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 1931 came the third Managing Director, Amos Reginald Fear and the early ‘30s saw another name change for the business - now to be named, simply, ‘Fears’. It was a tough time to take charge of the company as the World was still struggling through difficult economic conditions suffered in the wake of the infamous Wall Street Crash of late 1929. However, with determination and perseverance Fears was booming and by the end of the 1930s was exporting to an astonishing 95 countries around the world. Then came the Second World War and the 1940-1941 German bombing campaign against the UK, known as ‘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, 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 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.
Fears have only 4 Brunswick Pt made in each year, taking up to 4 months to complete. The case and the solid case back each bear hallmarks from the London Assay Office, and, following a Fears tradition, these comprise the initials of the Managing Director when the watch was built, in this case: ‘NBS’ for our (4th) Managing Director, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill. 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 inspiration of the case for this watch comes from a Fears watch originally made in 1924.
Manufactured in the UK, its wonderfully curvaceous 38mm case is made from almost 100g of solid Platinum (.950 purity). Crafted in the traditional way, its creation is a process requiring great skill and patience taking over 100 hours to shape and polish. To facilitate daily winding the watch features a traditional “onion” crown made of solid platinum, into which is set a D-colour, flawless diamond, Signifying that these Fears watches are made completely of precious metal.
A domed sapphire crystal sits above an incredible Anthracite Grey. Made in Germany, and involving over 58 separate production processes, the natural colour of a coating of real Anthracite combines with three surface finishes to result in a dial that changes in the light, giving a two-tone effect. Something you have to experience in person to appreciate. This striking dial is complemented by the concentric circle finishing on the sunken sub-seconds, at 6 o’clock. The numerals are applied to the dial by hand, made from Platinum with alternating D-colour, flawless diamonds. Inspired by the many different typefaces Fears has used throughout its history, they were designed especially for Fears by a horological typographer. Truly a masterclass in dial manufacture. Each set of hands is made of solid Platinum and takes a whole day of finishing with polishing and frosting processes.
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, a screwed-down case back with vertical brushing. 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, the bridges and plates are plated in Platinum. Each Brunswick Pt, as with all Fears watches, undergoes 500 hours of timings checks and tests before being signed off by our (4th) Managing Director.
Fitted on a 20 mm hand-sewn strap made of high-strength Kevlar with contrasting platinum coloured stitching and a Fears Blue Alcantara® lining. The pin buckle is made of solid Platinum
The Brunswick Pt 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.