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In 1790, Richard Kevitt Rotherham, a former apprentice of Samuel Vale, was listed as a partner in the firm of Vale, Howlette, Carr and Rotherham. In 1842 it was transferred to Richard Kevitt Rotherham & Sons. The R&S assay punch mark was registered in Birmingham in 1841.

In the late 1800s, Rotherhams main factory for production was in Coventry, with the company opening offices in Holborn Circus, London which became the head office. This is where the London signing on pocket watches such as this stems from.

They manufactured good quality English pocket watches. These were traditional, with full plate movements, split bi-metallic balances and spring barrel driven.


Fears are also one of the oldest family run companies in Britain, being established in 1846. Edwin Fear based a workshop and showroom at Nos. 33-35 Redcliff Street in Bristol.

In 1866 the business expands to a second premises on Bristol Bridge, with was the Fears HQ until it was destroyed during the blitz in WW2. When Edwin passes in 1877, the business was handed down to his son Amos Daniel Fear. Under his leadership the Fears company was made a limited company in 1908, changing its name to Fears Limited. From the 1930s the company was simply known as Fears. Today, the 6th generation of the Fear watchmaking family, Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, heads the company.


It was common for makers to use other manufacturers movements or cases during the 1800s, up to the mid 1900s. This pocket watch represents a historically interesting collaboration between Fears LTD and Rotherhams & Sons.

This example dates to 1916 and is of classic design from the era. The pocket watch is made of silver and is open face, with stem wind and pin set movement. The dial is a bright white enamel, with black Roman numerals and inset sub-second dial. The thermally blued spade and whip handset shine beautifully in the light. The dial is signed Fears Ltd Bristol England to the centre. The case has a double hinged back with fish scale engraving to the rear and traditional emblem for initials to be engraved.

The Full plate English lever movement has thermally blued screws and an attractive regulator. It is signed with the Rotherhams London name, manufactured for Fears Ltd.

It has been recently serviced by the Fears heritage team. The pocket watch comes with a Fears extract from the archive. It is on a period white metal Albert chain which is of unusual design, widening in the centre.


Please see the images as these compliment and aid the description provided below.



The dial is original and is in good condition. The dial is formed of enamel and it has no cracks or fractures, but it does have some hair line fractures. It is a brilliant bright white tone, with a simple railroad track for the minutes around the exterior. The hour markers are black Roman numerals in great condition. The sub-second dial is inset into the dial. The dial has 10 second graduations, marked with Arabic numerals. The dial is signed Fears Ltd Bristol England.



The hands are original and are in excellent condition. They are of spade and whip style and have a beautiful thermally blued finish with no corrosion or bending.



The glass is original, fitting the profile of the watch very well. It has some scratching associated with ageing.


Crown and loop:

The crown appears to be a replacement due to the colour. They are however of good quality and in good condition.

The loop is formed of silver and appears to have deformed.  



The case is silver and is in good condition. There is light surface scratching consistent with age. There are no dents.



The case back is in good condition for its age with only light surface scratching. The case back seals tightly.


Inside of caseback:

The inside of the caseback is signed with English hallmarking for silver, by Birmingham assay office, dating to 1915/16. It has the sponsor mark for John Rotherham of Rotherham & Sons.


Inside of inner case back:

The same English hallmarks are repeated on the inner of the case back.

The inside back seals tightly.



The movement is an English lever movement from the early 1900s. The movement has thermally blued screws and is signed with the Rotherhams London name, stating it was manufactured for Fears Ltd.


The movement is in good condition for its age cosmetically. The pocket watch has been assessed and serviced by the Fears team to ensure excellent reliability.

It has a daily gain of +20 seconds a day, with an amplitude of 225 and a beat error of 3.8m/s.


Case dimensions:

Case width: 50mm

Case length: 50mm

Case length with loop: 70mm

Case length with crown: 62mm

Case Depth: 17.5mm


1916 Open face Fears Ltd Bristol pocket watch RESERVED

Out of Stock
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