A collaboration between fresh upstart Garrick and one of Britain’s oldest family run watch companies – the Fears Watch Company.
Press release information and commentary in italics.
New: Fears and Garrick joins forces to create a new watch
The Fears Garrick is available to order from today exclusively via Fears, retailing for £19,500 inc. VAT (£16,250 ex. VAT) with delivery commencing in December. More information can be found at www.fearswatches.com/garrick.
We have been fans of Garrick since we first met with Dave Brailsford. (side note: I always get slightly confused by the name Dave Brailsford, as the principal of the World Tour Professional Cycling Team – Ineos Granadiers is also Sir Dave Brailsford.) On that occasion of the first meeting, we were introduced to the Garrick in Baselworld 2019. And we recommended the Series 2 in a detailed review found here. The watch even appeared in two of our Throwback recommendations: Throwback Sundays: Six Watches from Independent Watchmakers for S$25K and Six Watches from Independent and Small-Scale Manufacturers Below S$10,000. We covered the release of the Series 3, but have not yet able to experience the watches hands-on.
So it was with interest that we received Dave’s email on the release of their collaboration with Fears. For those who are not familiar, the Fears Watch Company has been around since 1846, established by Edwin Fear in Bristol. The business ran for 130 years until it closed in 1976, no doubt a victim of the quartz crisis. But in 2016, on the 170th anniversary, the company was re-established by Edwin Fear’s great-great-great-grandson, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill. Fears today is located in its historical home city of Bristol, where the watches are designed, before being hand built in Britain.
The collaboration is interesting, because it brings together two of UK’s small manufacturers to create a watch which can visually be a testament that it is a product of both of these companies. The plain white dial, with a power reserve indicator and the hours, minutes in signature Fears openworked style. And subsidiary seconds with Arabic numerals and a minute railway track. And a huge exposed balance held by a balance bridge, a signature of Garrick’s. The movement is provided by the Garrick side of the collaboration.
The Garrick UTG04 is a rather beautiful movement made in the great English tradition of the three quarter plate, with frosted finishing on the plates contrasting to the black polished steel cap of the balance wheel’s endstone visible from the case back. The movement also features 4 gold chatons held by screws to secure the pivot jewels of the entire wheel train.
David Brailsford of Garrick first met Nicholas Bowman-Scargill in October 2016, a few weeks prior to Nicholas relaunching his family company, Fears. Sharing their experiences with one another, the two men recognised they had much in common. They vowed to support each other and subsequently became friends.
In November 2018, David and Nicholas sat down in a branch of Costa Coffee and discussed working on a joint project. Keen to ensure the collaboration remained under wraps, the men referred to their joint venture as ‘Project Costa’.
The idea was to harmoniously fuse the design codes of both companies and exploit each firm’s strengths. In particular, ‘Project Costa’ was intended to unite Garrick’s watchmaking expertise with Fears’ rich heritage and obsessive eye for detail.
Now, some three years later, both David and Nicholas are pleased to unveil the Fears Garrick, a stylish conclusion to this symbiotic union. The watch is presented in a curvaceous 42mm steel case, produced in Garrick’s Norfolk workshop. Painstakingly polished, the case’s sinuous profile makes the watch appear smaller than its stated dimensions would suggest.
The dial is dressed in a pure shade of white and marked with tastefully unobtrusive branding. The hours and minutes are conveyed with Fears’ signature openworked hands, working in collaboration with applied Arabic numerals, which again are executed in Fears’ Edwin style. Named after the company’s founder, the typeset is a distillation of historical Fears typefaces. Indeed, this font was specially created exclusively for Fears.
A power-reserve indicator sits at 2 o’clock, while a small seconds display is positioned opposite. However, the wearer’s eyes will inevitably gravitate to the aperture at the base of the dial which reveals the balance oscillating to and fro. A chemin de fer encircles the dial, facilitating ease of read off.
The movement, the Garrick UTG04, is hand-wound and finished to an exalted level. Again, crafted in Norfolk, the Garrick UTG04 features six screwed chatons, an indication of its refined execution.
Returning to the balance wheel, positioned dial side, it features a free sprung balance. Unlike the ubiquitous index-regulated balance, the effective length of the hairspring remains constant. The rate of the watch is adjusted by tightening/loosening the timing screws located on the rim of the balance wheel, effectively altering the moment of inertia. The benefits of this system include superior rate stability and less susceptibility to positional influence. In this instance, the timing screws are positioned in-board, mitigating air turbulence and, by default, aiding precision. Lastly, the balance features a beat adjuster, allowing the watchmaker to fine tune the anchor symmetry.
The Fears Garrick is the synergistic outcome of two men discussing horological ideas whilst sharing a pot of tea. Despite the watch only being unveiled today, several collectors have already placed orders for their handcrafted Fears Garrick, standing testament to the esteemed reputation of both brands.
Commenting on the launch of the new Garrick timepiece, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, (4th) Managing Director of Fears Watch Company, says “It’s been an absolute pleasure working so closely with one of my best friends and combing our two brands DNA in such a perfect way. Despite everything the past few years has thrown our way we’ve been focused on getting the watch right and I feel it reflects the best of Fears and the best of Garrick.”
Commenting on the launch of the new Garrick timepiece, Dave Brailsford, co-founder of Garrick, says “This project isn’t just about the watch. It’s about our friendship and admiration for each other’s achievements. It just had to happen and it’s a match made in heaven!”
Fears Garrick specification
|CASE||904L stainless steel, 42mm diameter, 10mm depth. Exhibition case back. Water Resistant to 100m.|
|MOVEMENT||Exclusive Garrick calibre UT-G04 manual wound mechanical movement. In-house free-sprung Trinity balance – tested and regulated to ensure a daily variance of +5 seconds. Screwed and hand-polished chatons (jewel settings). Rhodium-plated with black polished bridges. 19 Jewels. Hand frosted finish|
|GLASS||Sapphire Crystal to front and back, both with ARdur® Swiss anti-reflective coating on inside and outside.|
|DIAL||Old English White with paper-like matte white finish. Rhodium bevelled edges to running seconds at 10 o’clock and balance opening at 6 o’clock. Diamond polished ‘Edwin’ numerals, coating in Black Gold. Black and Red printing.|
|HANDS||‘Fears’ hands – Skeletonised, polished and Thermally Blued.|
|FUNCTIONS||Time (Hours, Minutes & Seconds), Power Reserve|
|WARRENTY||2 Year guarantee from date of purchase|
|STRAP||Fears Blue or Taupe, British calf leather, lined in Alcantara®, handmade.|
|SERIAL NUMBER||Individually numbered, sequentially|
|PRODUCTION||10-15 watches per year|
|RETAIL PRICE||£19,500 inc. VAT (£16,250 ex. VAT)|