Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire - sets the Sea on Fire

Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire – sets the Sea on Fire

by Olivier Müller

English watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin has been creating high-end timepieces out of his atelier in Switzerland for over a decade. In this time, the Speake-Marin collection has grown to include complications such as jumping hours, perpetual calendars, tourbillons and minute repeaters. But no chronograph – until now.

Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire – A bit of history

The Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire is Speake-Marin’s first ever chronograph. Where does its name come from ? The Spirit Seafire is the first Speake-Marin chronograph and its name is fitting since it is inspired by another ‘first’ – one from the sphere of aviation – the Supermarine Seafire. The Seafire was the first modern carrier-based airplane fielded by the British Royal Navy to protect its fleet when it debuted in 1942. The Seafire was, in essence, a seaborne version of Supermarine’s Spitfire – Seafire was a contraction of ‘Sea Spitfire’ – and the two aircraft shared many design features including an elliptical wing shape.

Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire – Tradition, and… Speake-Marin’s touch

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.

Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire

Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire

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 against the matte black dial. The white Super-LumiNova glows an atmospheric green in the dark, creating a legible display, both day and night.

“I have always wanted a chronograph to bear the Speake-Marin name,” says Peter Speake-Marin. “It was just a matter of finding the right platform. The Speake-Marin Spirit collection struck me as the perfect environment. I felt I could harness the Spirit’s casual style and clean aesthetics to create a highly original chronograph design. A chronograph is also in keeping with the Spirit’s military inspiration – and that’s why I have christened it the Seafire, after the iconic plane formerly deployed by the British navy to protect its fleet.”

Mr Peter Speake-Marin

Mr Peter Speake-Marin

Why it is a piece you need to consider ? Because 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. Wise, simple and unique, as the watch itself. Price on the Speake-Marin Spirit Seafire is CHF 7,900.

Mr Peter Speake-Marin - Caseback

Mr Peter Speake-Marin – Caseback

    Author Bio

    Articles by Olivier Müller


    Olivier Müller is a professional journalist specialising in horology. He divides his time between Geneva and Paris, covering horology-related topics for a dozen or so magazines and specialist websites in Europe. He is also a regular speaker at various events. In 2008, Olivier Müller set up Delos Communications to manage the writing side of his business, spanning five European countries. Delos Communications also provides consultancy services for horological communication, helping brands as they define and implement their strategy in terms of positioning, messages and audience. In addition to the world’s two largest watchmaking groups, Delos Communications’ clients include a broad range of emerging independent brands, as well as public-sector bodies keen to promote their local watchmaking heritage. Five people work for the agency, including a journalist, a photographer, a community manager and a translator, all with expertise in the world of watchmaking.