Stories / May 2019

Fears: The Oldest British Watchmaker

Inspired by the fashionable surge in international travel during the 60s, the Redcliff model restores the company’s steep heritage, whilst evoking the quality of cutting-edge designs in the new era.

There’s no need to fear a reprimand for not recognizing the brand's name. It began over 170 years ago in Bristol, by talented young watchmaker Edwin Fear. In its day it was one of the oldest independent family-owned watchmaking firms. At its peak, the company was shipping watches to over 95 countries around the globe. But as with many family businesses, that gut-wrenching time comes when a new generation doesn’t have the desire to take it on. And so, the doors finally shut in 1966.

It wasn’t until 40 years later, in 2016 that it was revived by fourth generational member Nicholas Bowman-Scargill. Years of watchmaking enthusiasm circulating through the minds of family predecessors obviously hadn’t terminated during the defunct demise of the business in 1966. Instead, it skipped two generations, when Nicholas decided over a leisurely Sunday lunch to recommence the family business. That decision over lunch wasn’t vocationally that off hand. Nicholas spent 5 years working for Rolex, starting out as an apprentice watchmaker.

Tags

Contributor

Freddie Anderson