For years Peter Speake-Marin’s watch designs have drawn collectors in search of original design and technically impressive watchmaking.
Since 2008, the British -born, Swiss-trained watchmaker has focused his creative watchmaking solely on his own eponymous brand, at first developing his signature large-crown Piccadilly, but adding today’s slightly thinner Resilience models, new watches for women and numerous emblematic designs. In recent years Speake-Marin has debuted a host of artistically tinged collections known as Spirit (British military designs), J-Class (nautically influenced models) and Cabinet des Mysteres, wherein Speake-Marin regularly debuts limited editions emphasizing unusual dials and imaginative complications.
Within the latter collection, Speake-Marin at SIHH 2017 added Crazy Skulls, an appropriately named 42mm titanium watch with two aluminum skulls merged to form a single heart on its dial. When the wearer activates a slider at 9 o’clock, the two skulls separate and a Speak-Marin tourbillon emerges from beneath. These two moving skulls are not the only action set into motion by moving the slider: as the skulls separate to display the tourbillon, a minute repeater carillon chimes to musically celebrate the event with a medieval tune.
At the same time, the two Roman numerals of the 12 fall apart on the dial, symbolizing the despair of the two lovers (whose united skull/heart has split). Then, just as the hammers strike three gongs, the heart is reunited and the Roman numerals are reconstructed to read XII.
As a result, Crazy Skulls combines skulls, broken hearts and medieval music together in one watch. Finally.
While the Crazy Skulls will be made as a limited edition of only two pieces (with an option of black or grey skulls), Speake-Marin also added several new models for slightly wider release during the show.
One of those was a newer update of the popular Serpent profile, which Speake-Marin had previously redesigned, altering the dial, the case and the hands. This year, Speake-Marin also adds a brown snailing hours chapter ring and, per its name, an oversized calendar indication.
And, in an interesting (and literal) twist that I haven’t seen anywhere else, Speake-Marin has offset the large calendar date ring. Rather than ending and re-starting the date ring at the top or bottom of the dial, Speake-Marin twists it to start and end at the 1.30 position.
The remainder of the watch echoes the Serpent collection with a multi-layered, bright white dial set into a 42mm titanium Piccadilly case.
The Serpent Calendar indicates central hours and minutes with Speake-Marin-style blued hands and the date with a golden sculptured Speake-Marin calendar hand.
As with the other Serpent models, the new Brown Serpent calendar is equipped with a Vaucher 3002 automatic movement. The new Brown Serpent Calendar is a limited edition of 28 watches.
Speake-Marin Brown Serpent Calendar
MOVEMENT: Caliber Vaucher 3002, hand-assembled mechanical self-winding movement
FREQUENCY: 28,800vph / 4Hz
INDICATIONS: Central hour, minutes, seconds and date
POWER RESERVE: 50 hours
CASE: Piccadilly case, front and back sapphire crystals treated with anti-reflective coating
DIAMETER: 42mm in titanium
WATER RESISTANCE: 30 meters
DIAL: Multi-layered, white-lacquered dial with a brown snailing hours circle, offset date
HANDS: Hours, minutes and seconds Speake-Marin-style blued Serpent Calendar hands. Speake-Marin-style golden hand
STRAP: Alligator. Pin buckle in titanium
LIMITED EDITION: 28 watches
Speake-Marin Crazy Skulls
MOVEMENT: Caliber SMC01, 60 seconds tourbillon, manual winding movement, minute repeater carillon
INDICATIONS: Central hours and minutes
POWER RESERVE: 72 hours
CASE: Piccadilly shoulders and central in titanium (Grade 5). Bezel and case back in platinum
DIAMETER: 42 mm
WATER RESISTANCE: 30 meters
DIAL: Skeletonized with two skulls in aluminum. Roman numerals at 12. Minute repeater with animation of the dial.
HANDS: Speake-Marin-style hands in heat-blued steel
STRAP: Alligator. Pin buckle in 18-karat red gold
LIMITED EDITION: Two unique pieces