The Fears Watch Company Limited is a family-run British watch company that can trace its history back 170 years. Between 1846 and the late 1950s, quality watches coming out of the City of Bristol proudly bore the name FEARS on their dial. A young 22-year-old watchmaker named Edwin Fear established a workshop and showroom at 33-35 Redcliff Street in Bristol.

Edwin Fears founded the original company
Edwin Fears founded the original company

The business passed on to Edwin’s son Amos Daniel Fear. As the business grew it moved to larger premises on Bristol Bridge. By the turn of the century, that street corner became known locally as “Fears Corner”. By 1920, there were over 100 employees and a dedicated export business was opened, Fears (Export) Limited. By the end of the decade, they are exporting to over 95 countries.

Following the death of his father, Amos Reginald Fear became the third Managing Director. Sadly, Fears was almost entirely destroyed during the ‘Bristol Blitz’ between 1940 and 1942. After the war, the company relocated to Clifton. In 1946, a special centenary advertisement was produced recalling the history of the company amid a post-war Britain with “Government Controlled Prices” on luxury items such as watches.

Fears centenary advertisement showing the full range
Fears centenary advertisement showing the full range

The business was slowly wound down in the mid-1950’s due to a change in family circumstances. The final watches left Bristol just before the start of the sixties. Since then, 60 years have passed and two generations skipped before the company was re-established by the great-great-great-grandson of the original founder.

Nicholas Bowman Scargill, in front of a portrait of Amos Reginald Fear, 3rd MD of the Company.
Nicholas Bowman Scargill, in front of a portrait of Amos Reginald Fear, 3rd MD of the Company.

This year the company was reincorporated as the Fears Watch Company Limited and relaunched at SalonQP in London by the sixth generation of the family, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill. The new company uses the logo which is based directly on Fears watch faces from the 1940s.

A collage of historic logos showcasing the new FEARS Company branding
A collage of historic logos showcasing the new FEARS Company branding

The story will continue when ‘MrWatchMaster Meets…Nicholas Bowman-Scargill’

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