By Magnus Salbu
Independent watchmakers have been a huge hit at SIHH since 2016 when the organizing committee decided to invite 9 independent manufacturers to present their new timepieces alongside the long-standing traditional manufacturers. This year, even more, independent manufacturers has participated, one of these independent manufacturers is Speake-Marin. Peter Speake-Marin is known for his heavy duty drilled lugs and his flame-blued hands and rotor. This year he has released a watch that features a tourbillon and a minute repeater which has an additional function.
The Speake-Marin Crazy Skulls has quite a fitting name when you look at the dial. The dial is skeletonized with two large black or grey skulls forming a red heart in between them at 6 o’clock, as well as huge flame blued roman numerals displaying 12 o’clock. When the minute repeater slide is activated, the two skulls separate to reveal the tourbillon. In addition to that happening, the roman numerals at 12 o’clock falls apart. As the minute repeater strikes its last tones, the two skulls are reunited and the 12 o’clock markers fall back in place. This is supposed to simulate how the world falls apart and comes back together as two souls in love are separated and brought back together. It is a continuation of the Cabinet des Mystères Collection where Speake-Marin placed a skull on the dial 10 years ago to remind us that time is precious and every minute counts.
This is the first time Speake-Marin creates a watch with a tourbillon, a minute repeater, and an animated dial. Apart from the animated skulls and 12 o’clock marker, the dial has a minute track on the outer part of the dial. The hands are flame blued with Speake-Marin’s signature Spade hour hand.
The visuals of the movement play a huge part on this watch as well as it is visible through both the front and the back of the watch. In the front, the beautiful mechanics of the minute repeater in action as well as the gears of the 12 o’clock markers can be seen through the upper part of the dial. When the minute repeater is in action you can see the tourbillon between the skulls for a brief couple of seconds. The most striking part of this 60-second tourbillon is the upper tourbillon case which is shaped like a watchmakers topping tool, and of course Speake-Marin’s logo. The topping tool shaped tourbillon case is mirror polished by hand. On the back there’s a huge bridge with cut outs for the gongs of the minute repeater, the centrifugal governor of the minute repeater which spins when activated and the lower cage of the tourbillon, do you really need to see anymore?
The Speake-Marin Crazy Skulls has a case where the lugs and middle portions of the case is in grade 5 titanium and the bezel and case back is in platinum, this is for better sound quality when the minute repeater chimes. It comes on an alligator strap with an 18 karat red gold pin-buckle. It is a limited edition of only two unique pieces, one with black skulls and one with grey. For more info, please visit speake-marin.com