Speake-Marin is one of those independent brands that I just can’t get enough of. The brand represents a wonderful convergence of Swiss watchmaking and just enough British eccentricity to stand out in the crowd without being overtly kitschy. Peter Speake-Marin founded the eponymous brand in 2002, though he officially left in 2017 and was unofficially pulling back his duties for a couple of years before that. Given the well-earned spike in popularity of not just independent watchmaking but independent watchmakers in just the past year or two, there’s potential for an interesting “what if” scenario that contemplates the brand’s position had PSM stayed. Anyway, forgive this old watch writer his alternate history parlor game; I’ll get on to the Speake-Marin watch at hand now.
First debuted in 2019, the Speake-Marin One&Two Openworked Dual-Time features the signature “Piccadilly” case (which was refreshed in collaboration with prolific watch designer Eric Giroud) with a just-skeletonized-enough dial and a handsomely finished micro-rotor movement. In this article, you’ll see two iterations, the newest with the ‘Mint’ dial and DLC titanium case in 38mm, and the more classic titanium model in 42mm. The ‘Mint’ model is limited to 10 pieces in 38mm and 18 pieces in 42mm, and the titanium is limited to 30 pieces in 38mm and 30 pieces in 42mm.
Everything on the dial looks pretty neat and well-organized, considering it is partially openworked, with a small seconds subdial, dual-time indicator, and retrograde date. I love how the skeletonized bridges seem to, well, bridge the various dial aspects together. They also have excellent beveling, as well. The 24-hour second time zone indicator has light and dark sections for AM/PM with a nice and legible arrow hand. Across the dial at 2 o’clock is the almost semi-oblong small seconds indicator, which is wrapped by a beautifully done retrograde date display that is set by a small pusher on the side of the case at 7 o’clock. At 5 o’clock, there is a view of the barrel with those lovely sharp teeth. With how much attention is dedicated to the rest of the dial, it’s easy to overlook the brand’s signature quirky lacquered heart-shaped hands, but I really do love them and always appreciate a minutes hand of the proper length.
Pulling the crown out to the first position allows you to set the local time zone in sync with the 24-hour second time zone (as well as the date), while the second position allows you to independently set the hour hand (without changing the date), making this a true functional travel watch. Naturally, there is a hacking seconds feature.
The One&Two Openworked Dual-Time Mint you see here is the smaller 38mm model that has a lug-to-lug height of 46.3mm and a case thickness of 12.5mm. The 42mm titanium model has a 53mm lug-to-lug height and the same 12.5mm case thickness. Personally, I’d much rather go for the 38mm for reasons of wearability, yes, but also because I believe a watch should fit its movement as much as possible. Flipping the watches over shows what I’m referring to, with the 42mm needing extra framing around the exhibition caseback.
The Calibre SMA02 movement is done at Speake-Marin’s atelier in Neuchâtel, where the brand has been “fully developing and assembling proprietary movements” since 2015. The skeletonized micro-rotor is done in the shape of the Speake-Marin logo, and the rest of the pocket watch-inspired, not quite three-quarter plate is finished with Geneva stripes, black mirror polishing, and beveling throughout. A beautifully finished automatic movement, the SMA02 operates at 28,800 vph and has a 52-hour power reserve.
Intended to be sportier, the Mint comes on a matching rubber strap, while the more classically dressy titanium model comes on a leather strap. The Speake-Marin One&Two Openworked Dual-Time titanium model in 38mm is limited to 20 pieces and priced at $27,800, and the 42mm is limited to 20 pieces with a price of $28,400. The Dual-Time Mint in 38mm is limited to 10 pieces and priced at $32,300 and the 42mm is limited to 18 pieces with a price of $32,800. You can learn more at speake-marin.com.