Introducing The New Fears Brunswick Watches For 2020
The breakout British brand Fears expands its cushion-cased Brunswick collection for 2020. Two new models round-out the roster of manually wound mechanical beauties from the revived brand.
I have been lucky to witness the growth of Fears watches from the early days of the revival in 2016. Following a 40-year hiatus, Fears initially established a breadth of quartz tickers in the form of the Redcliff. Even from my early exposure to Fears, there was acute attention to subtle details paying homage to its past. The Brunswick model was Fears’ first mechanical watch that ushered in a new era and eventually led to the discontinuation of all quartz-powered pieces.
Brunswick dials bending light
Last year, I went hands-on with the then-new Brunswick Blue that left a lasting impact. This year brings two new Brunswick iterations. First is the freshly-caught copper-toned Brunswick Salmon with hand-applied brushing. Alongside the copper dial is a subtle update to the Brunswick Midas with gold-case finishing. Both feature a typeface created specifically for the watches known as the “Edwin” — named after the Fears founder, Edwin Fears.
The new Brunswick watches for this year include a proprietary typeface.
A feature that grabbed me about the Brunswick Blue was the applied numerals. Shifting in the light, the digits of the Brunswick Blue create more depth over the Polar white dial with printed numerals. Stepping it up again, the Brunswick watches for this year include a proprietary typeface. Horological typographer Lee Yuen-Rapati spent time studying the Fears archive to curate a design endemic to Fears yet modern in nature.
New “Edwin” numerals sitting proud
The numerals sit proudly at 0.5mm above the dial surface. Interestingly, the height of the digits measures precisely to that of the Vertex watch Super-LumiNova markers. Albeit, the Fears dials do not have any luminescence. Instead, the Brunswick Salmon numerals are cut by machine, then hand-polished and sand-blasted to achieve a matte texture. Following this, each index is coated in anthracite grey, which blends nicely into the copper dial. The dial itself includes traces of copper and rose-gold in the galvanizing process to achieve the desired hue.
Hand applied brushing leads to a unique pattern for each Brunswick dial.
The vertical bushing is the technique that forms the texture seen on both the Brunswick Salmon and Brunswick Midas. Unlike the Fears Redcliff Streamline, where a machine carried out the brushing, the Brunswick style is by hand application. This more personal touch leads to a unique pattern for each timepiece that leaves the manufacturer. The sub-dial with circular graining starts life as the same shade as the remainder of the dial. But with the variety in finishing techniques, the colors alternate with the angle of the light source.
The Brunswick Midas touch
Where each model differs is with the polishing of the indices. The Brunswick Midas use diamond-polishing on the gold-toned numerals that complement the dual-gold-plated Midas. However, I still believe the Brunswick Midas is a watch that can be dressed down for long hikes and motorway blasts. The Midas strap is the same Bristol leather as seen with many of the Fears collection. But now in a rich, dark brown with slightly thicker padding and Alcantara lining. Fears straps are available to purchase separately from its online store and are of the highest quality with a rich choice of colors.
Surrounding the circumference is the minute track with micro-pipettes in five-minute increments. The pipette symbol is the logo of Fears and this application on the minute track is almost imperceptible without close inspection or macro device. You can also see the pipette in the shape of the skeletonized hands and through the exhibition case-back of the Brunswick Salmon on the manually winding top-grade ETA 7001. The Brunswick Midas features a solid steel case-back to allow for engraving of any personal preference.
For the first time, Fears now stamp “England” on the dial rather than leaving it blank. Whilst many of the components are sourced from mainland Europe, the hand-assembly and finishing touches allow for a watch that can respect its English heritage. The Fears Brunswick Salmon is available for £3,150 from today. The Brunswick Midas will be available from October 30th for £4,250. You can read about Fears on Fratello here.