Hands-on with the Speake-Marin Serpent Calendar
While going through the pictures I made at Baselworld 2012, I found this one particularly appealing. Not that the photo is so incredibly beautiful, although I like the small beam of sunlight on the back of Peter Speake-Marin’s new Serpent Calendar.
Of course I shared the news of this watch with you on the day it was launched. This is however not the first Serpent Calendar; the first was part of the Original Piccadilly Collection with enamel dial. This new one features a new movement with 5-days of power reserve and has some other features that I’d like to highlight.
The new movement is the EROS-1 and has two main spring barrels delivering the 5 days of autonomy, when fully wound. The huge bridges, there are two covering more then three-quarter of the movement, have a circular brushed finish with engravings. On top of that is the signature Speake-Marin rotor, that resembles Peter’s old topping machine.
Now you might wonder, why on earth call the movement “caliber EROS-1″; at least that’s one of the questions I had for Peter when we met during Baselworld. The reason is actually quite simple and goes back to the time that Peter was working at one of his first jobs as watchmaker, in London near Piccadilly Circus to be precise. While he choose the name Piccadilly as the name for an entire collection, the statue at Piccadilly Circus was the inspiration for the new movement’s name.
The dial has changed, compared to the previous Serpent Calendar. The new dial is a multi-layered, white-lacquer dial. The previous Serpent Calendar featured an enamel dial, however the new dial is thinner and thus allows for a much slimmer case of just 12mm. A new addition to the dial is the signature topping tool that also comes back in the rotor’s design.
The date numerals have been moved more towards the center, allowing for a shorter serpent date hand. The advantage of the shorter date hand is that it’s less easily mistaken for the hour or minute hand, hence it’s easier to read the time at the glimpse of an eye.
The new thinner case still features the typical exaggerated lugs and the diamond-shaped crown. One of the things I do like a lot are the gorgeously shaped hour and minute hand, and the long and incredibly thin second hand the goes right to the edge of the dial.
Of course the new thinner case wears more comfortable then the previous one. I own an Original Piccadilly with Enamel Dial, the 38 mm is more then enough for my wrist. These photos show the 42 mm version of the new thinner case and it fits absolutely fine.
I tried to describe the differences between the new Serpent Calendar and the previous one. A new movement, a new multi-layer lacquer dial with a more central date ring and shorter date hand. The hands (and rotor) are painted blue, so no blued steel hands that could be found on the previous Original Piccadilly collection. The good thing is that after what seemed the last ‘affordable’ Speake-Marin collection, the Spirit Pioneer, Peter Speake-Marin again makes his watches available for around € 10,000 Euro (excl taxes).
The Serpent Calendar is available with a stainless steel or 18k red gold case, with a diameter of either 38mm or 42mm. And boy… the red gold one looks magnificent as well.
This article is written by Frank Geelen, executive editor for Monochrome Watches.