Peter speaks my language

The Peter Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel features a pure white enamel dial. Its aesthetic appeal is obvious. Classic lines, with the angelic face of a chaste young lady, it compels me to tap away on my computer keyboard, conveying every nuance of its pleasing form.


Independent’s day - Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel

Sitting in the dimly lit restaurant, in London’s West-End, I chatted to the my fellow compatriot, Peter Speake-Marin. We originate from two geographically opposing regions.

I am from Lancashire in the North West, where candid humour and wholesome food is ubiquitous. Peter, on the other hand, is a child of the South East, an area known for congestion charging and overpriced housing.

Ironically, as we strained to see the food in front of us, our English origins provided commonality. Other guests in our party were Dutch, Swiss, Italian and Finnish. However, it was the enthusiasm for horology, exhibited by Peter Speake-Marin, that engendered my interest and set aside any differences of opinion about regional footballing prowess.

Speake-Marin may be English, but he now calls France home and commutes to his atelier in Bursins, in the adjacently located home of haute horology, Switzerland. He has become part of the Swiss watchmaking establishment, having collaborated with Harry Winston, MB&F and Maîtres du Temps. However, it is a timepiece bearing his own name which has caught my attention.

Independent’s day - Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel

The Peter Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel features a pure white enamel dial. Its aesthetic appeal is obvious. Classic lines, with the angelic face of a chaste young lady, it compels me to tap away on my computer keyboard, conveying every nuance of its pleasing form.

The dial

Independent’s day - Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel

White is a colour associated with innocence and purity. The preferred colour of brides dresses. It symbolises cleanliness, chastity and virtue. This timepiece embodies these qualities with the most beautiful face befitting an ingenue. However, beneath the simple elegance resides an intellect to delight and charm.

Enamelling is used to devastatingly delicious effect. A copper dial base has white enamel powder applied to both its upper and lower surfaces. The manually applied powder is subject to repeated firing at temperatures in excess of 800°C. This creates layers and imparts a deep lustrous hue.

Roman numerals are used to indicate the hours. They feature black enamel, fired at lower temperatures. They are lithe and elegant, proffering perfect contrast with the white dial.

Beneath noon, the Speake-Marin nomen is displayed with “Switzerland” proudly proclaimed beneath. The founder of the company may be English, but he has spent much of his career in the land of cheese and chocolate. Furthermore, he embraces much of the fine watchmaking tradition from the region. It only seems appropriate he pays due reverence to the land-locked nation.

Framing the dial is a black chapter ring. It conveys information with beautiful, restrained, clarity.

Hours and minutes are formed of blued steel. They are sinuous in shape and impart time with perfect diction.

A central seconds hand, svelte in form, points to the marks on the aforementioned chapter ring with laser-like accuracy. The legibility of the dial is exceptional.

A small blued screw above 6 o’clock, pays due reverence to the first model bearing the Speake-Marin name, the Foundation watch. In this instance the screw is not functional but provides a pleasing flourish of design which imparts joy.

The case

The Resilience features Speake-Marin’s signature Piccadilly case.

This particular model is available in stainless steel or red gold. I normally favour noble metals, however, in this instance the steel would be my preferred choice.

Stainless steel sits with the purity of the dial colour, whereas I always associate gold with decadence. Indeed, red gold could be used for a mistress variant with black sultry dial and garter red accents. Mr Speake-Marin may want to develop this idea for a further model.

Independent’s day - Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel

Available in two case diameters, 38mm and 42mm, Peter has provided the potential purchaser with choice, seldom found with mass-market offerings. I would choose the larger case size due to my own larger physique, honed on a diet of meat pies.

The case height of 12mm would not be described as ultra-thin, yet it is not unduly bulky.

The bezel is stepped, dancing with light and shade, in an enchanting courtship ritual. All surfaces are highly polished and impart a luxurious feel without feeling outré or showy.

Independent’s day - Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel

The winding crown has a fluted motif, reminiscent of pilot’s watches harking back to the 1930s and 40s, albeit smaller in stature. This is no bad thing as it confers wonderful tactility and ease of adjustment.

The caseback features a sapphire crystal indulging the wearer with a view of the finely finished movement.

The movement

The Eros 2 movement is self-winding and bestowed with an impressive five-day power reserve courtesy of the twin barrels fitted. Yet, it is the finishing and distilled execution of the movement which elicits my profound adoration.

Independent’s day - Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel

The blued rotor is unlike any other oscillating weight I have seen. Blue may be thought of as a cold tincture, but, this particular item, imparts a warm feeling in the pit of my stomach. Its unique design is enchanting and the product of blue-sky thinking which makes many rotors appear mundane by comparison.

The bridges are engraved with the brand’s nomenclature. The rotor and bridges feature circular graining.

This movement is peerless in its presentation. Whilst contemporary in form, it examples many details of traditional craftsmanship.

Conclusion

Every year, many watch companies launch new models. They embrace new materials, new technologies and try to conceive new complications we have never seen before. I enjoy seeing this unabated innovation, not least because it provides material to write about. However, sometimes simplicity and elegance capture your heart.

The Peter Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel is not the most complex timepiece, nor is it festooned with plentiful gems. It is the innocent young lady, sans make-up and excessive adornment. Her diction is perfect and her breeding impeccable.

This is a timepiece which enunciates time beautifully without a conspicuous accent. It simply proffers grace and balance in a classical form.

Our accents may be different, but Peter Speake Marin speaks my language with this most handsome of timepieces.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Peter Speake-Marin Resilience 42mm Steel Enamel
  • Reference:PIC.10011
  • Case: Stainless steel; dimensions 42.00 mm; height 12.00 mm; Water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and rear.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; central seconds.
  • Movement: Caliber Eros 2; self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 35 jewels; power reserve 120 hours.
  • Strap: Black alligator leather strap presented on stainless steel pin buckle.

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