My dear friend Peter Speake-Marin visits
As I sit here and type this, I am reminded of how long we have known each other, almost 9 years! What a ride it has been from those heady days of 2004 when I ordered the first 5 watches from Peter & Daniella during the Basel fair. Not having bought any Independent watches for "stock" prior to this point, I was slightly cautious, and asked what happens if they don't sell. Their response was that they would certainly exchange out any models for ones that do sell, and so I signed off on the purchase order and dashed off to my next appointment. Well, five months later when the watches arrived in a FedEx box, I had prepared several of the local watch collectors as to the impending arrival, and they were eagerly waiting in the store when I opened the box! Within 15 minutes, three of the five were sold, I kept the rose gold white enamel roman dial Piccadilly and the remaining steel piece with cream enamel arabics stayed. As I was packing up the store later that day, I recalled with a sense of amusement, that conversation with Peter & Daniella back in Basel about not being able to sell his watches, I sent an email to them the following day asking for more watches!
Baselworld 2004, Peter & Daniela Speake-Marin
Fast forward to where we are now, the second generation enamel dialed Piccadilly model, the Resilience, sporting the new EROS 2 caliber, an automatic twin barrel workhorse with a 5 Day power reserve with Peter's signature topping tool motif rotor. I love it, especially the 18K red gold execution in the 38mm case. I sold my original piece over a year ago to friend and miss it. Now I have an alternative option!
On the wrist, yes it feels as good as it looks. The 2mm slimmer profile is tremendous! 18K red gold 38mm case, white enamel dial $24,600
Love Peter's foundation style blued steel hands as allways!
Also making it's debut is another time only model the HMS (Hours, Minutes & Seconds), again powered by the EROS 2 caliber, differing in dial material from the Resilience. This prototype features again a very classic look with the black roman numerals on a circular grained two-layered silvered dial. There is another execution of the HMS with a white lacquered dial and again the black romans, as an option for those not wanting to step up for the real deal of the enamel dialed Resilience! This last version of the HMS, I have not seen in the metal so to speak, and therefore will pass final judgement upon handling it in person.
The lovely 18K RG HMS in both case sizes. 42mm $27,000 38mm $22,200
The 38mm on the wrist. $22,200
Also in the Resilience family are the steel versions, Peter only had a 42mm with him this trip, so all I can show is that piece. As a comparison to the original, I have included a picture that reveals the 2mm case thickness difference below.
42mm steel Piccadilly Resilience with enamel dial. $16,300
Here is that comparison shot.
Below we have another wrist shot to show off the classic lines of the Piccadilly case:
42mm steel cased Piccadilly Resilience on the wrist. $16,300
Here is the movement revealing the blued steel rotor and circular grained main bridge, which features twin barrels providing 5 days of power reserve, when fully wound.
Here are few more shots comparing the different dial options and case sizes of the new models. All feature the EROS 2 caliber.
38mm 18K RG Resilience $24,600 and 42mm SS Resilience $16,300
38mm 18K RG Resilience on left and 18K RG HMS on the right. Both stunning watches in their own right.
Other than these lovely new models, Peter showed me the new Spirit Mark 2 prototype, which he barred me from showing until now, as it was introduced at the Salon QP exhibition in London today. It is a 42mm steel cased "entry level" Speake-Marin with a similar military inspired dial as last years original Spirit Pioneer. In keeping with the military look and feel, he has dispensed with the exhibition case back in favor of a solid back, still with the now familiar Speake-Marin topping tool motif etched on the caseback together with his call to action quote, "Fight, Love & Persevere".
Here a couple of images showing it compared to the original Spirit Pioneer…
The original on left $9950 and the Prototype of the Mark 2 $11,500
This is very much a prototype dial, more to show the design format and style, the serially produced one is a similar black lacquer as the original on the left. The new model is all white superluminova rather than the pale green & white found on the original. Also the bezel in the production piece is circular grained by hand.
The final piece is the mighty and bold Renaissance Minute Repeater Tourbillon, cased in a 44mm 18K RG Piccadilly case with a skeletonised dial and unique hand engraved movement. There are six pieces of this, each one is unique due to it's engraving. This particular piece has a dragon depicted on the reverse. This was a piece Peter designed as a model to show his re-emergence from the "World watch crisis" that occurred in 2007 with the downturn in the economy, particularly the American & European ones. It was a tough time for Peter professionally, and emerging in one piece, he wanted to celebrate with a stunning piece. I'd say he has done it!
18K red gold 44mm case Minute Repeater Tourbillon $290,000
It sounds superb when chiming the time and the tourbillon again has his topping tool motif as the cage arms. Hand finished beautifully in the traditional Swiss way, it is a sight to behold and those lucky few who own or will own one, are fortunate indeed. Peter's time at Renaud & Papi, where he honed his skills particularly in the minute repeater and tourbillon departments for them, is shown in his Renaissance model.
On the wrist it feels sublime and looks killer!
Once again, it has been my great pleasure to host Peter at our store, Passion, in Solana Beach and give local collectors the opportunity to meet with him. Handling his watches in person gives one a huge advantage over just seeing them in pictures, with the huge added bonus of having Peter here to answer any questions.
We had what I anticipated was going to be a brief question and answer session, after Peter spoke for about 10 minutes to the assembled collectors, instead he held the audience in rapt attention for another 45 minutes answering question upon question and going into lengthy details about the future of his work and life. This was a precious time, that I think all very much appreciated being here for.
In closing, I'd like to thank Peter for making the effort to come down to Solana Beach and for taking the time to share his life's work.