Watches: Peter Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire Chronograph
By Thierry Ané on February 25, 2014
Not so long ago, I presented the Spirit Wing CommanderWatches: Peter Speake-Marin Spirit Wing Commander that the talented English watchmaker unveiled as a sneak peek of its Baselworld presentation. At the time, I really thought that this superb timepiece with a large date and a power reserve indicator would be the only model from the brand I would be able to discuss before the fair begins. I was therefore very surprised and particularly excited when I read my emails today and found out the brand had another model up its sleeve.
It is not just another model though: the Spirit Seafire is nothing less than the first chronograph ever presented by this high-end brand!
Part of the Spirit collection, this model features the now iconic Piccadilly case with Speake-Marin’s rousing call-to-action “Fight, Love and Persevere” engraved on the case back. It is crafted in grade 5 polished titanium with straight-grained sides, and although it still measures 42 mm in diameter, its thickness has increased to 15 mm in order to accommodate the additional hands of the chronograph function.
Peter Speake-Marin is no stranger to watch complications and his collection includes jumping hours, perpetual calendars, tourbillons and minute repeaters. You can have a look at the Tourbillon Minute Repeater Dragon to appreciate how this extremely gifted watchmaker manages to combine the pinnacle of Haute Horology with a highly original sense of aesthetics. Surprisingly, however, his extensive collection was missing a chronograph model that many of his admirers were waiting for.
The wait is over and the result will certainly not disappoint: this over-used complication finds a new youth here with a design that is refreshing and so Speake-Marin at the same time! The chronograph indications have been placed vertically with the elapsed minutes counters at 12 o’clock and the elapsed hours sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Note the unusual use of Roman numerals for the latter while Arabic numerals have been chosen for the former. On the horizontal axis, one finds the seconds wheel at 9 o’clock in the form of the Speake-Marin “topping tool logo” and the date window at 3 o’clock.
The central hours and minutes are indicated by the brand’s signature “Foundation” hands while the chronograph elapsed seconds use an index hand with a circle open counterweight in order not to obstruct the view of the chronograph counters. All the markers on this matte black dial are in bright SuperLuminova that glows green in the dark for optimal legibility in all conditions.
The watch is presented on brown calfskin leather with beige stitches and a titanium pin buckle. A hand-waxed cotton NATO strap and a folding titanium buckle are also available upon request. This is another great-looking model that I look forward to seeing in the flesh. I will not forget to come back with a photo report and some additional impressions after Baselworld.