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In for Review: The William Wood Fearless Orange

I actually first heard of William Wood through a good friend of mine and fellow watch aficionado, Dexter. In his corporate life, Dexter and Jonny (Founder of William Wood) were desk neighbours, and Dexter was very quick to sing the praises of the brand from a very early stage.

For those of you who are not familiar with the brand, it was named after the founders grandfather, who was a decorated firefighter who served for over 25 years in the UK. The inspiration is certainly picked up in the design language of the brand, the logo for a start, taking the side profile of a 1920's firefighting helmet, and use of recycled firefighting hose in the straps, really reminds you of the legacy the brand are continuing.

4 years ago, I was lucky enough to get hands on with the Rose Watch, one of the earliest watches released by the brand. It truly was excellent, and I knew that the brand were only destined for greater things in the years to come.

Just over a year ago, I attended the first post-pandemic WatchPro event at The Londoner Hotel on Leicester Square. The event was an absolute riot, and whilst catching up with watch friends and getting hands on with a whole host of interesting brands, I found myself drawn to the William Wood stand, and a selection of what seemed to be new watches. That is when I first got hands on with the Fearless line, a more compact, 39mm field-style watch in three distinct colours accents against the black case, dial and strap. Whilst I loved the deep tone of the Red, and the summery pop of colour from the Yellow, oddly the Orange was the model that grabbed my attention the most.

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Now, at this point I have had the watch for what is definitely a "long-loan", which has actually been brilliant. It has allowed me to really get to know this watch, understand where it fits into my rotation of watches, when I find myself putting it on the most, and to really appreciate what the brand is all above.

This watch is just really intriguing...

As I mentioned, the watch comes in at 39mm, and wears fairly true to that. It isn't slender at 14mm, but certainly not chunky by any means, whilst the style isn't particularly "office" for me, it has no problem slipping under a shirt cuff. 20mm lug widths should be almost an industry rule, and means that this can go on a tonne of straps with ease and look the business.

The dial features a rough charcoal effect finish, a tasteful touch I think to the heritage of the brand, and features a nicely executive date at 3 o'clock, framed in the same accent colour as the chapter ring. Speaking of chapter ring, this is where the pop of colour comes from. The chapter ring that contains the seconds track is fat, and gives a pop of vibrant orange which becomes mirrored in the side of the indices when it catches the light. Speaking of the indices, these along with the applied logo at 12 o'clock and the hands are in rose gold, which gives a gorgeous contrast against the black dial, they really shine.

Now turning over the watch is the really fun part. Instead of offering either an entirely open or entirely display case back, William Wood have opted to add in another nod to the brands heritage, and feature a firefighters oxygen mask on the case back itself. The visor of the helmet is coloured sapphire, not only offering a nod to the accent colour on the dial, but also allowing you the chance to take a glance at the beating heart of the watch.

A very cool touch...

At its beating heart is possibly one of the best movements ever made, certainly in the affordable space. The Seiko NH35 gives the Fearless a 41 hour power reserve and a tolerance of -20 to +40 seconds a day, lovely. Seiko have been churning this movement out for YEARS, and it is renowned across the industry as one of the true workhorse movements out there. If you don't believe me, Google some of the brands that use the movement, and you will see that its reputation precedes it.

I mentioned earlier on that having had this watch for such a long time has really allowed me to workout where it fits in my rotation, and where it might fit in your watch box. I am sure it will come as no surprise to anyone that for me, this is a weekend watch. I will admit I probably havent tried this watch on enough straps to find something that plays it down enough for office life, but for me the weekend is where I find myself grabbing this watch more often. The all black aesthetic coupled with the pop of orange gives an almost tactical but playful feel.

This really is a little stunner...

The 100m water resistance coupled with the PVD case and rubber strap make this a really rugged, dependable but also lighthearted watch, and to me really feels like a great distillation of the brand as a whole. Another home run from the guys over at William Wood, and I cannot wait to see what else is in the pipeline.

Felix Arnold

Editor & Co-Founder

The Young Horologist

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