How much did it sell for in 1946? Well why don’t we just sell it for the same price then?
You can just imagine how this conversation should have went down in a business of 2019, but it actually did at Fears and that is what they ended up deciding to do.
The new Fears Redcliff Streamline has just been released; inspired by the original Streamline which sold for £11, 2 Shillings and 6 pence back in 1946. This was simply adjusted to account for 73 years of inflation which equals £483 today and that is actually the price it is on sale for now!
Sounds slightly crazy, but there is definitely method in the madness.
Managing Director and 6th generation Fear, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill explains how the Streamline has represented milestones in the company’s history:
“I decided to create the Limited Edition Fears Redcliff “Streamline” to celebrate the first 1,000 days since Fears was re-established in 2016. The new Redcliff “Streamline” is directly influenced by a special watch in our Archive – the Fears “Streamline” which was released to celebrate a previous milestone – the company’s centenary in 1946.”
Face & case
At 38mm and only 8.5mm thick, the Fears Redcliff Streamline case is very slim and contact. Made from stainless steel and manufactured in Switzerland, the case is finished & grained in the UK. The assembly also takes place in the UK.
The dial which is German made, sits under flat sapphire glass and features both a unique colour and finish. On first glance (depending on the angle it is looked at) it appears to be a warm cream/silver/gold colour, overall giving an antiqued silver feel – look closer though and you will see a vertical brushed surface providing the depth of colour change.
There are various similarities to its 1946 Streamline predecessor. Nothing is copied exactly detail for detail, but specific things have clearly been influenced. The 40’s style of numbers, which have been gilt printed with thin black outlines and an antique gold fill that also seem to shimmer depending on how the light catches them.
Time can be read by the black outlined Fears logo shaped hands, which have been filled with Super-LumiNova. The seconds hand is very slim, but is another familiar feature of the 40’s. Just inside the bezel and outside the numbers, the minutes are each marked in a single tracked “chemin de fer”.
There is a small date window at 3 o’clock, which was not on the original 40’s model.
Turn it over and the case back is relatively clean and simple. There are a few engravings including the brand company name inside a circular design. The section in the centre is left blank purposely, as this is where your Fears watch can be personalised by way of engraving. Fears offer this service in-house, using the skills of a master engraver in Mayfair, London.
The crown is neatly sized and simple in appearance, with the fears logo engraved on the end.
The movement is a Ronda 515 Quartz, made in Switzerland.
Battery powered, you shouldn’t have to replace sooner than a few years, which is about standard.
The strap is hand made in Belgium, using genuine goat’s leather and in a colour Fears call Mink Brown. It is appears highly textured, however is exceptionally soft to touch.
The strap features quick release pins and is also available in your choice of Standard or short strap lengths.
The buckle is a standard pin style, in stainless steel, with an abreviation of the company’s letters “FWC” and “LTD” on either side of the pin.
Did you know that the Fears Watch Company Limited is one of Britain’s oldest family-run watch companies?
In 1846, young watchmaker named Edwin Fear opened a watchmaking workshop and showroom on Redcliff Street, Bristol. The business ran until the 1970s when it was closed.
In 2016 Fears Watch Company Limited it was re-established by Edwin Fear’s great-great-great-grandson and 6th generation of the Fear family, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill and its first wristwatch was released after 40 years lying dormant.
A lot of thought has clearly gone into this piece. Yes, it is a quartz watch, but look at what has gone into the detail – parts sourced from around the world, gilt printing, luminova hands and hand finishing and assembly in the UK.
One of the things that I specifically noticed when wearing the Redcliff Streamline was the comfort and weight. The soft goat leather strap and contact from the case back meant I could have been wearing a holograph! It really felt as if I was not wearing a watch, which is great for an everyday wear and at only 8.5mm thick, no fighting with shirt cuffs or woolly jumpers!
If I’m being honest, I would probably not choose the Redcliff Streamline for my own collection, as it is just too classic for me – I tend to go for something a bit different/unusual looking. That does not mean I don’t like it though, as I can really appreciate everything about this piece, from the simplicity of the classic design, clearly inspired by a watch originally sold in the 1940s, to the methods used to give the watch an antique feel, right down to the price being the same as the originally released watch.
At only £483 and with a limited run of only 100 pieces being made, if one considers the different methods and materials used to create each watch, I find it hard to believe that there will be much profit in it for Fears.
Let’s be candid though, it probably is not really about the money for Fears, but allowing others to appreciate the heritage of the family’s accomplishments.
Well done Fears – the Redcliff Streamline looks back 170 years and I really do look forward to the future of the brand.