By James Phang
Having just covered Peter Speake-Marin’s new rendition of his infamous Serpent Calendar, it seems that Speake-Marin has a recurring theme of nostalgia for Basel 2016 as he announces yet another beautifully crafted rendition of his single-hand Velsheda – the Velsheda Gothic.
Regarding the Velsheda, Peter Speake-Marin says: The Velsheda is a genuinely unique watch, all the Velsheda’s set themselves apart from other watches in the Speake-Marin Collection not only due to the single hand but the central animation between the watches hand and seconds wheel, the addition of enamel and an accentuated Gothic dial complement the design in a perfect flamboyant fashion.
Single-hand (mono-aiguille) watches are uncommon in the watchmaking industry and are intriguing to most people due to its lack of readability. In place of the traditional hours and hands markers, the single-hand watches are interpreted by the hours and (approximate) 5-minutes markers of a single hand. In the case of the Velsheda Gothic, its large blued hand points directly to the five minutes track, with a red tip now applied to counter its shape and prevent misreading. As part of his design aesthetics, a disc-shaped runner (the emblem of Peter Speake-Marin) occupies the centre of the single hand and makes a full round within 60 seconds.
As part of Speake-Marin’s J-Class range, the Velsheda Gothic shares most of its design features with those in the same range such as the Serpent Calendar, Magister Tourbillon and Resilience. Therefore, most people would find familiar elements such as the iconic Piccadilly case used in the Velsheda Gothic. However, the Velsheda Gothic only comes in a 42mm titanium case (instead of the usual 38mm and 42mm variations), mainly due to its design features to ensure better legibility.
The Velsheda Gothic’s enamel dial is dressed with a mixture of Roman and Arabic numerals, as opposed to the two layers white lacquered dial of its predecessor. The Arabic dials are shaped in an ancient Gothic way illustrating strong curves and pointy tips. A subtle design element features one arm of the Roman “V” numeral concealing the word “enamel,” referring to the grande feu enamel process used to make the dial, ensuring optimum contrast with the black and red dial markings, and a long dial life. The red “12” marker also stands out in a beautiful way, and the sum of parts has successfully given the Speake-Marin Velsheda Gothic a strong personality.
The Velsheda Gothic is powered by the Vaucher calibre 3002, a double barrel movement which ensures a more stable accuracy over its full range of power reserve (50 hours). Something I always felt remarkable about Peter Speake-Marin’s designs is his commitment to the finer details such as the movement’s finish (sporting radial Geneva stripes, bevelled angles and a specific blued rotor shaped like a topping tool), thereby allowing wearers to appreciate its caseback as much as its dial.
The Velsheda Gothic is priced at 11.500 Swiss francs excluding tax. It is a limited edition of eight pieces.
For more info, please visit speake-marin.com
JAMES PHANG – CONTRIBUTING WRITER
James Phang is a young watch enthusiast from Singapore and is a self-professed fanatic of independent brands for their unique avant-garde designs. Some of his favorite brands include MB&F, Urwerk, Romain Jerome, Sarpaneva, Peter Speake-Marin and Azimuth. His love for art extends out to all things handmade, and he has made it his personal mission to find the best handmade straps and buckles worldwide for his humble collection. Read his articles here