Hands-on with the Speake-Marin Academic Collection

Hands-on with the Speake-Marin Academic Collection

A Gateway to Avant-Garde Swiss Watchmaking with British Flair

The Academic serves as an ideal introduction to the Speake-Marin universe, not just because of its price point—starting around $16,000—but because it encapsulates the brand's essence: British heritage, true in-house high-end watchmaking, and modern avant-garde design.

Historical Context and Evolution

The Academic collection traces its lineage back to one of the brand’s earliest creations, the Piccadilly. This time-only watch, embodying classical British watch aesthetics, was the brainchild of the brand’s founder, Peter Speake-Marin, who established the brand in 2002. Over the next decade, Speake-Marin continued to produce watches within a similar traditional design framework. However, a significant transformation began in 2012 when Christelle Rosnoblet, Peter’s business partner, fully acquired the brand.

Just a few years later, in 2014, Christelle started investing in the renowned movement manufacturer Le Cercle des Horlogers. This manufacturer is known for producing highly finished and complicated movements for prestigious names such as Jean-Claude Biver, Jacob & Co., and Louis Vuitton, among others.

In 2020, Speake-Marin transitioned its manufacturing operations to Le Cercle’s facilities in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This move ensured that all Speake-Marin watches and movements are now fully designed and manufactured in-house. The current collections, including the Academic, reflect these enhanced capabilities, blending the brand’s British legacy with modern design and top-tier finishing.

Specifications and Features

Let’s delve into the specifics of the Academic:

Movement: The watch is powered by an in-house micro-rotor movement, designed and built by Le Cercle des Horlogers exclusively for this model. The movement is highly finished, offering a power reserve of 52 hours and operating at a frequency of 4Hz.

Case: Available in either a 38mm or 42mm grade five titanium case, the watch boasts a slim profile with a height of just 10.5mm. The lug-to-lug measurements are 46.3mm for the 38mm case and 48.6mm for the 42mm version, ensuring a comfortable fit on various wrist sizes.

Dial: The standout feature of these watches is their dials, which seamlessly blend traditional and modern aesthetics. Currently available in black, white, and red (or rouge), the dials may vary over time as Speake-Marin often produces limited editions. All dials feature striking, three-dimensional cardinal numerals made from milled Superluminova, which are luminous and highly legible.

Subdial: A unique design element of the Academic is its subsidiary seconds dial positioned between one and two o’clock—a signature feature of the brand.

Strap Options: The watch comes with either leather or rubber straps, with the rubber option particularly enhancing its clean, modern, and versatile appearance.

A True Expression of Speake-Marin

At approximately $16,000, the Academic is more than just an entry point into the brand from a price perspective; it serves as a gateway to the heart and soul of Speake-Marin. The watch harmoniously blends British watchmaking traditions with a modern, avant-garde approach to haute horology, offering a unique perspective in the world of independent watchmaking.

The Speake-Marin Academic collection is available at collectivehorology.comAs always, feel free to get in touch with your thoughts and questions. And thank you for supporting independent watchmaking.

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