VIDEO: Speake Marin makes waves with new Ripples watchZach Blass
Previously, the Speake-Marin catalogue was limited to dressier timepieces outfitted on straps. Recently, however, Speake-Marin unveiled their first foray into the immensely popular integrated stainless-steel sports category with their new Ripples design.
The 50 metre water-resistant stainless-steel case effectively presents a large circular dial within a cushion format. While 40.3mm in diameter, because the dial is larger, and the bezel thinner, the watch may appear larger than it actually is on the wrist. Nonetheless, it is definitely wrist and cuff friendly as its lugs do not span out too far and it is slender/sporty in profile. Speaking of the lugs, they are sharp and faceted – entirely brushed except for one element. The bevelled lines of the case flanks – for example, the line spanning from the crown guard to the outer squared off facets of the lugs – are finely polished to introduce the elegance of mixed finished surfaces. As you reach the 12’, 3’, 6’, and 9’ sides of the crystal, the bezel presence is super thin. But in the segments between you’ll find a richly brushed surface, the outer circumference of the bezel mirror polished. These subtle accents of polish to the case result in a casual elegance, the definition of luxury sports watches today.
A main attraction of the Ripples watch, from where it derives its name, is its Rippled dial. Watch nerds will associate the pattern with Cotes de Geneve, but its aesthetic is derived from architecture. The depth the ripples pattern creates cannot be understated, it is a compelling design choice that can only be fully appreciated in the metal.
In their attention to detail, Speake-Marin have carefully applied the hour indices by embedding each index into two peaks of the rippled surface. The Ripples watch is meant to be an exercise in simplicity, which is why it presents itself as clean, crisp, and as a modern classic. But it definitely was complex to realise. The Speake-Marin signature spade-pointed hours hand is present, connecting this latest creation with the brand’s past, and is joined by a central minutes hand which extends out past the ripples pattern to the thin dotted outer minutes ring. At a very unconventional 1:30 position, a metallically framed running seconds register occupies the space where you would typically find the first and second hour indices. The only caveat to its sporty nature is the lack of luminosity to the dial, but, to be fair, luminous coatings would have interrupted the clean monochromatic appeal of the architecture-rooted Ripples aesthetic.
The bracelet is comprised of broad and polished centre links, the first of which integrates into the centre of the case and is secured to it by screws rather than a spring-bar. The broad polished centre links are shouldered by narrower richly brushed links that gradually taper as you reach the butterfly style double-folding clasp – which I find to be not only the most comfortable style of clasp, but also the style that best centres a watch on the wrist.
Inside, beneath an exhibition caseback, you have the in-house calibre SMA03 – a micro-rotor automatic movement which offers a solid 52 hours of power-reserve. This is not a new calibre for the brand, which explains, perhaps, why we do not have a full balance bridge in its design – an architecture found in sportswatch calibres to further resist against shock. Nonetheless, it is a handsomely chamfered calibre – both the curvaceous and sharp edges of the bridges finished with rich anglage and bevelling. Matching the dial to a degree, the bridges are also executed with traditional Cotes de Geneve and the mainplate beneath with perlage.
Overall, it is a handsome entry into the wildly popular steel integrated sports segment. And with only 100 to be made each year, it is certainly a piece that will stand out at any horological gathering. So if the Ripples, which is listed with a retail price upon request piques your fancy I would get cracking before the queue gets too long.
Speake Marin Ripples pricing and availability:
The Speake Marin Ripples is available for inquiries now, with only 100 pieces to be made each year. Price on request