Fears, Christopher Ward and the British Watch Industry

Fears, Christopher Ward and the British Watch Industry

Introducing The Alliance 01

The watch world comes to life twice a year with new releases announced en masse in Spring and Autumn. However, many luxury watch brands choose to introduce new pieces outside of these seasons and this year has been no different. One such timepiece, The Fears x Christopher Ward: Alliance 01. was released in January 2023, and has already caught the eye of the Lyon & Turnbull Watch Department. Read on as Head of Watches Sarah Fergusson discusses a remarkable new addition.

At 3pm on the 27th of January 2023, The Fears x Christopher Ward: Alliance 01 wristwatch was released, the result of a collaboration between two established watchmakers designed to solely benefit the Alliance of British Watch and Clockmakers. Although some will not be familiar with Fears or Christopher Ward, both are highly-respected UK watch brands, admired by the wider industry and collectors alike. 

Fears, in its original form, was established in Bristol towards the end of the 19th century. At this time, production was of course solely pocket watches, but by the 1920s the company was firmly moving towards the trend of the wristwatch. Despite losing its premises during World War II raids, the company persevered until finally closing its doors in the mid-1970s, presumably due to the pressures of the Quartz Crisis.

In 2016, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill - the great great great grandson of the company’s original founder Edwin Fear - relaunched the family company, introducing their first collection of watches in over 40 years. Since then, they have re-introduced a modern take on the distinct Fears style, championed by their current most successful and recognisable collection, Brunswick. Each model in the Fears collection features a distinctive cushion-shaped case, and, like the majority of their pieces, harks back to one of the company’s original designs from the early to mid-20th century. 

In addition to his role as Managing Director of Fears, Bowman-Scargill is one of the founding members of the Alliance of British Watch & Clock Makers. Founded in 2020, the alliance was created to “...encourage and guide (this) renewed energy in our sector and provide a vice for our members.” A trade body for UK watch and clock makers, the Alliance has grown to have over 70 members and welcomes private collectors and enthusiasts too.

Fears x Christopher Ward Alliance 01

In a bid to raise awareness and funds for the Alliance, Bowman-Scargill set to work, partnering with fellow British watch brand Christopher Ward. Together, they created an exclusive timepiece only available to members: The Fears x Christopher Ward: Alliance 01. Priced at £3,950 the watch is characteristically Fears, with its typical cushion case design, yet it is powered by Christopher Ward's iconic JJ01 jumping hour module. The dial features a small aperture to the top, in which the hour is displayed, and a dial below, showing the minutes. Although it has the vintage or heritage elements of case shape and display, the watch looks distinctly modern, with its bright stainless steel case and vivid plum dial.  

Limited to only 50 pieces, this special release sold out within hours of its release on the 27th of January and is yet another example of the desirability of the output of British watchmakers today. Given the newness of Fears and Christopher Ward as current, active watch brands, very few of their models are to be found on the secondary market, and even fewer at auction, particularly limited editions like Alliance 01. Overseas, other high-end artisanal brands like Parmigiani Fleurier, F. P. Journe and Roger Dubuis, who were all founded in the last twenty to thirty years, have seen prices for their pre-owned watches soar. I think we can safely assume the same will happen for Fears and Christopher Ward, given their admirable trajectories so far.

Fears Alliance 01 on Desk

If you own a Fears, Christopher Ward or watch from another luxury watch brand, our regular UK auctions allow the opportunity to sell for a premium price to an international network of watch buyers. As the demand for British-made timepieces continues to rise, contact our watch auction department and find out how much your watch could be worth at auction today.


With thanks to Fears Watches for the use of their imagery.




Lyon & Turnbull’s Watch Auctions department is a dynamic one with significant expertise, hosting diverse watch auctions across the U.K. featuring fine, rare, modern and vintage timepieces. Highlights from recent auctions include a rare Rolex Daytona 6263 that sold for £62,500 in October 2021 and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak that achieved £106,250 (incl premium).


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Sarah Fergusson



0141 333 1992



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