Speake-Marin’s Openworked Sandblasted brings back a traditional lookBorna Bošnjak
- The new Speake-Marin Openworked Sandblasted fits a traditionally finished dial into the recognisable Piccadilly case, offered in titanium or red gold
- Just like all of the brand’s recent offerings, the Openworked Sandblasted is available in 38mm and 42mm sizes
- The Le Cercle des Horlogers-developed SMA01 movement is put on display from both sides
If you’ve been following the Speake-Marin story of resurgence over the past couple of years, you’ll have noted that many of their pieces strayed somewhat from the traditional high-end aesthetic. That’s not to say that they’re not executed to a high degree, but the likes of the Academic Rouge, Dual Time Pink, and Ripples all exuded an air of whimsy in their designs. Even a piece containing a classic complication like the One & Two Openworked Tourbillon went for a modern, stealthy aesthetic. That all changes now, as the Swiss-based, British-founded brand introduced the Openworked Sandblasted.
It’s obvious where the inspiration for the name comes from, as the main dial on both the titanium and gold models receives a stippled finish. This technique used to involve the usage of harsh acids which would eat away at the impurities of the dial blank, leaving a pitted finish. Technological developments eliminated the need for such dangerous endeavours, though some watchmakers still opt for this traditional technique. Speake-Marin clearly opted for the latter, sandblasting the surface, though making sure to pay attention to details. To me, the most notable are the polished bevels surrounding the apertures, which contrast well against the texture of the dial, applied even to the inside of the cocks holding the barrel and winding assembly. Having said that, this finish would’ve been taken to the next level had Speake-Marin used a couple of internal angles to really drive home the idea of artisanal watchmaking.
Speaking of the barrel and artisanal watchmaking, its cover is engraved with eight words relating to the brand’s fundamental values – respect, liberte, unique, authenticite, Geneve, Creativite, Modernite. I’m a fan of this touch, as it gives the dial just a tad more detail, and instantly reminded me of the engravings on some of Greubel Forsey’s pieces.
To ensure legibility against the monochromatic backdrops, Speake-Marin apply a black polish to the hands of the titanium model, while the red gold variant receives gold-plated hands. The printing on both models is inky black, with subtle branding, which is always a plus in my books as it lets the design speak for itself.
As mentioned previously, the Piccadilly case is once again available in either a 38mm or 42mm size, in either titanium or red gold. The finishing for both metal variants follows the same pattern, with polished lugs and stepped bezels connected by a horizontally brushed mid-case. The onion-style crown is intricately executed, featuring polished ridges and a deeply engraved Speake-Marin logo. Another plus in terms of dimensions is the 10.5mm height, which will surely be beneficial considering the lugs are a significant factor in this watch’s wrist presence. Finally, should you wish to take a Speake-Marin for a dip, I’d look to the Ripples collection and its 50-metre WR rating, as the Openworked Sandblasted is only rated for 30 metres.
Flipping it around, we see a variant of Speake-Marin’s Le Cercle des Horlogers-designed SMA01 movement. This micro-rotor calibre has been developed into many different forms to fit various pieces in the Speake-Marin collection, with a 52-hour power reserve and a 4Hz beat rate. Much of the gearing is covered with plates which echo the dial’s sandblasted finish and bevelled edges, with the only highlights coming from the countersunk jewels and gold-coated micro-rotor bridge and surround.
Speake-Marin Openworked Sandblasted pricing and availability
The Speake-Marin Openworked Sandblasted is available in titanium or red gold, and a choice of 38mm or 42mm sizes. Price (excl. VAT): CHF 22,200 (Sandblasted Titanium 38mm), CHF 22,600 (Sandblasted Titanium 42mm), CHF 34,000 (Sandblasted Red Gold 38mm), CHF 38,700 (Sandblasted Red Gold 38mm)
|Case Dimensions||38mm (D) x 10.5mm (T)
42mm (D) x 10.5mm (T)
|Case Material||Grade 5 titanium
18k red gold
|Water Resistance||3 bar|
|Crystal(s)||Sapphire crystals with AR coating|
|Strap||Black grained leather, titanium folding buckle
Grey grained leather, 18k red gold pin buckle
|Movement||SMA01, Le Cercle des Horlogers-developed, micro-rotor|
|Power Reserve||52 hours|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds|
|Price||CHF 22,200 (Sandblasted Titanium 38mm)
CHF 22,600 (Sandblasted Titanium 42mm)
CHF 34,000 (Sandblasted Red Gold 38mm)
CHF 38,700 (Sandblasted Red Gold 42mm)