It’s no secret that we’re pretty big fans of Fears Watch Co. around here. The British brand consistently turns out high quality, design forward new releases that draw on the brand’s long history but with a completely modern sensibility. What I mean by that is simply that they’re very much online, part of the enthusiast community, and while based in Bristol, England they seem to have a worldwide reach thanks to the magic of social media. So their latest effort, a new version of the Brunswick made in partnership with Topper Jewelers, is almost anachronistic in how old fashioned it is. After all, there’s something very mid-century a watch brand partnering with a retailer for an exclusive edition. And this release is particularly special as it marks the North American retail debut for Fears. Frankly, given the warm reception they’ve been receiving over these past several years, we’re surprised it took so long. But the new watches made with Topper are certainly a suitable entry point.
The Brunswick 40 Topper Edition is what Fears is calling their first modern sports watch. As the name of the watch suggests, what we have here is the familiar cushion case platform of the Brunswick in a larger 40mm footprint. To date, the Brunswick has lived in a 38mm case, so the extra metal here should make for a more imposing and sporter watch on the wrist, but it’s hardly super-sized. It’s a modest increase in diameter that we expect won’t dramatically change the character of the Brunswick too much at all.
Topper of course is no stranger to limited editions made in partnership with enthusiast-favorite brands, and their releases tend to share similar color palettes dominated by black and white contrasts. Think of the black dialed Divers Sixty-Five they made with Oris, for example, or the Laco Flieger with a white dial and sharp black accents. For this collaboration with Fears, we have two dial designs, each effectively the inverse of the other. There’s a white lacquer dial that features applied hour markers and a black railroad style minute track. The markers are diamond cut and feature a black outline for extra contrast and depth. The black dial, seen in these photos, is also lacquered but with a textured finish. Naturally in this example the accents are in white, and both watches feature minimal dial text to keep things simple and clean (just the Fears wordmark and a jewel count above the 6:00 position). Fittingly, given Topper’s location, these are both “California” dials, with Roman numerals in the top half, and Arabic numerals below.
In terms of specs, the new Brunswick 40 runs on the tried and true ETA 2824-2 movement. This is a no date version of the movement with the calendar functionality removed (no phantom clicks here when pulling the crown). The water resistance is rated to 100 meters, which is appropriate given that this is being hailed as a true sports watch, and the sapphire crystal is domed with anti-reflective coating on the front and back. Importantly, the watch is only 11mm thick (and 46.5mm from lug to lug) so it should wear quite thin, which is welcome with the slight increase in diameter.
Naturally, the Fears Brunswick 40 Topper Edition will be available exclusively at, you guessed it, Topper Jewelers. Only 25 pieces will be made in each dial color, and both carry a retail price of $3,900. They’re available to order today, so head to Topper’s website for more information. Fears