I tend to follow the smaller brands closer than big-box Swiss brands. And you know, that’s just how my subjective watch brain ticks. When it comes to British brands like Fears, it’s close to a hi-beat passion. But never mind my puns. Have a look at the Brunswick 40 instead, this time in two dazzling new aquatic-tinted versions.

Fears has had another good year with Nicholas Bowman-Scargill at the helm. And the last couple of years have seen a new head office appear in Bristol, the brand’s ancestral home. At the same time, Nicholas has focused on diversifying sales channels, unlike many small brands. Fears has a direct-to-customer approach with an expanding network of brick-and-mortar ADs from Europe to Australia. Respect is due.

Fears Brunswick 40 Copper Salmon

What a difference a dial color can make

The Fears Brunswick 40 is not a new collection but a great alternative to the well-known 38mm versions. I must admit to being quite smitten by the Mallard Green edition we covered back in July. And actually, I had the new Copper Salmon prototype on my wrist a month ago. Over a coffee with Nicholas Bowman-Scargill in the Geneva sunlight, we had a chat about this release. I adore the vintage look of a salmon dial. But it is not an easy color to get right, often veering into a bronze-ish tone or simply becoming close to Barbie pink. Fears already has a salmon-tinged version of the 38mm Brunswick, but for the larger, modern 40mm offering, it’s a new shade.

Is the Brunswick 40 a GADA watch?

It might be a contrived term, sure. But as I’m in the middle of consolidating my sprawling collection, it makes sense. And the Brunswick 40 can be a versatile one-for-all watch. On its own, the Brunswick 40 plays a great game, maintaining a balance between its vintage-inspiration inspiration and modernity with sharp sword hands and a clean font for the applied numerals.

Perhaps the best copper-toned salmon dial this year?

The Copper Salmon version has a dial that we know from the Brunswick 38. For the brand, it has become a favorite, and I understand why. While walking a thin line between copper and pink, the dial is a chameleon that’ll give off a different vibe depending on the light that hits it. It features a raised outer section with vertical brushing, whereas the lower section features a fine sandblasted finish that sparkles in the light. It’s a classical tone, but the bold, raised numerals and sporty sword hands give it a contemporary vibe with their black gold coating. For me, the watch works perfectly on the new black textured buffalo strap, but I see the appeal of the bracelet for a sportier vibe. And with its mixed personality, it’ll work just as well with a tailored shirt as some cuffed jeans, so I understand buyers opting for both.

The Brunswick 40

What sparked the glitzy appearance of the Aurora?

The spectacular Brunswick 40 Aurora pops off the wrist in the press shots. Its rhodium-plated hands are sharp in their execution, and each dial is unique due to the material. The design includes two sections of mother-of-pearl cut to different thicknesses. This detail makes even more out of the ethereal blues of the pearly twinkle, and the sharp numerals ensure clear legibility. I can imagine this version flashing its icy blues from underneath a dark shirt cuff, and it’s a big step up for lovers of functional monochrome. If that sounds like you, it may be time to embrace some color and sparkle. Think about it.

I felt it was time to let the beauty of the material shine on its own…

We asked Nicholas what sparked this rather glam take on the Brunswick 40, and he tells us, “When I was 16 years old, my parents gave me a pair of silver cufflinks that were set with mother-of-pearl, and since then, I’ve been a huge fan of the beauty of this special material. Wearing these cufflinks most days, I get to enjoy the iridescence of MOP. However, when it comes to watches, it’s far too often limited to smaller models with diamonds and other embellishments. I felt it was time to let the beauty of the material shine on its own in a larger case without any unnecessary adornment.”

The Brunswick 40

My subjective verdict

Both Brunswick 40 models mark the debut of a new strap series in buffalo leather. They underline Nicholas’s sartorial nous with a smooth blue nubuck for the Aurora and a textured Raven Black version to set off the Copper Salmon dial. With the Brunswick 40’s ETA 2824-2 movement and custom decorated rotor, you will find watches with a similar spec for less, but that’s beside the point. The studied expansion of the Fears range of watches like the Brunswick has taken time, but that time is reflected in the small details. These include things like the diamond-polished Arabic numerals and the now-increased 150m depth rating. Fears watches are all about classic wearability, and the Brunswick 40’s unusual blend of classicism and modernity set it apart. It’s a proper 40mm in diameter and 11.9mm tall with the domed crystal, making its smooth case a great everyday wearer.

What’s next for Fears?

I also asked Nicholas about any secrets he might have on the Fears drawing board, like whether we will ever see a chronograph from the brand. Nicholas revealed perhaps more than he wanted: “It’s true that I am a fan and strong advocate of the simple, uncluttered elegance of a three-handed watch. However, like all people, I have multiple facets to my personality. I am also a big fan of the complexity of chronographs. There is something enjoyable about the way so much information can be conveyed in such a small space. Fears made chronographs back in the 1950s and 1960s with a very clear, functional design, yet they still had charm. So without officially giving anything away, that probably gives some insight into where my thoughts are…”

Fears Brunswick 40 Aurora


I will interpret Nicholas Bowman-Scargill’s last statement as a future “yes” and an exciting prospect. For now, the three-hand, no-date Brunswick 40 Copper Salmon is available from Fears for £3,550 (inc.VAT) on a strap and £3,750 on a bracelet. The Aurora is an additional £300 for each version (£3,850 and £4,050, respectively), but I think it’s worth it for the hand-crafted sparkle.

Fratelli, what are your thoughts? Are you tempted by the sparkle of MOP? Or is this perhaps the salmon tone you’ve been waiting for? Let me know in the comments below.

Watch specifications

Brunswick 40
Copper Salmon / Aurora
Copper and 18K red gold coating with clear protective varnish, black-gold-plated hands and applied numerals / Blue-tinted mother-of-pearl with rhodium-plated hands and applied numerals
Case Material
Stainless steel (316L)
Case Dimensions
40mm (diameter) × 46.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 11.9mm (thickness including crystal)
Domed sapphire with ARdur® Swiss antireflective coating on both sides
Case Back
Stainless steel, screw-in
Top-grade ETA 2824-2 — automatic and hand winding, 28,800vph (4Hz) frequency, ~40-hour power reserve, 25 jewels, date position removed
Water Resistance
150m (15 ATM)
Textured black buffalo leather (Copper Salmon), blue nubuck buffalo leather (Aurora), or stainless steel five-row bracelet with butterfly clasp (either model)
Time only (hours, minutes, central seconds)
Copper Salmon: £3,550 (strap) or £3,750 (bracelet) / Aurora: £3,850 (strap) or £4,050 (bracelet) — prices including VAT