Personification of the Mediterranean Sea…
Debut coverage of Speake-Marin here on First In Watches. I wonder what took me so long. As if the man’s mark upon Harry Winston’s Excenter Tourbillon (2006). MB&F’s Horological Machine No.1 (2008) and the Chapter One and Chapter Two for Maîtres du Temps (2008 and 2009) were not enough for me. His namesake watches are so powerful, so unique it’s just awesome. But honestly I feel I have much to learn about Peter Speake-Marin and his work in order to fully grasp the wholesomeness of it all. But this is for another day…
Speake-Marin’s new Marin 2 “Thalassa” is an absolute beauty and the fact that he is only making 30 of them is also a thing of beauty. How about the blued-steel partial-dial — I’m sure you catch that in the right light and it really gleams. This watch conveys a style all its own, what else to say. For thoughts deeper than mine, The Watch Lounge’s Ian Ellery has a good take on the Marin 2 Thalassa that I recommend (please do click through).
Speake-Marin Marin 2 Thalassa
42mm white gold signature “Piccadilly” style case, manufacture caliber SM-2
And the manual wind movement with its gothic curves…its German-silver bridges…it can be ogled over for hours.
And he speaks wisdom, does Peter Speake‐Marin:
“I believe there are very few contemporary watchmakers and brands that have created an original style and adhered to an underlying philosophy of constant improvement, longevity, beauty and quality of product that will live beyond their own time. My goal is that in years to come I will be viewed as one of them.”
Peter Speake‐Marin ‐ Biography
A native Englishman, Peter Speake‐Marin originally had the intention of making jewelry, but found himself seduced by the art and mechanics of watchmaking. He began his horological journey at London’s Hackney Technical College (1985) and then continued his education at WOSTEP, the prestigious Swiss watchmaking school.
Returning to England, Peter worked for a number of different companies around the UK before accepting an offer to head the prestigious antique watch section at Somlo Antiques. At their store in the Piccadilly Arcade, he had the privilege to restore timepieces by great masters and houses, including Dent, Frodsham, Nielson, Breguet and Patek Philippe. Working on these horological treasures taught him how past masters worked and fuelled his desire to improve his skills and increase his knowledge even further.
Peter moved back to Switzerland in 1996 where he was recruited by the illustrious manufacture Renaud & Papi (now Audemars Piguet Renaud &Papi) to develop high complications. During this time, he began acquiring his own machinery and constructed by hand a tourbillon pocket watch with two power trains. This timepiece became the Foundation Watch for his own independent atelier, established in 2000 in the picturesque village of Rolle, between Geneva and Lausanne.
The Speake‐Marin case design was called “The Piccadilly” because, as Peter explains, “The time I spent in Piccadilly remains the most influential period of my working career.” The experience he gained there allowed him to discover the wide variety of methods used by watchmakers over the centuries, the best of which Peter Speake‐Marin brings to his own designs.
Others have frequently sought Peter for his talent and innovative ideas. Collaborations include: 2006 Harry Winston’s stunning Excenter Tourbillon; 2008 MB&F’s Horological Machine No.1; 2008 one of the three Masters developing Chapter One for Maîtres du Temps and Chapter Two in 2009.
With all his creations, Peter Speake‐Marin pays homage to the horological tradition and its valuable lessons, while at the same time mining the rich possibilities available in the present day. “The goal is not just to manufacture a product that sells well today,” he says. “True value will come from its durability over time.”