Peter Speake-Marin is a man who is unafraid to glance back at his past achievements in order to create his future, his Spirit Pioneer watch was based on a military timepiece which he had restored some years ago and it had rather utilitarian, if classy styling. Peter Speake-Marin is a man who is unafraid to embrace cameleon-like diversification - he followed the release of his rather thrifty ( ... resourcefully using "spare" stock movements) Spirit Pioneer with one of his most expensive creations to date - the Renaissance Tourbillon Minute-Repeater, an ultra-exclusive synopsis of his watchmaking skills. And, Peter Speake-Marin is a man unafraid to add a touch of English heritage to the "Swissness" of his timepieces - he recalls his time spent in a restoration workshop in London's Piccadilly and its nearby Eros statue by including those names in his portfolio - and of course, there is a certain British-ness in the use of, and the arrangement of his tall Roman Numerals.
His latest piece, the Speake-Marin Classic HMS is so-named because it presents only the hours, minutes and seconds on it's very distinctive dial. It's styling takes inspiration from a piece from his Classic Collection which Peter presented in 2002. But it's simplistic appearance is deceptive .....
This is a layered dial, deeply recessed where it meets the bezel, deeper still in the middle section. The Piccadilly case has been skinnied for this piece, but it's three piece construction is no less complex. The Speake-Marin peculiarities remain, the proud protruding lugs, the out-sized crown and the playful, shapely hands - all are now expected features. Inside is the handfinished Eros 2 Calibre, with twin barrels providing it's generous 5 day power reserve and a blued topping-tool skeletonised rotor - a superb panorama through the sapphire caseback.
There are choices too, 38mm or 42mm cases crafted from either stainless steel or 18 carat red gold with dial options of white lacquer or guilloche/circular graining finishing.
Speake-Marin watches might say Switzerland on the dial, and of course, they are made in Switzerland, but the man behind the brand is an Englishman, part of the growing renaissance of British Watchmaking. That Britain has contributed richly to the history of horology is in no doubt, but the current revival has, in historical terms been relatively fast. It was only in the seventies that Peter Roberts a Fellow of the British Horological Institute became the first UK student to study at WOSTEP, he became a teacher at London’s Hackney School of Watchmaking and among his many students over the years were Stephen Forsey and Peter Speake-Marin who would also go on to study at WOSTEP. Other watchmakers raising the profile of British Watchmaking include Roger Smith, Graham London, the boys at Bremont and the iconic name of Dent, which has experienced a re-awakening.
The Speake-Marin Classic HMS comes presented on a handmade leather strap.
More information at Peter’s Official Website