* A re-creations of a watch Fears made in 1930, upsized but maintaining the same elegant proportions and Art Deco design.
* Powered by a new-old-stock ZentRa 185/ETA 717 calibre, dating from the 1930s.
* Limited to 39 pieces, representing the 39 years Fears was closed from 1977 – 2016.
The Fears Archival 1930 Small Seconds, hand-built in Great Britain, is a doorway to an earlier era of wristwatches - both its Art Deco design and the vintage, new-old-stock movement powering it were created in the 1930s. It speaks of the rich history of the Fears Watch Company, founded in 1846 in Bristol, England, where it is still based today; and of the elegantly understated watchmaking for which Fears continues to be known.
The Archival Small Seconds 1930 revives the design and feel of a rectangular, Art Deco watch that Fears produced in 1930. The long and slender case, machined from 316L stainless steel, recreates exactly the proportions and outline of the original model, marginally upsized for contemporary tastes (40mm x 22mm).
The luxurious finish features rich contrasts between the highly polished, sloping top surfaces of the bezel and lugs, and the linear grain applied to the case flanks. The angular design is further softened by a gently curved crystal, whose contours match those of the arching case-back, designed to ensure an effortless fit on the wrist.
The spirit of the Jazz Age is captured in the ‘Vintage Champagne’ dial, a close recreation of the original design given added pep by layered treatments of 18ct yellow gold. The entire dial base is first polished and plated in gold, which shines through in the glossy golden border; the rest of the dial is layered on top, with a matte finish that receives a secondary gold treatment to achieve the perfect Champagne tone. The hands, expertly milled and diamond polished, are flame-blued by hand.
Inside, the Archival 1930 Small Seconds also harks back to the past thanks to its new-old-stock movement, the ETA 717. This hand-wound calibre was regularly used by Fears watches in that era. A newly-located cache of never-assembled movements, machined in 1935 and now lovingly reconditioned and enhanced with a modern mainspring, powers the limited edition of 38 watches, each one individually numbered on the solid case-back with a year from Fears’ history.
Created to mark the 175th anniversary of the Fears Watch Company’s founding, the Archival 1930 Small Seconds is a slice of living history reflecting in its design and craftsmanship the refined, English elegance that remains the Fears calling card.
A NOTE ON THE FEARS WATCH COMPANY
Founded in Bristol in 1846 by Edwin Fear, the Fears Watch Company flourished through the 19th and 20th centuries, remaining within the Fear family throughout. A victim of the economic crises that claimed many of its Swiss counterparts in the 1970s, it finally closed in 1977 and lay dormant for almost 40 years. In 2016, Edwin Fear’s great-great-great-grandson, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, a Rolex-trained watchmaker and entrepreneur, revived his family’s business, becoming the fourth managing director from his family of the Fears Watch Company, and continuing the tradition of effortlessly stylish watches hand-built in Britain.