Twenty-eight people in the world will be lucky enough to own a Dual Time Lime. Ten of them will have the 38mm version on their wrists while the other eighteen will have the 42mm version.
This small number illustrates the confidential aspect of Speake-Marin and today we are going to handle one!
As the door opens and we slip into the brand’s offices, I have a question in my mind: what are the ingredients to make a Haute Horlogerie watch fun?
The first contact with the product was digital and today the screen separating us from it has been shattered so I can finally see it. Like an important personality, we have to wait a little longer before we being able to handle it.
There she is, approaching. With my hand, I shift my coffee to free up the space. Sitting on its tray, it is all ours. The 273 components of the SMA02 caliber are working all together to drive the subsidiary seconds at 1:30 and the hour and minute hands, which have been polished and filled with a lime-colored lacquer. It is majestic. The alternation of black and this shade of green gives it style.
It does not go unnoticed, it dresses the dial as well as the rubber strap and gives the watch all its character. This shade of green is the first element to answer my question.
With its retrograde date surrounding the subsidiary seconds, its micro rotor, its GMT complication, its bevelling, its micro beading, its polishing, its satin finishing and its strapping, the Dual Time Lime is indeed a Haute Horlogerie watch. The watchmaking savoir-faire is mastered to offer such an achievement.
I asked designer Eric Giroud, one of the dozens of people involved in this project, what he liked about it. “The most obvious thing about this project is that you can see watches of a certain level, but the colors bring something more fun. The brand took a gamble that has already been successful with the Mint and it’s admirable.”
Looking at the finished product one cannot say that Speake-Marin simply changed the color from one shade of green to another, from Mint to Lime. It was only after many research sessions that this shade of green could be selected. After that, it was necessary to ensure that the balance of the watch design and the brand’s DNA were respected. A long and tedious process to obtain a product of such quality.
But that’s not all for the color. Now that it is selected, it is necessary that all the components have this same shade. To do this, they started with the most complicated. Here, it was the rubber strap. After several attempts, the goal was reached and it is up to the dial maker to reach the same shade.
This attention to detail has been pushed to the heads of the two screws on the dial of the subsidiary seconds.
This visual balance is inspired by the Black Architecture movement. It is a monochrome architecture with the use of black as main color. This trend in modern architecture is based on the principles of functionalism, rationalism and originality. Hence the sobriety of the openwork, the indexes and the case. The essential must be present and preserved.
My first instinct before handling the Dual Time Lime was to put on gloves. As my eyes move from the dial to the case back, I am told that this new edition is intended to make us feel like sitting on a warm sandy beach with a fruity cocktail in hand.
By capturing the eye without assaulting it, the Dual Time Lime hits the spot. I can see myself there, feelling the warmth of the sun and hearing the music of the waves crashing on the sand.
We agree that the suit and tie is not the right outfit for vacations. Speake-Marin has succeeded in dressing the Haute Horlogerie in function, while maintaining its class: t-shirt and swimsuit, all without a tan line!
In the end, this Dual Time Lime is not just a simple watch with an original color. It represents much more than that. It embodies independence. The independence of its future owner who knows how to appreciate fine watchmaking, but also the independence of the brand. This choice goes against what is usual to do. It takes an independent brand to take the gamble of offering something out of the ordinary. And this independence, Speake-Marin has it and uses it to its advantage.
Of course, I feel the need to put it on my wrist and fly to a dream destination. But for now, as we are in the middle of June, I wear my gloves to handle it. The gloves are there to respect all this savoir-faire gathered, but also the audacity it required.
If there is only one thing that embodies Haute Horlogerie in this watch, it would not be its finishing, but the hand of the GMT complication. As if in levitation, it floats above the micro-rotor. This sapphire glass on which the hand is integrated, let’s see the Dual Time engraving present on the micro-rotor. An almost invisible detail, but one that makes it so charming.
All the codes that make a watch a Speake-Marin are respected and present. This goes from the twist at 1:30 to the style of the hands and its Piccadilly case.
The creative freedom of the brand lies in its independence, but also in its inspirations. For example, Piccadilly Street in London has a very classical architectural style, but it does not prevent us from finding what makes the symbol of Piccadilly Circus: the Monico, this large building covered with luminous advertising panels. The classic does not prevent the twist or even the creativity.
So, what are the ingredients that make a Haute Horlogerie watch fun?
Looking at this creation, it is necessary to find a balance between the selected color and the global architecture of the case and dial. It is with this balance that the savoir-faire and finishes will be respected.
Congratulations to Speake-Marin and its teams for this challenge and this interpretation of watchmaking on vacations.