The year was 1846 and a young watchmaker named Edwin Fear established a workshop and showroom at No. 33-35 Redcliff Street in Bristol. 20 years later the growing business expanded to their second premises on Bristol Bridge, which served as Fears headquarters until the 1940s. 1877 saw the passing of Edwin Fear, the business was then handed down to his son Amos Daniel Fear, who at the young age of 21 became the second managing director. 1908 Fears became a limited company and changed its name from ‘Edwin Fear’ to ‘Fears Limited’. From the early 1930s, the business was known simply as ‘Fears’.
After the Great War of 1914-1918 Fears established an export department, called ‘Fears (Export) Limited’ at No. 14 Brunswick Square in Bristol. In 1931 Amos Reginald Fear became the third managing director of Fears. During this period we saw the Wall Street Crash and its devastating economic crisis around the world. With determination and perseverance Fears was booming and exporting to an astonishing 95 countries around the world. During 1940 the country experienced the Blitz, all of the Fears' premises sustained direct hits. The Bristol Bridge headquarters was destroyed on 24th November 1940, and the Brunswick Square Export department was hit three times before it was permanently evacuated in 1942. In late 1945, 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 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.
2019 saw the first 1,000 days since the company was re-established and to celebrate Nicholas launched a limited edition watch - the Redcliff ‘Streamline’, inspired in design and price by Fears’ original ‘Streamline’ watch from 1946. In 2020 Fears becomes a partner of the UK Government's "GREAT Britain Campaign". Part of the London 2012 Olympic legacy, this campaign was created to highlight the best the UK has to offer the world. Today Fears grows from strength to strength with its exquisite collection of Brunswicks and fine accessories.
The Brunswick is handmade with only 10 pieces produced each year. Each piece has a unique serial number engraved between the 20mm lugs at 12 o’clock. This number can identify the watch's history from its master database. The inspiration of the case for this watch comes from a Fears watch originally made in 1924.
The case starts life as a solid block of marine-grade Phosphor Bronze. The finish and depth of polishing are quite exquisite and showcase the skill and attention to detail of the watchmakers. The polished Bronze has a “Dual-Gold” coating; the first is a layer of 18ct rose gold then a layer of 9ct yellow gold. The two layers of differing golds create a unique warm yellow-gold colour to the watch. To facilitate daily winding the watch features a traditional “onion” shaped crown, coated in the same "Dual-Gold", this being made in Switzerland.
A domed sapphire crystal sits above an incredible Midas White dial which is a hand-polished white lacquer, expertly made in Germany by one of the world’s best dial makers. After the layers of white lacquer are applied and hand-polished, multiple layers of crisp black ink bring the dial to life using a numeral set used by Fears in 1946. This effect is complemented by the concentric circle finishing on the sunken sub-seconds, at 6 o’clock. Truly a masterclass in dial manufacture. Each set of hands is subtly skeletonised before being coated in “Dual Gold”. They are all finished by their expert in-house watchmakers in the UK creating depth and finishing rarely seen on mass-produced, stamped hands. Watch hand production and construction is a practice performed by only a handful of British watch brands.
On the reverse, we have a solid stainless steel case back with a spun circular-grained finish. Inside we have a hand-wound ETA 7001, 17 Jewels, 18,000 beats per hour. First introduced in the 1970s it quickly gained a reputation for being reliable. Its slim design incorporates an Incabloc shock system. Each movement is serviced and hand-finished here in Britain, applying Côtes de Genève striping and Rhodium plating. Once re-assembled and thoroughly tested it receives its “Golden Pipette” which is handmade and applied to the bridge. Each watch is individually checked by Nicholas before it leaves the premises.
Fitted on a 20mm handmade Fears Bristol Black. leather strap. Its calf leather is vegetable tanned in one of Britain's oldest tanneries in Bristol- Thomas Ware & Sons. The accompanying “Dual-Gold” buckle pin buckle carries the final flourish of an engraving of the Fears pipette logo.
The Brunswick Midas Silver is presented in a bespoke wooden box, crafted in Britain from English Ash, which is stained Fears Blue. Lined in genuine cream suede, the watch sits proudly on a special cushion.