Hands-On: Speake-Marin Ripples Blue Jeans
Founded in 2002, Speake-Marin is a Swiss independent founded by British master watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin. The brand’s watches are easily recognizable by their spade-shaped hour hands and 1:30 subdials. That said, the Speake-Marin catalog runs the gamut from dress to sport, maintaining their individual design language. Inside you’ll find beautifully finished proprietary movement technology developed in collaboration with Le Cercle des Horlogers. In 2022 – the 20th anniversary of the brand – Speake-Marin released their flagship integrated bracelet offering: the Ripples. This slim and sporty watch offers everyday appeal without sacrificing haute horology and visual elegance. New this year is the “Blue Jeans” dial variation. We were lucky enough to get hands on with the Speake-Marin Ripples Blue Jeans at Watches and Wonders 2023.
The Blue Jeans Dial
The Ripples Blue Jean’s dial is mesmerizing. The wave-like texture gives this watch incredible depth that’s hard to express with just pictures. For some context (that blew my mind when they told me), the dark blue 1:30 subdial is the same color and material as the rest of the seemingly-lighter dial. This is just a testament to the depth of the Ripples’. . . ripples. The polished and applied hour indices are seamlessly embedded: perfectly complementing the rhodium-plated handset inspired by Big Ben. This is, of course, an homage to Speake-Marin’s English roots. I love what they did with this dial. Blue is the Speake-Marin’s signature color and the Ripples is a perfect canvas.
The Speake-Marin Ripples Case and Bracelet
Image Source: timeandtidewatches.com
The first thing I noticed about the Ripples was its bracelet taper. The 40mm cushion-shaped (and quasi-octagonal) case features fairly wide lugs. The bracelet’s footprint quickly narrows with a generous taper moving toward the butterfly clasp. The integrated bracelet features polished center links and polished chamfering with the rest being vertically-brushed. This contrast in finishing extends to the case. The two main surfaces of the bezel are vertically brushed while the chamfered edges are mirror-polished. I particularly love how this looks on the crown guards. On the wrist, you’ll immediately notice the slim profile of this watch. It’s just 9.2mm thick: a measurement that’s only accentuated by an integrated bracelet. Simply put, this is a comfortable watch.
The SMA03-T Movement
Image Source: thehourmarkers.com
Inside the Ripples (not just the Blue Jeans) is the in-house caliber SMA03-T: a hand-finished micro-rotor movement developed in partnership with Le Cercle des Horlogers. Speake-Marin and Le Cercle des Horlogers are both owned by Mrs. Christelle Rosnoblet. Their partnership makes for exquisite timepieces that perform just as well as they look. Seen through the Ripples’ exhibition caseback, the caliber SMA03-T features 52 hours of power reserve and +/- 5 seconds per day accuracy.
This is a watch that demands in-the-metal experience. The dial is hardly done justice with pictures. That said, the Ripples – and specifically the Blue Jeans – is an excellent integrated-bracelet watch. I hesitate to call it a sports watch. On one hand, it has a screw-down crown and primarily brushed finishing. On the other hand, it has a hand-finished micro-rotor movement and a fairly “dressy” handset. Whatever you want to call it, the Speake-Marin Ripples Blue Jeans is a winner. If you really like it, you’d better act fast: this configuration is limited to just 60 pieces.
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