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. Now 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 their exquisite collection of Brunswicks and fine accessories.
Made in small batches 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 Germany, its wonderfully curvaceous 38mm case is made from 316L stainless steel. The case has only one flat surface, its rear sapphire crystal. The finish and depth of polishing is quite exquisite and showcases the skill and attention to detail of the German manufacturers.
To facilitate daily winding the watch features a traditional “onion” shaped crown, this being made in Switzerland.
On the dial, numerals expertly applied by hand, capture and play with the light as you gently wind the crown to begin your day.
A domed sapphire crystal sits above an incredible Copper Salmon dial. This special dial was first used on Fears watches of the 1940s and 50s. This rich tone is created using galvanic coatings of 18ct rose gold and copper. Expertly made in Germany, the surface of the dial features a delicate vertical brushing, applied by hand, making each dial unique and allowing it to catch the light in a beautiful, subtle way. This effect 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, after being diamond polished, sand-blasted, and coated in anthracite, to give a warm, grey finish. Inspired by the many different typefaces Fears has used throughout its history, they were designed specially for Fears by a horological typographer. Truly a masterclass in dial manufacture. Each set of hands is subtly skeletonised before being thermally blued by a flame. This traditional method of thermally hardening the steel results in a blue unique to each Brunswick, from almost black to electric blue in the light. 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.
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 20 mm 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 stainless steel pin buckle carries the final flourish of an engraving of the Fears pipette logo.