Peter Speake-Marin unveils a new version of his Serpent Calendar featuring an automatic movement with five-day power reserve! And for an attractive price as well. Now that’s great news on day one of Baselworld 2012.
The Serpent Calendar, part of the Original Piccadilly Collection with Enamel dial, has always been one of my favorites. Although the new Serpent Calendar does not have an enamel dial, I must admit that it looks better and has another huge improvement, being the new automatic movement, caliber Eros 1.
While the Serpent Calendar’s three-piece Piccadilly case is at first glance similar to the original Piccadilly case (here you can see my own Piccadilly as reference), the inset date dial and new automatic winding movement allow for a much slimmer case of just 12mm. The entire watch has been redesigned from the ground up, while it retained the distinctive identity of the original Serpent; a completely new dial, a completely new case and a completely new Serpent hand. And of course a completely new movement, but later more about that.
“The original Serpent was the first calendar watch I made and it quickly became one of the most popular Speake-Marin timepieces,” says Peter Speake-Marin. “The idea is simple and goes back over a century to early pocket watches that used a curved hand to differentiate the date from the time indications. The Serpent Calendar now brings a fresh look to this classic design.”
The dial is glossy-finished with white lacquer and bold Roman numerals. If you look closely, you’ll see that the sides of the Roman numerals taper inwards towards the center and follow the line of the hands. It might be a small detail, however it looks good and shows the attention for detail that Peter Speake-Marin has.
The Serpent Calendar indicates central hours, minutes and date by bright blue sculptured Speake-Marin hands. The Serpent date hand with its exaggerated curves ensure that this date hand is never completely covered by either the hour or minute hand. The center part of the dial shows Arabic numerals for the date and is slightly recessed. It also shows a small image of the iconic topping tool, below the center of the dial towards 6 o’clock, which is a recognizable visual reference to the Speake-Marin collection.
A reference that we can also see on the reverse side of the watch…
The movement Speake-Marin uses in the Serpent Calendar, is an automatic movementwith Peter Speake-Marin’s signature mystery rotor in the shape of a topping tool. The rotor is blue PVD coated, not heat-blued. Maybe some purist would prefer heat-blued, however when you see the price of this new Speake-Marin I’m sure you won’t mind. Peter has managed to keep this one in a very pleasant price range.
Caliber Eros 1 has a five-day power reserve, or 120 hours, that comes from twin barrels. The movement has a large diameter (30.4 mm) and its almost full three-part bridge is circular-grained. And even though the price level is incredibly pleasant, all bridges, the gear train, setting lever spring, mainplate and rotor are circled, spotted, straight grained and polished by hand!
Now that’s superb and luckily Speake-Marin has a good explanation for the remarkable caliber name 😉
Why Eros? As Peter Speake-Marin explains: “I am English, the case name is Piccadilly after my formative years working in Piccadilly, London, and Eros is the famous landmark statue in Piccadilly Circus.”
Because of the new movement the case could be quite thin, which improves comfort on the wrist. The new slim Piccadilly case looks great and it’s available with the option of either a casual, stainless steel or a more sophisticated, red gold case.
Now that looks handsome!
The Serpent Calendar is available with a stainless steel or 18K 5N red gold case in either 38mm or 42mm diameter. The different variations in size are easily recognizable by the wider bezel of the 42 mm version. The first photo of this article shows the stainless steel version in 42 mm and the second photo shows the stainless steel version in 38 mm. The photo above shows the red gold version in 42 mm.
And the best news… the prices, of course depending the size and metal, are between 11’500 CHF (VAT excl.) for a Steel 38mm up to 22’500 CHF (VAT Excl.) for a 5N 42mm. Prices have to be confirmed, but should not be more than 10% higher than what’s quoted here.
Here are the specifications and some more photos of the red gold version.
Dial and Hands:
- Central hours, minutes and seconds
- Central heat-blued Serpent calendar hand
- ‘Foundation’ style, heat-blued central hour, minute and second hands
- Multi-layered, glossy-finished, white-lacquered dial
- Black Roman numeral hour and minute markers
- Black Arabic numeral date markers
- Black Speake-Marin ‘topping tool’ motif at 6 o’clock and Speake-Marin name at 12 o’clock
- Calibre EROS 1, automatic mechanical movement
- Dimensions: 30.40mm x 4.35mm
- Power reserve: 120 hours
- Jewels: 35
- Twin barrel
- Instantaneous date
- Frequency: 28,800vph / 4Hz
- Three position crown: manual winding, rapid date correction and stop-second time setting
- Signature Speake-Marin ‘topping tool’ mystery rotor
- Blue PVD treatment applied on the rotor wheel
- Bridges, gear train, setting lever spring, mainplate and rotor circled, spotted, straight grained and polished by hand
Case and strap:
- Iconic Speake-Marin Piccadilly case crafted in either stainless steel or 18K 5N red gold
- Three-piece case construction
- Diameter: 38mm or 42mm
- Height: 12mm
- Front and display-back sapphire crystals treated with anti-reflective coating
- Case-back circumference engraving: “Speake-Marin – The Piccadilly”
- Water resistance: 3atm/30m/100ft
- Genuine, natural alligator leather strap with stainless steel or 5N red gold tang buckle
Please check Speake-Marin’s website for more photos and of course availability.