Wednesday, September 16, 2015

English Maker, Swiss Quality - Peter Speake-Marin

Fact is that English watchmakers are now making their mark in the world dominated by the Swiss and Germans.

Peter Speake-Marin is as English as it gets. A member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI) which represents all independent watchmakers, Speake-Marin has been member since 2004. The timepieces especially the Resilience series are instantaneously recognisable with their oversized screwed lugs and the case style.

I recently acquired an earlier model Resilience called the Piccadilly PS4E4S. The case type is called the Piccadilly. According to Peter, this Resilience was one of the first two pieces he had designed in 2002 and first made in 2003.

I particularly like this simple three handed timepiece - great proportions and with an oven fired enamel dial to boot. The watch I have is an early Resilience and the dials were made at that time by a company called Donze.

The dial work is excellent as one would expect of an enamel dial. The enamel dials are fired repeatedly in an oven at temperatures exceeding 800 degrees Celcius to achieve a consistent and lasting look. The hands are hardened flamed-blue steel hands.

Another recognisable feature of the Speake-Marin timepiece is the large pleated crown. The Resilience comes in two sizes - 38mm and 42mm. Mine is the 42mm version with a steel case.

The back featuring a modified ETA 2824 movement. The setting mechanism was simplified, the rotor bridge and mass changed as well as hand finished and personalised components. Peter also changed the Canon pinion and hour wheel to a higher version.

One of the feature of the movement is the large balance for precision timekeeping but Peter also spends time regulating the movements to ensure proper timekeeping. And unlike in other ETA movement watches, the Resilience comes to live after just three turns of the crown. The rotor wheel is another signature of PSM - the watchmaker's topping tool.

I have to thank my friend Kevin for pointing out this particular version - the one made with a modified ETA2824 movement which is Peter's earlier works. The current series of Resilience uses a Vaucher movement instead. The earlier Resilience feels heavier and more solid as the case is made in steel. Now this is a timepiece that you can keep for generations to come as the enamel dial will never tarnish and the movement is equally easy to service.