English watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin has been creating mechanically superlative, aesthetically distinctive high-end timepieces out of his atelier in Switzerland for over a decade. Today, the Speake-Marin collection has grown to include complications such as jumping hours, perpetual calendars, tourbillons and minute repeaters. Now the watchmaker unveils a chronograph timepiece for the first time.
The Spirit Seafire is Speake-Marin’s first ever chronograph. In addition to its chronograph counters (central elapsed seconds; elapsed minutes subdial at 12 o’clock; elapsed hours subdial at 6 o’clock), it features central hours and minutes; date at 3 o’clock; seconds wheel at 9 o’clock in the form of the Speake-Marin ‘topping tool’ logo; and signature Piccadilly case in polished grade 5 titanium with straight-grained sides.
The Seafire’s three-dimensional hour markers, minute chapter ring, chronograph subdials, date and tips of the hands are all in a bright white Super-LumiNova that contrasts superbly against the matte black dial. The white Super-LumiNova glows an atmospheric green in the dark, creating an exceptionally legible display, both day and night.
The Spirit Seafire is inspired by the Supermarine Seafire, the first modern carrier-based airplane fielded by the British Royal Navy to protect its fleet when it debuted in 1942.
A casual aura, high legibility and refined display make the Seafire an unmistakable Spirit. The white-on-black indications are highly legible during the day; their green glow in the dark gives perfect visibility during a night flight.
Peter Speake-Marin has put considerable thought into optimising the Seafire’s legibility. Not only has he skeletonised the central Speake-Marin signature ‘Foundation’ hour and minute hands, but he has also designed the counterweight of the central chronograph elapsed seconds hand as an open circle. Such design features ensure clear, unobstructed views of the chronograph counters.
It is rare to see Roman numerals feature on chronograph counters, but here Peter has used them for the subdial at 6 o’clock. This touch of refinement echoes the other models in the collection and helps to distinguish elapsed hours from the elapsed minutes in Arabic numerals at 12 o’clock.
Seconds can be monitored via the circular cut-out in the white-lacquered ‘topping tool’ wheel at 9 o’clock – set flush with the dial – as it passes by a vertical Super-LumiNova white line. This line is set into the surface, as are the Speake-Marin name and chapter ring railroad-tracks, while the Roman and Arabic numerals as well as the hour and minute indicators are in three-dimensional Super-LumiNova, creating a multi-level dial profile.
To create the Seafire’s dial, a three-dimensional mould of the multi-level dial elements was produced to make a negative mould in which lacquer and Super-LumiNova masks were successively applied by hand, ensuring the correct materials and colours were in the right places. When set, the one-piece dial face was removed from the mould and bonded to the dial plate.
The Spirit Seafire is powered with an automatic integrated chronograph movement which offers a power reserve of 48-hour power reserve.
As the first Speake-Marin chronograph, the Spirit Seafire required a new Piccadilly case. Polished pushers gleaming at 2 o’clock (start/stop) and 4 o’clock (reset), bear testament to the complication within, while the bezel has been raised to accommodate the additional hands. The three-position fluted crown enables manual winding, rapid date change and hacking seconds. And for added protection, Peter Speake-Marin has set the crown slightly into the caseband.
The Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire watch is available in a 42mm grade 5 titanium case.
Model: Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire
Features and indications
• Central hours and minutes
• Chronograph: Elapsed central seconds; elapsed minutes; elapsed hours
• Date window at 3 o’clock
• Highly legible, three-dimensional dial
• ‘Topping tool’ seconds wheel flush with dial
• 42mm titanium Piccadilly case
• Spirit motto “Fight, Love & Persevere” engraved on caseback
Dial and hands
• Skeletonised ‘Foundation’ hour and minute hands in polished German silver, black PVD-treated
• Central chronograph elapsed seconds hand, black PVD-treated
• Chronograph elapsed minutes subdial at 12 o’clock featuring ‘Spirit’ Arabic numerals
• Chronograph elapsed hours subdial at 6 o’clock featuring ‘Spirit’ Roman numerals
• All hands featuring hand-filled white Super-LumiNova tips
• ‘Topping tool’ seconds wheel, hand-lacquered white at 9 o’clock
• Matte black resin base dial
• White dial elements in Super-LumiNova, in 3D relief and inset into dial
• Calibre C99001-D
• Automatic-winding mechanical movement featuring two-pusher chronograph and date
• Single barrel
• Frequency: 28,800vph / 4Hz
• Power reserve: 48 hours
• Number of jewels: 25
• Height: 7.9m
Case and strap
• Piccadilly case in polished, grade 5 titanium with straight-grained caseband
• Polished grade 5 titanium chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock (start/stop) and 4 o’clock (reset)
• Dimensions: 42mm x 15mm
• Screwed lugs
• 3-position crown: manual winding, rapid date change and hacking seconds
• Spirit motto “Fight, Love and Persevere” engraved on caseback
• Front sapphire crystal treated with anti-reflective coating
• Water resistance: 3atm/30m/100ft
• Hand-made brown leather strap
• Hand-waxed cotton NATO strap by Suigeneric available (sold separately)
• Pin buckle in titanium; folding buckle available (sold separately)