iW Magazine

Speake-Marin’s Skulls and Snakes

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.

The Speake-Marin Crazy Skulls Tourbillon 42mm

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.

Brown Serpent
 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.

The Speake-Marin Serpent 42mm

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
CASE: Piccadilly case, front and back sapphire crystals treated with anti-reflective coating
DIAMETER: 42mm in titanium
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

Price: $12,650

Speake-Marin Crazy Skulls
MOVEMENT: Caliber SMC01, 60 seconds tourbillon, manual winding movement, minute repeater carillon
INDICATIONS: Central hours and minutes
CASE: Piccadilly shoulders and central in titanium (Grade 5). Bezel and case back in platinum
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
Price: $414,000

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