Since 2016, Fears has gone about creating beautiful watches that seek to restore some of the glory that the brand and British watchmaking once had. Its latest two watches take that goal a step further. The Brunswick Jubilee Edition was released to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II (6 February), while the Brunswick Champagne is a new edition to the brand’s permanent collection, though both come with a lot of royal flair. Personally, they are remarkable additions and elevates the whole Brunswick collection in my opinion. Let’s get into it.
Watch Specifications & Movement
316L Steel, 38mm x 38mm x 11.8mm, domed crystal, closed embellished case back, 30m water resistant, 20mm lug width, 20/16mm Royal Purple Bristol Made Calf Leather (Jubilee Edition) or Pewter Grey Barenia Calf Leather (both)
Top Grade ETA 7001 manual wind caliber, 28,800 vph (4Hz), 40-hour power reserve
The new releases sit in the brand’s Brunswick 38mm collection which is a dressy watch collection. The case dimensions may appear to be on the smaller side but that is offset by the cushion case that will visually increase the watch’s presence on the wrist. Coming with a small seconds complication at 6 o’clock and worn on a calf leather strap with a classy 20/16mm taper, the collection overall makes for an elegant contemporary looking watch. What elevates these two new releases though, are the dials.
Royal, Royal Purple lacquered or Yellow Gold frosted dials
Given the releases coincide with the the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the new dials come with a regal air particularly in the colours chosen. The edition dedicated for the occasion comes with a beautifully lacquered Royal Purple dial that has a sunburst pattern. Personally, there is something about purple, when done right, that naturally evokes thoughts of royalty, and Fears seems to have the colour spot on here, assuming that the press photos and assuming the press photos are accurate.
My favourite of the pair though, is the champagne dial. The dial is created by first coating layers of 18kt yellow gold on the surface, then frosting it using glass beads. The result (again going purely by press photos) is a dial that conveys a sense of quiet confident grandeur, and not in a gaudy or tacky way.
Both dials come fitted with Fears’ self-developed Edwin numerals, that are applied and diamond polished though the Champagne version is also treated with a black gold coating thereafter which adds to the overall richness of the dial in my opinion.
Price & Availability
Jubilee Edition – £3,450 inc. VAT (£2,875 ex. VAT), Limited to 2022 production
Champagne – £3,350 inc. VAT (£2,791.67 ex. VAT), Permanent Collection but individually numbered
The watches are very reasonably priced too, given the work that goes into the dials, numerals and overall finishing. The Champagne dial variant is priced the same as the rest of the Brunswick’s collection with similar features but it comes with individual numbering which is a nice touch. You will have to pay a slight £100 premium for the Jubilee Edition but it is a small one-year run which for a brand like Fears will give you a smaller run than some “Limited Editions” from bigger brands (looking at you Grand Seiko & Omega).
Personally these are hits for me. Fears with its British heritage and dedication to restoring some of former prestige that comes with British watchmaking have released two cracking watches that mark the Platinum Jubilee of the queen. It is as apt an occasion as any other and the dials that were created for this occasion suit it to a tee. But beyond being occasion appropriate, these watches may be vibrant colours that are bright and fun without ever losing its gravitas. They may not suit a black tie dress code, but you would get away with them in almost any other setting, and they are also perfectly timed for what is expected to be a sweltering summer. Have I also mentioned how excited I am for that champagne dial?