Jura Watches Welcomes Fears Watches
Tuesday - 11 January 2022
Revived just half a decade ago, Fears is now a leading British watch brand that puts significant value on its rich history with every release to emerge from its current catalogue, including models like the Brunswick PT and Archival 1930.
It went down as a good laugh at first. Nicholas Bowman-Scargill’s mother joked about her son reviving the family’s 170-year-old watchmaking business back in 2016. By then, Fears had been lying idle for six entire decades and with competition for authentic British watchmakers being at its highest ever, it’s no wonder that the thought of pumping life into a company that had struggled during the Wall Street Crash and the Second World War was a daunting one. But Nicholas, the great-great-great-grandson of the company founder, Edwin Fear likes a good challenge. Nicholas had already been working for Rolex as a watchmaker for two years by then and had the knowledge and passion required to resurrect the company. He calls it his “eureka moment”.
Nicholas Bowman-Scargill had always wanted a workshop of his own. The independence to explore designs. The freedom to experiment with materials and timekeeping technology in new and wonderful ways. It would have been easy to revive the company name and develop a series of modern-day timekeeping tools. Too easy, in fact. The challenge would be to find a unique balance between old and new. Watches like the Redcliff Date watch did just that. The “Redcliff” reference in the name nods to the street in which the company was originally located whilst the date refers to its useful function at 3 o’clock.
The dial of the Redcliff watch was designed on a computer using old models and paved the way to a host of collections that now define the success and ambition of Fears as a trail-blazing British watchmaker. Fears is a relatively new addition to Jura Watches. The brand page displays collections named; the Archival, Brunswick, Brunswick Midas, and Brunswick PT lines. Interchangeable straps, layered dials and unusual case materials are all present through the brand’s catalogue. To provide an overview of each collection, we’ve outlined some of Fears’ popular families. But before we do, here’s a little about the company.
A little about Fears
Having survived testing times throughout the Wall Street Crash, Fears boomed during the end of the 1930s and was soon exporting to 95 countries worldwide. That wasn’t the only storm Fears survived either. When the Bristol Bridge headquarters was completely obliterated during the bombing of World War II, watchmaking resumed in a new premisis in Clifton, Bristol. But here’s where the brand’s story gets even more interesting. Around the time of the quartz crisis, Fears closes its doors in 1976 and would remain closed until 2016 when Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, the great-great-great-grandson of Edwin Fear turns his attention from watchmaking for Rolex in London to relaunching his great-great-great grandfather’s business. The Redcliff model was Fears’ first 21st Century wristwatch. Just two years before becoming a partner of the UK Government's GREAT Britain campaign, Fears had designed a timepiece named after Brunswick Square in Bristol and a limited-edition model inspired by the company’s 1946 original Streamline watch. Suffice to say this British watchmaker (who has in recent years phased out its quartz movements and now focuses solely on mechanical wristwatch manufacture) perhaps highlights values considered of utmost importance to Britain as a nation – perseverance, determination and stamina.
The Fear Brunswick collection
Mainly characterised by their rounded bezels and cushion-shaped cases, Brunswick watches provide the time on clear, simple dials that often feature skeletonised hands and a small second sub-counter. Bevelled hands create a unique interplay with light, whilst sapphire crystal glass fronts treated on both sides with anti-reflective properties protect the surface of each dial from damage. As mentioned, the Brunswick watch collection is named after Brunswick Square in Bristol and represents Fears’ shift in focus away from quartz movements to mechanical wristwatches. These hand-wound models are inspired by the brand’s heritage and have each been hand-built in Britain.
The Fears Brunswick Midas
Brunswick Midas watches are produced in small numbers by Fears’ elite team of watchmakers and craftsmen. Its complex curvature is not only the perfect fit for the wrist but an unusual blend of form and symmetry. A significant level of hand finishing is undertaken to complete the aesthetics of the case and its carefully considered proportions, just like the layers of the Midas dial surrounded by a 38mm cushion-shaped bodywork. Inspired by a Fears watch from 1924, Fears Brunswick Midas watches are both graceful, elegant and timeless.
The Fears Archival 1930
Interestingly, the Archival 1930 watch from Fears takes on a striking rectangular-shaped case and features like-for-like proportions based on a historical watch from the brand’s archives. It is also powered by an unused old-stock movement. One model features a small second sub-dial at the 6 o’clock location, the other goes without this feature. Old-style Arabic numerals create a vintage look across a dial base crafted from 18ct gold. In comparison to other Fears watches, the Archival 1930 has a distinct 1930s Art Deco-inspired aesthetic with its champagne dial and rich glossy black hour markers and bevelled hands.
The Fears Brunswick PT watch
This watch from the Brunswick family strays from the familiar design elements of the original Brunswick watch with filled in hands as opposed to skeletonised ones and a chemin de fer effect framing the dialscape. The watch still boasts the attractive cushion-shaped case and comes fitted on a hand-sewn strap crafted from high-strength Kevlar® with contrasting platinum coloured stitching and a Fears Blue Alcantara® lining. A solid platinum pin buckle reflects the same material used for the case, mirroring the shape of its profile also. The Fears Brunswick PT watch features a small second sub-dial, platinum Arabic numerals in a period styling and platinum dot hour markers or diamond dot indexes.
If you’d like information on any of the Fears watches we’ve featured in this introductory article, you can visit the entire range here, or speak to a member of our sales team at Jura Watches on 01335 453453