Oh, and that 4608 showing up in the register? That’s a reference to the model of chronometer that was on the ship.
The handset is the first big deviation in the design (well, aside from going from ship-mounted to wrist-mounted). Rather than the Breguet-style hands seen on the original, here we have skeletonized diamond-tipped hands. These are (thankfully) logically sized, and look to be sharply contrasted against the white dial, keeping things rather readable. The coin-edge bezel is another change from the original. This I am less a fan of; I would have preferred to have seen a simple smooth bezel used there (but that is personal preference).
With an asking price of around $1,450, the Sewills Ferreira is an intriguing foray into the world of breathing new life into a brand while simultaneously paying homage to its past. Given the limited numbers, it is hard for me to tell if this will be a wild success or not. There are certainly aspects of the design I like, but it’s not one that has me salivating at the chance to own one. Perhaps this is best fit to someone who is either really into the Sewills or Cutty Sark history, or simply is a fan of marine chronometer-inspired styles.
Oh, and regarding my comment at the start that Time Factors has been shepherding the Sewills name? Turns out they have a few other Sewills models available in their catalog. These are all considered new old stock (or NOS), as they were pulled together from the existing stock left over from when Sewills of Liverpool went out of business in 2001. Time Factors found the inventory at the German supplier, got things put together, and here we are now. So, whether you’re looking for an original Sewills, or something that is now carrying the name, Time Factors has you covered. timefactors.com
- Brand & Model: Time Factors Sewills “Ferreira” PRS-39
- Price: $1,450
- Who we think it might be for: You are really into the history of Sewills (or the Cutty Sark), or simply like the look of a marine chronometer
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: No, not particularly. There are elements I like, but as a whole, this is not one that sets me to salivating
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Lose the coin-edge bezel
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Aside from the amount of work done to the movement, I rather like the handset