The Manual Wind: The Chronograph Spirit
The watch industry has seen an influx of brands in the last few decades. Brands both resurrected from the depths of dormant watch history and conceived of passionate skilled students of the art. When marketing takes a backseat to passion and skill, truly transcendent timepieces emerge. That is of the case of Peter Speake-Marin. As if watchmaking was his destiny, Speake-Marin was schooled and trained, restoring and developing all before the age of thirty. Having designed and built high-end complications for the well known movement manufacturer Renaud & Papi (now owned by Audemars Piguet) his next step was to take his name from the bench to exhibition with the creation of his namesake brand; Speake-Marin. The Piccadilly was Speake-Marin’s first release. Now, more than a decade later, this discernible case design is the cornerstone of the brand.
Having utilized the Piccadilly case once again, the first Speake-Marin Chronograph hits The Basel Watch Fair 2014. Taking the design cues of the Automatic Spirit Mark 2, Speake-Marin introduces the Spirit Seafire Chronograph. This Titanium case 42mm Chronograph has the fervor of English sophistication and sport. A matte dial in horizontal symmetry displays minute and hour chronograph counters, date, and a running seconds signified by the ‘Topping Tool’ insignia frequently used by Speake-Marin. All the hands, including the Speake-Marin spade-tipped hour hand, are filled with SuperLuminova for nighttime legibility. The Chronograph counters displayed with both arabic and roman numerals are a unique touch giving this chronograph an almost regulator type feel. Inside lies a caliber C99001-D automatic Chronograph movement with forty-eight hour power reserve. This single barrel chronograph is a great pairing for this piece giving this titanium case a durable and high performing movement allowing for true reliability and sport. Attach this piece to your wrist with a hand-made brown calf leather strap and tang buckle for a meeting of old English charm and industrial sport.
With the likes of Glashutte, IWC, and Zenith all offering the big brand version of the black dial brown calf strap combination, Speake-Marin takes this segment to the next level with the Spirit Seafire Chronograph. Producing under one thousand watches annually, this piece not only stands out from the pack but will be tough to spot in the wild given its very low production. This new introduction to the Speake-Marin line shows this brand is set to “Fight, Love and Persevere” as it’s case back reads.