The round of the Baselworld 2016 novelties has already started for a few days and now even the smaller independent watchmakers are announcing some of the new collections that will be introduced at the annual watch fair. One of them is Speake-Marin, a watchmaker that we cherish here, because of his unique approach, both elegant and eccentric. Based on an existing model (reviewed here), here a rather strong expression of his style with the new Speake-Marin Velsheda Gothic.
The Speake Marin Velsheda is part of the J-Class collection that includes the elegant, dress watches – the two other ranges are the Spirit Collection (with the Spirit Wing Commander or the Spirit Seafire) and the Cabinet des Mystères Collection (with the unique pieces or the limited editions and eccentric watches like the Triad). The J-Class range also integrates the recently introduced Serpent Calendar, the Magister Tourbillon or the now iconic Resilience. However, the Speake-Marin Velsheda is a very unique watch, not because of its design – that is reminiscent of the other watches of the J-Class collection, but because of its display, something not overly used in watchmaking: the mono-aiguille / single-hand concept – meaning that time is not displayed classically by the means of a separate hour and minute hand.
Time in the Speake-Marin Velsheda Gothic (like in the Speake-Marin Velsheda we reviewed) is given by the mean of one and only one large hand, resulting in a quite slow and poetical display. Don’t expect the precision of a normal watch (at least in terms of display… the watch will be mechanically precise of course) as markings on the dial will give you an indication of time to the closest five minutes. And honestly, that’s more than enough in most circumstances. The large blued hand points directly to the minute five track and to counter its shape and to prevent misreading, a red tip is now applied. In the center of this single-hand, the Speake-Marin Velsheda Gothic features a runner (a disc shaped like a topping too, the emblem of Peter Speake-Marin) that makes a full round in 60 seconds.
The main novelty of this Speake-Marin Velsheda Gothic concerns the dial, which first will be delivered in enamel (instead of the two layers white lacquered dial of the normal Speake-Marin Velsheda) and dressed with Roman and Arabic numerals. The latter are shaped in an ancient Gothic way, almost medieval, with strong curves and pointy tips. A subtle detail in the design of the dial is the “5”, which has in miniature the word “enamel” painted. This antique style of the dial combined with the single-hand complication give the Speake-Marin Velsheda Gothic a strong personality.
This new iteration comes in the iconic Piccadilly case, measuring 42mm and made in grade 5 titanium. The back is made in sapphire, revealing the Vaucher calibre 3002, an automatic winding movement with pretty interesting finish (radial Geneva stripes, bevelled angles and a specific blued rotor shaped like a topping tool) – you can observe this movement here, on the normal Speake-Marin Velsheda. More details on www.speake-marin.com.