Speake-Marin Makes Waves with Its New Sports Watch: Ripples
The independent brand launches its first sports-chic timepiece with an eye-catching, wave-decorated dial, plus a case design inspired by the architecture of London’s financial district.
Over the past few years, more and more independent brands have been taking a serious crack at making exciting sport-chic watches. Think of H. Moser & Cie. with its Streamliner or Romain Gauthier with his Continuum, while Laurent Ferrier has released the Sport Auto and Greubel Forsey the GMT Sport.
Speake-Marin has now joined that growing list of indie watchmakers boasting a dedicated sports-chic offering with the launch of its exciting, new Ripples collection.
A Case Inspired by City of London Architecture
Drawing on the brand’s English roots, Ripples takes its inspiration from the City of London, the famed financial district occupying one square mile at the very heart of the British capital. Not to be confused with the surrounding Greater London (which occupies 607-square miles), the City of London sees several feats of modern architecture sit proudly next to a number of historical “listed” buildings.
And it is those contemporary City of London buildings like The Gherkin, Leadenhall Building, and Lloyd’s Building, with their mix of mixing steel and glass and juxtaposition of curved shapes with straight lines, from which the Ripples’ new 40.3mm stainless-steel “La City” case takes obvious design cues.
In essence, both the case and bezel of the Speake-Marin Ripples are square. But while the bezel is rounded-off at the corners, the flanks of the lugs elegantly curve outward, most noticeably on the right of the caseband, where they form a crown guard.
Polished beveling on the edge of the case, bezel, and lugs contrast with the vertical brushing on their surfaces. Meanwhile, the lugs are also faceted to add a further geometric touch that maintains Ripples’ carefully considered balance between the curved and the linear.
An Eye-catching Dial
If Ripples’ case design is a striking departure from Speake-Marin’s usual drum-like Piccadilly case, the dial is also something we’ve never seen before on any of the brand’s watches.
In fact, Ripples gets its name from its generously-sized slate-gray dial that features a pattern of three-dimensional, horizontally brushed waves which reflect the light to a greater or lesser degree as the wearer turns the watch. And if this eye-catching dial plate is evocative of the ripples of the River Thames that borders the City of London, then the applied baton hour indices look like the boats and barges that sail up and down this waterway.
Meanwhile, the central hours and minutes are indicated via polished, rhodium-plated hands, with the hour hand in the form of a heart, a Speake-Marin signature. Another noticeable signature of the brand is the small seconds sub-dial placed between 1 and 2 o’clock.
An Efficient, Finely Finished Movement
Powering the indications is the in-house SMA03-T automatic movement with integrated micro-rotor developed in Speake-Marin’s R&D department at Le Cercle des Horlogers near Neuchâtel. Besides its automatic winding, the SMA03-T also has a 52-hour power reserve to ensure that Ripples will be a dependable, daily wearer.
But this movement is not just about efficiency. Like the City of London – where historical buildings like the Bank of England, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Guildhall are located in addition to more modern structures – the SMA03-T is similarly endowed with a touch of the traditional. Namely, it features a variety of time-honored, decorative finishes, including beveling, sun-brushing, and perlage, all of which can be admired through the transparent display caseback.
Priced at CHF 19,900, Ripples comes on an integrated stainless-steel bracelet with a double folding clasp. Like the case, the three-link bracelet bears a nice mix of polished and matte finishes.
For more information about Ripples, please visit the Speake-Marin website.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel)