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Introduction to Fears Watches

Jewellery & Watch News

C W Sellors is delighted to announce the latest luxury watch brand to join the family: Fears. As a British jewellery manufacturer ourselves, we’re always excited to see other British brands excelling in design and manufacture and that’s exactly what Fears watches pride themselves on. Considered the oldest watch manufacturer in the country, Fears have mastered the art of vintage re-interpretation with their stunning luxury watch collections including the Fears Brunswick and the Fears Archival.

A Brief History of Fears Watches

It was in the year 1846 where the story of Fears Watches begun. A young watchmaker named Edwin Fear founded his own workshop and showroom at numbers 33-35 on Redcliff Street in Bristol. It wasn’t long before the brand’s very first timepiece was launched, a pocket watch boasting a pure white face, traditional Roman numerals and a manual winding movement. Following their quick success, the brand expanded to a second location on Bristol bridge, a place they remained until the 1940’s that would be immortalised on the dial of many Fears watches with the address proudly painted on the watch dial.

Following the death of Edwin Fear in 1877, the business was handed down to his son Amos Daniel Fear at the young age of 21. The company continued to thrive and in 1908 was incorporated as a limited company, changing its name from ‘Edwin Fear’ to ‘Fears Limited’. The newly incorporated Fears Limited name became the brand’s newest emblem and was displayed on all their new watch releases including the first non-round Fears watches launched during the 1920’s distinguishable by their unique cushion-shaped cases.

The third generation of the Fears family took over in 1931, son of Amos Daniel, Amos Reginald Fear and despite the wake of the Wall Street Crash and the difficult economic conditions of the 1930s, Fears Watches continued to dominate the British watchmaking industry exporting to 95 countries around the world. Then sadly, during the Blitz of Britain in the Second World War, all of Fears’ premises were destroyed and were permanently evacuated. Yet with a refusal to let this destroy their spirit, Fears moved to a new location in Clifton, Bristol just in time to celebrate their 100th anniversary with a new watch collection. Up until 1976, Fears continued to thrive the post war years until closing its doors in 1976.

After several years lying dormant, Fears Watches was eventually revived in 2016 by the great-great-great-grandson of Edwin Fear, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill. He announced the news at the SalonQP watch show on 3rd November 2016 and released the first wristwatch in the twenty-first century, the Redcliff. The quartz Redcliff eventually enabled the funding for their second launch, this time a mechanical watch known as the Fears Brunswich named after Brunswick Square in Bristol. In just a few short years, the brand has already launched sell-out limited editions and expanded their collections to include the Brunswich Midas, Brunswich PT and the Archival. Let’s take a look at some of these designs in more detail…

The Fears Watch Collections

Fears Brunswich Watches

The Fears Brunswich watch collection was the second release following the brand’s revival in 2016 and their first range of mechanical timepieces for the modern day. All dressed in stainless steel and imprinted with vintage-inspired dials, this family of Fears watches beautifully embodies the rich heritage of the brand while moving the company into a modern era with contemporary sapphire crystal glass, skeletonised hands and a Swiss made manual winding movement. There are currently three Fears Brunswich watches to choose from each offering their own dial colour: blue, salmon or white. All three revive the curvaceous cushion case of the Fears watches from the 1920’s with beautifully shaped onion crowns, a two-toned sector dial and handmade Bristol leather straps. On the dial is also the placement of a small seconds indicator powered by the ETA 7001 movement which has been serviced and finished in Britain, with Côtes de Genève striping and rhodium plating.

Fears Brunswich Midas Watches

Following closely in the footsteps of the Brunswich is the Fears Brunswich Midas watch collection which delivers the iconic cushion-shaped case in gold. The cases of the Fears Brunswich Midas watches are finished in two layers of gold coating, the first in 18ct rose gold and the second in 9ct yellow gold over the top of solid marine-grade Phosphor Bronze. There are two dial colours to choose from this time, silver and white, beautifully dressed in applique gold numerals or printed black numerals and gold skeletonised hands. The latter makes history as Fears becomes one of only a handful of British watch brands to construct their own hands in-house in the UK. Collectors will also be pleased to hear that only 10 Fears Brunswich Midas watches are many each year across the two dial variants. Each Fears Brunswich Midas carries a unique serial number engraved between the 20mm lugs at 12 o’clock to mark its limited status.

Fears Brunswich PT Watches

Another rare design in the Fear watch collections is the Fears Brunswich PT. Hand built to order in Britain, these watches offer such extraordinary manufacture that they take a whole four months to complete allowing only four watches to be made a year. The complexity comes largely from it’s 38mm cushion case which is made from 100 grams of solid platinum which is handcrafted, shaped and polished for over 100 hours. The crown is also solid platinum and set with a flawless diamond to signify its magnificence. The dial of the Fears Brunswich PT watch is also exclusive to the design in anthracite grey with platinum plated numerals, flawless diamonds or dot indices and solid platinum hands. Housed within is another example of the manual winding ETA 7001 movement offering hours, minutes and small seconds.

Fears Archival 1930s Watches

The final collection from Fears watches is the Fears Archival which introduces two designs launched in celebration of the brand’s 175th anniversary. With their undeniably vintage dials, original vintage movements and rectangular-shaped cases, these art-deco watches bring to life an original watch from Fears history made in 1930. The cases are slim with the same proportions as their predecessor and expertly machined from 316L stainless steel. The milled cases pair with curved sapphire crystal on both the front and back protecting the matte champagne and 18ct yellow gold dial and the original ‘new old stock’ movement that Fears used in the past. For the regular two-hand Fears Archival 1930s watch, the brand opts for an ETA 2360 movement which dates back to the 1960’s while the Fears Archival 1930s Small Seconds is powered by an ETA 717 movement from 1935. Both calibres have undergone a full reconditioning in the workshop and received an upgraded mainspring to improve reliability.

If you’d like to learn more about Fears watches and shop all their collections, you can do so on the C W Sellors website here. Alternatively, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at sales@cwsellors.com.

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