Hands-on with the Speake-Marin Ripples Collection

Hands-on with the Speake-Marin Ripples Collection

A Modern, British-inspired Take on the Iconic Swiss Format

In recent years, integrated bracelet sports watches have surged in popularity. Independent brands like Czapek, Laurent Ferrier, and Speake-Marin have led the charge with innovative takes on this category. Independent watchmakers, unbound by conventional constraints, bring fresh perspectives to a familiar format.

Watchmaking Chops

The Speake-Marin Ripples collection not only offers a distinctive design but also highlights the brand’s watchmaking prowess. All of Speake-Marin's watches and movements are designed and manufactured in-house at their sister company, Le Cercle des Horologers – renowned for creating high-end calibres for haute horology brands such as Jean-Claude Biver, Jacob & Co., and Louis Vuitton.

(For a deeper dive into the history and operations of both Speake-Marin and Le Cercle des Horologers, check out our review of the Speake-Marin Academic collection. It's a useful primer on the brand's history and capabilities.)

Key Specifications

Let's take a look at the specifications for the Ripples collection:

  • Case and Bracelet: Stainless steel with polished center links
  • Diameter: 40.3mm
  • Height: 9.5mm
  • Lug-to-lug: 45.5mm
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Movement: Hand-finished, micro-rotor Calibre SMA03-T/TD
  • Warranty: 2 years

Dial Variations

The Ripples collection features several dial variations (currently available):

  • No Date: Available in Black, Metallic Green, and Yellow Gold.
  • With Date: Available in Black, Metallic Silver, and a two-tone sand and green dial called Dune.

(Speake-Marin watches are all limited production, so dial colors and configurations will change over time.)

Despite the variations, all watches in the Ripples collection share the same case, bracelet, and movement, with the only differences being the date and no-date options.

Design and Ergonomics

The case and dial of the Ripples collection reflect the brand's British roots, drawing inspiration from the architectural language of London's city district, known for its striking modern architecture. Appropriately, Speake-Marin has dubbed the case the "La City" case, a Swiss-French nod to London's City.

The highly finished case has been widely recognized for its wearability. The modest 40mm diameter, slim 9mm height, and 45mm lug-to-lug distance ensure the watch hugs the wrist comfortably, earning praise for its ergonomic fit.

High-contrast Dial Finishing

Interestingly, the Ripples collection sports watches lack luminous material on the dial or hands, a surprising choice given the brand's creative use of lume in other models. However, the watch remains highly legible thanks to the high-quality finishing throughout. The contrast between brushed and polished surfaces makes the dial easily readable in various lighting conditions, akin to Grand Seiko’s meticulous finishing techniques.

The dial finishing epitomizes what makes the Speake-Marin Ripples so unique and compelling in the realm of sports watches. It marries bold, idiosyncratic design with top-tier watchmaking, delivering a package that stands out from the crowd. The Speake-Marin Ripples is a clear embodiment of the brand's distinctive characteristics: British heritage, modern design, and avant-garde haute horology. In a saturated market of stainless steel integrated bracelet sports watches, the Ripples offers a refreshing and original perspective.

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

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