I stayed for a change in Luzern, Switzerland, at a lovely little hotel right next to the bank of the river that pours out of the lake, next to the covered wooden bridge. A five minute walk to the train station meant full convenience for me, no taxis ever this trip. At only $120 a night, incl. a full breakfast & wireless internet access, I was very happy. The train ride into the fair and back out again in the evening is just over an hour each way, which might seem a bit too much, but I like it.
In the early morning it allows me to plan my day and mentally prepare myself, leaving Luzern at dawn was lovely, it is a very pretty city!
In the evening it allows me to decompress from the day's full roster of appointments. The city trams in Basel to & from the fair are only 6-8mins, so it is a very slick system. Leaving at 7.30am from Luzern, I am in the Fair at 9.10am, without driving and having to park etc. etc. Thursday morning I headed in to the AHCI stand for a quick hello to my friends before I dashed over to where Peter Speake-Marin was exhibiting, the fancy tent near the Ramada Hotel, together with his colleagues Max Busser, Christophe Claret & Urwerk, in the Dream Factory. Spread across the back of the Speake-Marin corner, was a huge picture of the SM2, Peter's new in house caliber.
I waited for our moment to sit down down to feast my eyes on his latest developments. A 2nd generation of the Piccadilly Marin 1, in Ti but a slightly smaller case than we saw last year, 38.6mm which sports my favourite thin bezel! A beauty, and a classic Piccadilly in my book.
The back of the Titanium Piccadilly Marin1 38.6mm:
Old & new, a comparison of the original Piccadilly and the latest Piccadilly Marin 1:
The other variation of the 2nd generation is a semi-skeletonised dial, which reveals the lovely movement, and if one holds up the watch to the light, uses a loop, the jewels on the pallet fork are visible through two little round holes in the main plate! Here one can see one of the pale pink jewels quite clearly.
I'm sure there is a technical reason for this feature, probably helpful for a watchmaker while checking the watch to make sure it is all set up correctly and doing what it is supposed to. In the buzz of our meeting I forgot to ask Peter! The blued bridges/dial section that hold the Roman numerals are quite dramatic and the overall impression I got from the piece was very good. I don't think I'd wear it, but I know many will love it. It makes for a more technical looking Speake-Marin.
The 2nd generation Piccadilly Marin 1, 42mm Titanium:
The back showing off the fabulous SM2 caliber, some small upgrades I noticed, the name plate is now engraved and held in by 2 beautifully polished screws:
On the wrist:
Other than that, I was able to look at and picture several unique pieces from Peter, in particular the staggering 38mm RG Serpent Calendar, which Kees Englebarts had engraved in Bas-Relief, the outside of the case, with two Serpents. Quite delightful, and obviously hours & hours of work to execute!
The 38mm RG Piccadilly Serpent with engraved case:
The other side:
Another stunning piece was the 42mm Piccadilly with the Russian double headed eagle dial, hand engraved and chased by Kees, surrounded by a white enamel ring sporting those lovely roman numerals. The case has also received some hand engraving on both sides.
Here is the Double Eagle engraved piece:
Another unique piece was the steel 38mm Piccadilly "The Jade Soul" with a central dial of Imperial Jade, surrounded by a rhodiumed gold ring sporting black roman numerals. Classic Speake-Marin.
And the reverse view:
And a rather spectacular new version of the 38mm steel Piccadilly sporting arabic numerals and Gianfranca hands: