The Piccadilly range has been a mainstream stay of the Speake-Marin brand since the company was founded in 2000. The original Piccadilly used a heavily modified ETA movement, replacing a range of parts to improve performance, longevity and look. This combined with the rear mounted rotor meant that they were quite thick, but managed to retain a balanced aesthetic.
Subsequent new models utilising Peter’s own in-house calibres are marvels of the watchmaker’s art in which every part has both function and form this has the effect of reducing the case profile and overall weight whilst still retaining the distinctive Speake-Marin style.
The Spirit Pioneer launched last year at Salon QP was an unqualified success selling out the whole edition of 68 pieces in just a few days. It has always been Peter’s desire to make watches which have all the core values of his more exclusive models available to a wider audience.
The Serpent Calendar
For 2012 there will be a new Piccadilly model, although really it takes its design cues from an old favorite, the iconic Serpent Calendar. The main internal change is a move away from the increasingly difficult to source ETA movement to one created by TechnoTime using Peter’s design specifications called the “Eros 1”. An unusual name for a movement perhaps, but Speake-Marin explains: “I am English, the case name is Piccadilly after my formative years working in Piccadilly, London, and Eros is the famous landmark statue in Piccadilly Circus.”
The visual appeal of the movement has been greatly increased; the signature winding rotor is larger, blued, and displayed through a much larger sapphire crystal window, with an accent cut away in the top right to show the balance wheel. The case is much slimmer now too at just 12mm and the watch’s lugs really make it fit very snugly to the wrist. Also available for the first time with a Speake-Marin is a branded deployment clasp, and very comfortable it is too, as witnessed by this wrist shot.
©The Watch Lounge 2012
Classic Style, Modern Convenience
For those familiar with previous Speake-Marin models you will already be well aware of the “Serpent Calendar” style, but for this version several changes have been made. Previously the calendar, indicated by a snaking hand, was set on the outer edge of the dial, now however it is situated on an inner ring following the line of a pressed area in the centre of the dial. This really improves readability of the date; something I always thought was a slight issue in the original. The exaggerated curves of the date hand also ensure that it is never completely covered by either the hour or minute hands.
The change in movement also means that all adjustments can be made via the crown rather than needing a separate button on the case edge, making the process a lot more straight forward.
As with previous Piccadilly models the new Serpent Calendar will be available in both 38mm and 42mm versions. There will be no platinum or titanium versions at first but rather sensible steel and red gold, though of course if you would like a custom version you only need to ask.
Available immediately pricing is very reasonable at 12,800CHF (US$14,000) for the 38mm in steel and 13,350CHF (US$14,700) for 42mm in steel. Prices rise to 19,800CHF (US$21,800) for 38mm in red gold and 23,900CHF (US$26,324.49) for the 42mm in red gold which represents excellent value for money as, after all, it is a Speake-Marin.
If you would like to get your hands on one of the classic Piccadilly models it is still possible via special order. These come with the beautiful enamel dial, but due to the expense of manufacture this will add on about 1,000CHF to the price and it is only available as “time only”.
The Final Word
Speake-Marin goes from strength to strength with the release of the new Serpent Calendar, providing high quality timepieces at sensible prices, making it is possible for anyone to save up and own something that will give you a lifetime of faithful service and do so with a touch of real style.
For more information please visit the official Speake-Marin website: www.speake-marin.com