The Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green is an oasis on the wrist for the well-heeled urbanite The Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green is an oasis on the wrist for the well-heeled urbanite

The Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green is an oasis on the wrist for the well-heeled urbanite

Jamie Weiss

One of the stand-out trends in the watch world over the last few years has been green dials. Watches are just like men’s suits – black and blue-dialled watches have always and will always be in fashion – but green dials, in particular, are having a real moment right now. It seems as if every watch brand these days is rushing to add new green-dialled models to their ranges. But not all green dials are made equal. There’s more to making a successful green watch than just slapping on any old shade of green and calling it a day: you need the right shade of green, the right kind of dial, and the right kind of watch design that can complement a verdant look.

This is where the Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green comes into its own. We’ve seen the Ripples before in a few different colours – a sporty blue jeans number, a mysterious black and a luxurious gold, for example – but this new metallic green take on Speake-Marin’s integrated sports watch works an absolute treat, and underlines the versatile ingenuity of the Ripples’ design.

The case

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green flatlay

The Ripples’ creator, Stéphane Lacroix, explains that he was inspired by Speake-Marin’s British roots when designing its case, which he’s dubbed “La City” in reference to the City of London, the British capital’s ancient financial district. The La City case pays homage to the architecture of the City of London, as does its rippled dial – which to my eye, also reminds me of the gentle waves of the Thames. More on the dial in a bit.

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green crown guard

This case is finished to a high standard, with finely brushed surfaces complemented by thin polished bevels to the lugs, facets of the baseband, and bezel edge. A prominent crown guard flows out from the lugs to the crown, lipped slightly by the otherwise thin bezel. While the amount of real estate dedicated to the Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green’s dial might make this watch appear large in photos, it’s rather compact in reality at just 40.3mm in diameter and 45.5mm lug-to-lug.

The dial

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green look

I mentioned how the Speake-Marin Ripples is inspired by the City of London’s architecture broadly, but the Metallic Green in particular is inspired by a specific London architectural landmark: the Sky Garden, a green oasis at the top of the famous ‘Walkie Talkie’ building in the heart of the City. The Sky Garden is a surreal place – a little pocket of peace among a bustling metropolis – and Speake-Marin says that’s exactly the sort of vibe the Ripples Metallic Green is designed to embody; the idea being that every time you look at it, you can escape into your own private oasis.

sky garden
The Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London, a.k.a. the ‘Walkie-Talkie’.

Now, that might be a lofty aspiration for what is ultimately just a time-telling instrument, but I have to say, I love the storytelling behind the Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green. I also love the shade of green they’ve chosen for the dial: it’s a bright, vivacious green that sparkles as the deep ripples of the dial catch and play with the light.

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green on wrist

Speake-Marin achieves this eye-catching look through a complex dial creation process. The dial itself is rhodium-plated brass, which is engraved with hand-satin-finished horizontal waves that are covered with a metallic green PVD coating. Finally, a layer of transparent lacquer is applied. This process is what gives the Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green’s dial such depth. It’s both intriguing and soothing at the same time. The asymmetrical design of the dial adds to that soothing effect, with the small seconds indicator positioned at 1:30 evoking a rock breaking up the flow of a zen garden.

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green dial closeup

Yet another London architectural inspiration can be found in the design of the Ripples Metallic Green’s heart-shaped, rhodium-plated central hour and minute hands, which are modelled after the hands of Big Ben, London’s most famous piece of architecture. Incongruously old-school, they also remind the wearer of Speake-Marin’s history of classical haute horlogerie, of which the Ripples is their most mainstream example.

The bracelet

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green bracelet

The other trend the Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green encapsulates other than our love affair with green dials is also our current obsession with integrated bracelets. To be fair, integrated bracelets have always been pretty popular, especially since the 70s, but in the 2020s, they’ve never been more in demand.

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green clasp

The Ripples Metallic Green’s integrated bracelet features a three-link design with large, mirror-polished centre links that contrast against the brushed finishing of the bracelet’s outer links and the watch’s bezel and lugs. Those polished centre links are certainly eye-catching, but I can’t help but feel that they’ll be scratch magnets… The bracelet also features a butterfly clasp to help the watch sit nice and centred on the wrist.

The movement

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green movement

For all its British inspiration, the Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green is a proper piece of Swiss horological engineering. Flip that lovely dial over and you’ll find an equally lovely movement, the in-house calibre SMA03 developed by Le Cercle de Horlogers, which boasts a fully integrated tungsten micro-rotor, rhodium-plated Geneva striping, bridges with hand-bevelled, polished edges and inner angles and a perlaged mainplate. It’s beautiful, but it only has a 52-hour power reserve, which is just barely okay in my book.

The verdict

Speake Marin Ripples Metallic Green verdict

I’m going to be honest: I never really understood the appeal of the Speake-Marin Ripples. There are plenty of integrated sports watches on the market right now from big-name brands and independents alike, so why spring for the Speake-Marin? I didn’t have an answer for that until I saw this Metallic Green model. Honestly, this green is entrancing and works so well with the Ripples’ elegant yet blocky La City case. The contemporary storytelling of the Sky Garden also appeals to me – so many watch brands are stuck in the past, but it’s refreshing to hear such a modern inspiration for a watch.

Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green pricing & availability

The Speake-Marin Ripples Metallic Green is a limited edition of 60 pieces and is available now from Speake-Marin dealers. Price: CHF 23,000.

Brand Speake-Marin
Model Ripples Metallic Green
Reference Number 604015460
Case Dimensions 40.3mm (D) x 9.2mm (T) x 45.5mm (L2L)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 50 metres
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Dial Metallic green PVD, rhodium-plated brass, hand-satin-finished horizontal waves, small seconds at 1:30
Lug Width Integrated
Bracelet Steel with butterfly clasp
Movement Calibre SMA03-T, Le Cercle de Horlogers developed, automatic, micro-rotor
Power Reserve 52 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, small seconds
Availability Limited to 60 pieces
Price CHF 23,000