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The Magister is the centrepiece of Peter Speake-Marin’s new revelations at Baselworld, marking the comeback of the tourbillon in a current collection. The watchmaker formerly produced a good many, starting with the Foundation Watch – the first pocket watch made with his own hands. Others were specially commissioned. Now the tourbillon is here to stay, in a collection created for the occasion, the “J-Class”.
The Magister Tourbillon has a contemporary yet traditional look. It owes its contemporary dimension to the fact that rather than the conventional choice of gold or platinum for the case, Speake-Marin has opted for titanium. There is no guilloché design on the dial, but instead the customary spotless lacquer finish. The contemporary aspect is further heightened by its refined sobriety. The classical touch derives from the Roman numerals and blue hands, in the finest Swiss watchmaking tradition – and part of the familiar Speake-Marin style, too.
The tourbillon takes pride of place at 6 o’clock. Of course it provides accuracy, but Peter Speake-Marin is just as keen to emphasise its aesthetic appeal: “For me, the tourbillon has always been one of the most attractive aspects of watchmaking: not simply because of the precision it provides, but also because of how it livens up the dial. It shows you time passing in a way that a minute repeater or large chime mechanism never could, for example. I find that very profound,” explains Peter Speake-Marin.
Speake-Marin highlights the aesthetic qualities of the escapement by giving it an upper bridge in the form of a ‘topping tool’, the instrument used by the watchmaker to cut the gears of his watches which has become the brand’s signature. The secret of the magic here is perhaps the way in which a single timepiece combines high-flying technical expertise with unsullied purity of style.
Many of the same attributes are also to be found in the Velsheda, another new watch from Speake-Marin: a 42 mm Piccadilly case, protruding lugs, a white lacquered dial, blue hands and Roman numerals. In addition there’s a hypnotic effect: not a tourbillon here, but an ‘almost’ three handed-watch: the hours and minutes are displayed by a hand spanning the whole diameter of the dial, while the seconds are shown on a central disc, actually located within the larger hand and engraved with the same ‘topping tool’. The result is a timepiece with two inextricably interlinked pointers revolving at different speeds, creating a unique, hypnotic effect.
This watch will also be joining Speake-Marin’s new “J-Class” collection and will be driven by the firm’s Eros caliber, with a five-day power reserve.