I love big watches, tool watches, they call it a watch with a purpose. But sometimes and I meant not very often an elegant, discreet and powerful one comes my way, the last time this happened was when I saw the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 in white grape, it’s a watch that I've worn on many important occasions, my weeding, birth of my son… you get the idea. It also happned when was when I was looking at British brands online and I came across with the name Fears, one of the oldest brands in Britain with a history that's traceable to 1846. Watchmaking history in the UK is illustrious with great brands and big followers but when you think of luxury watches, Switzerland is the first thing that comes to mind. After being in
contact with the lovely people at Fears I was very happy/proud to enjoy the beautiful Brunswick and taste a bit of British culture on my wrist. As mentioned the discretion of the Brunswick is one of its main strengths, there are several versions but the steel with white dial is my favorite. Just like Fears history can be traced, all the components and details from the Brunswick have an interesting origin and a reason to be on the watch, from the leather to the hands, the watch feels more like a luxury bespoke piece than mass produced object, let's dig into the watch itself.
The Brunswick has a 38mm case which is a great choice for an elegant dress watch but the real trick of it is the cushion shape case, it gives you more presence and sits flatter (better) on your wrist, beautifully sculpted with an unprotected onion crown which controls a manual ETA 7001 well decorated with Geneva stripes with a handmade Fears golden pipette, all of these details are visible through the sapphire case back. The dial together with the case is the star of the show, a white hand lacquered base contrasting with thermally blued hands makes one of the classiest dial I've seen. The Brunswick is simple with only one complication that can be found at six o'clock, round and ticking away, giving that precision look, a bit more casual than an ultra-thin watch and less brute than a tool watch, a great balance.
On the wrist
Once you get the dimensions or specifications out of the way you are left with a watch that can be worn everyday like I have, yes sure it's an elegant watch but I can assure you it looks as great with short or jeans that with a dinner jacket, is that versatile.
A white dial is always legible but the way that the numbers are organized trough the dial are spot on, this is the traditional font used on the first Fears watches, a great nudge to the past. The cushion case wears amazing and gives a proportioned look to the whole watch, I think I wouldn't be the first to say that the case reminds of a Panerai Radiomir but in a smaller size (which is a good thing), short lugs and flat on your wrist, if you think about it the Radiomir it is 45mm but it does feel great on my 6.25mm inch wrist, for the counter argument so does the Brunswick but with a big difference: lightness and versatility. Our watch came with a blue calf leather strap tanned in Britain’s oldest vegetable tanner, the Brunswick is full of details like this.
Britain has a lot to offer in the world of watchmaking but lately hasn't feel that way with Swiss, German and Japanese counterparts taking all the credit at the moment, however some brands have decided to step forward and create some great offerings from entry level like Christopher Ward to high end- handmade pieces like Roger Smith.
My time learning about Fears and the watch itself was a great experience, I cannot wait to see what comes next for the brand. It is hard to sum up what category the Brunswick falls into, is not a vintage inspired watch but it feels like an evolution of a classic making the watch timeless.
For more information visit www.fearswatches.com
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