The year was 1846 and a young watchmaker named Edwin Fear established a workshop and showroom in his own name at 33-35 Redcliff Street in Bristol. The company ‘Edwin Fear’ that he created became more and more successful and eventually, in 1866 needed to expand to their second premises, on Bristol Bridge, which served as Fears headquarters until the 1940s. Through this period, the company had three different Managing Directors. Following the passing of Edwin in 1877 the business was handed down to his son, Amos Daniel Fear, who in 1908 saw the company become a limited company whilst also changing its operating name from ‘Edwin Fear’ to ’Fears Limited’. Amos also safely navigated the company through the First World War, 1914-1918, after which he established an export department, called ‘Fears (Export) Limited’ at No. 14 Brunswick Square in Bristol. In late 1945, following the War, Fears moved to new premises in Clifton, Bristol, just in time to celebrate the company’s centenary in 1946 with a new watch collection. Fears continued to thrive through the post-war years, until sadly closing its doors in 1976.
It was not until 40 years later in 2016 when an aspiring young apprentice watchmaker at Rolex in London, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, who is the great-great-great-grandson of Edwin Fear, re-launched his family’s company at the SalonQP watch show on 3rd November 2016. Keeping the name ‘Fears’ he released their first wristwatch in the twenty-first century, the Redcliff. Rolling with the success from the Redcliff in 2017 they released their second wristwatch, The Brunswick, named after Brunswick Square in Bristol.
Here we have a 2021 Fears Archival 1930 Small Seconds. Created to coincide with the 175th Anniversary of the founding of Fears, the Archival 1930 Small Seconds is a proportional recreation of an art deco watch Fears made in 1930. True to the original, each watch features an original vintage movement. With its elegant form, it is a perfect luxury rectangular watch for men or women. Made in a strictly limited run of 175, each piece has a unique serial number engraved between the lugs at 12 o’clock. This number can identify the watch's history from its master database. The Archival 1930 Small Seconds features the years the company was dormant; 1977-2015. Ours is number 2003.
The case is expertly machined from 316L Stainless Steel, in Germany, to a level usually reserved for precious metals. Proportionally the same as the original but is slightly larger to make it more contemporary. The long slim case and crystal have a subtle curvature that beautifully follows the curve of your wrist. A large crown has a deeply engraved tip with the Fears Pipette logo. The dial’s base is polished and plated in 18ct Yellow Gold, with the rest of the dial layered over the top. An outer minute track is precisely printed. A real gold border shines through the matte Champagne finish that is subjected to a light 18t yellow gold plating. In contrast, the crisp glossy black Art Deco numerals mark the hours for that vintage aesthetic. The solid Fears-shaped hands are hand polished and shaped, their rich blue colour makes for a highly legible dial. At 6 o’clock we have a small second register with a light 18ct gold plated border. On the reverse, we have a snap-off stainless steel case back with attractive vertical brushing and deep engraving of “1846” in conjunction with Fears foundation.
Inside The Archival 1930, Small Seconds is an original ‘new old stock’ movement that Fears used in the past. The ETA 717 movements date back to 1935 and having never been used previously have undergone full reconditioning in the workshop while receiving an upgraded mainspring to improve reliability. Each of these original rectangular movements is thus effectively hand-built in the traditional way with each movement taking days to assemble and regulate. Fitted on a handmade Bristol Leather strap in a traditional Oxblood Red and lined in soft Fears, Blue Alcantara. Its calf leather is vegetable tanned in one of Britain's oldest tanneries in Bristol- Thomas Ware & Sons. The stainless steel pin buckle has its 1930s Fears logo deeply engraved on the polished top of the buckle. The Fears Archival 1930 Small Second is presented in a rectangular, wooden box made of solid English ash and stained in our bespoke Fears Blue colour. On the top of the box, the Fears logo is subtly engraved.