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Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date Watch Review

Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date

Back in 2016 the Fears Watch Company burst back onto the British watchmaking scene with the Redcliff quartz, a contemporary interpretation of the classical designs of the Bristolian brand. Subsequently Fears leaned even more heavily on that heritage with the Brunswick and Archival and the Redcliff Quartz was discontinued in 2020. Now though, the Redcliff is back in the form of the new Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date, which I just so happen to have strapped to my wrist.

Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date

Out of the gates, it’s very comfortable to wear with the case measuring 39.5mm in diameter and 9.95mm in thickness, produced in stainless steel. That feels like the perfect median between the smaller vintage sizes that are popular at the moment and the larger 40-42mm watches that have been more broadly popular this decade. The design of the case itself is very restrained – a circular piece with brushed flanks, a polished bezel and gently curving lugs.

Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date

The round shape of the Redcliff contributes to its modern, more contemporary appeal compared to the more retro influence of cushion cased Brunswick. It also has a 150m water resistance rating, which is fairly admirable for a dress watch. Although in order to accommodate that it has a solid steel screw down caseback that, taking the watch off and flipping it over, gives the Redcliff more of a utilitarian vibe when viewed from the back. It’s not all that much of a big deal but this watch is crying out for an exhibition caseback, especially considering the movement housed inside, which we’ll get to shortly.

Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date

Turning the Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date back over to look at the dial, I absolutely love it. The edition I have here is the Pewter Grey, which has a mid-tone grey display to match the steel of the case. The peripheral minute track is in a slightly darker shade and is recessed back into the dial a little to give a more pronounced appearance of layers. The central portion is then vertically brushed, giving it a smart appearance. Atop the dial are the applied baton hour markers, with the 12 o’clock marker specially designed to look like the iconic towers of the Clifton Suspension Bridge (upside down) one of the signature landmarks of Bristol.

Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date

Adding a splash of colour to the display is the vibrant blue seconds hand and matching blue minute markers. Although if you’re after vibrant colour then you’re probably better off going for one of the other versions such as the Red Cherry or Boutique Exclusive Mallard Green. There’s also a Raven Black version for a more subtle look. All four versions come on a steel bracelet with additional colour matched nylon textile strap with Alcantara lining, which can be easily swapped with their quick release spring bars.

Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date

The movement housed inside is the La Joux-Perret G100, which is a serious step up from the previous quartz of the Redcliff and even the ETA calibres they use in their flagship Brunswick range. It’s automatic with a 60-hour power reserve and a deviation of 0/+5 seconds per day. It features hours, minutes, seconds and date complications with the date presented at 3 o’clock using Fear’s bespoke Edwin numerals on a dial colour matched disk. As noted, it would be great to see it through an exhibition caseback but as is, the hard work it’s putting in is hidden away, leaving the watch looking serene. Although that in itself feels like a very British sensibility.

Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date

In terms of price, the Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date is £3,150. Not an insubstantial chunk of change but then, it does feature an improved movement and is built immaculately. Ultimately the Redcliff does feel very British, prim and proper to a fault while also being stylish and elegant. Although it’s the modern Britishness that can be found in the cities and towns rather than that more traditional style seen out in the muddy fields of the countryside and heritage estates. Cool, restrained and ready for business.

Price and Specs:

Model: Fears Redcliff 39.5 Date
Ref: BS139.500
Case: 39.5mm diameter x 9.95mm thickness, stainless steel
Dial: Pewter grey
Water resistance: 150m (15 bar)
Movement: La Joux-Perret calibre G100, automatic, 24 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 68h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Strap: Grey nylon textile strap with Alcantara lining and Fears cipher pin buckle and additional 3-link stainless steel bracelet with Foldover clasp and micro-adjustment
Price: £3,150

More details at Fears.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.