Peter Speake-Marin Leaves Namesake Brand

Peter Speake-Marin Leaves Namesake Brand

Peter Speake-Marin Leaves Namesake Brand Watch Industry News

English watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin has left his namesake brand after many years and many fine watches. It is both rare and unfortunate for a creative force in the watch industry to leave his brand while it is carried on without him under his own name. Similar situations were last seen in cases such as those of Daniel Roth and Roger Dubuis. So what's next for the brand, and for the watchmaker?

As other notable independent watchmakers have done, Peter Speake-Marin began as a restorer of antique watches, and in 2002, he founded the Speake-Marin brand. He has worked on complicated projects with a number of fellow independent watchmakers, helped develop and build complications for Renaud & Papi, and has been known to collaborate with brands such as MB&F, Maîtres du Temps (hands-on with the Chapter One watch here), and Harry Winston.

Peter Speake-Marin Leaves Namesake Brand Watch Industry News

While the news was only made public this week, the shareholders and Speake-Marin have been discussing it for some time now. In fact, we're informed that Speake-Marin transitioned out of running the business side of things a few years ago, and this announcement marks the end of his involvement with design and watch development. The watchmaker had continually sold stakes of his company until he gave up ownership some time ago to his investor and partner, the Rosnoblet family, who have and will continue to run the Speake-Marin brand. Over the years, we have seen more business-savvy decisions with the brand producing some "accessible" watches with ETA and quartz movements, as well as courting the Chinese market.

Peter Speake-Marin Leaves Namesake Brand Watch Industry News

This piece of news highlights an easily forgotten fact – contrary to appearances, it is difficult to operate and thrive as an independent watchmaker. To achieve and continually produce quality timepieces as Speake-Marin is known for requires significant investment in research and development and heavy reliance on suppliers. In some cases, this is overcome by acquiring upstream operations (like Kari Voutilainen and his dial manufacture) and in other cases by collaborating with or working on other projects (like Andreas Strehler who has designed movements for some very fine brands and watches), but it’s still no bed of roses.

While it’s hard to imagine that this move is anything but a troubling one for the brand's fans and points at either an unsustainable industry or a rift between partners, Speake-Marin insists that it was a deliberate choice on his behalf as it allowed him to focus on his next big project. He is still vague on specifics, but the watchmaker says the project will be a culmination of his career with horology. In short, it has to do with education.

Peter Speake-Marin Leaves Namesake Brand Watch Industry News

In September of this year, Speake-Marin plans to launch a new online educational offering that he says will give every watch enthusiast, regardless of their level of expertise, the opportunity to master watchmaking techniques, both classic and modern. In fact, the decision to completely step away from the Speake-Marin brand was so that his new project could be truly unaffiliated, and not accidentally perceived as a promotion for the brand.

In the meantime, he is confident that the Rosnoblet family will continue to run the brand that he founded with the same commitment as before. According to an interview by Swiss newspaper 24 heures, who broke the news, Mr. Speake-Marin says that he is "happy with this development" and we are assure that the brand is "in good hands."

While part of me is saddened by Speake-Marin’s departure and reminded of the story of Daniel Roth, the other part of me has already put down a reminder on the calendar to look out for Speake-Marin’s new project, which sounds exciting and has at least made me very curious. For now, we wish the talented watchmaker all the best.

  • Saul Sloota

    Who gets Pierce Brosnan in the divorce?

    • Gokart Mozart

      Bulgari. They will get in early.

      They are pretty much a one watch company best known for the watch they bought when they bought Gerald Genta.

      After the joke dive watch from last week they need to add to their portfolio.

      Bulgari to make on offer to the Rosnoblet family?

    • Gokart Mozart

      Maybe Pierce will enrol in watchmaking school, and in 5 yeras we will be reading this headline.

      “pierce brosnan makes a tourbillon Rolex Submariner with working sawtooth bezel sharp enough to cut through rope”

      • Saul Sloota

        I don’t know, 5 yeras is a long time to wait. I mean, maybe I’d wait 2 or 3 yeras. But definitely not 5 yeras.
        On second thought, anything over 1 yera is asking a lot, to be honest. 🙂

  • IG

    Holy shite, how could you leave your name? So from now he’s called The Watchmaker Formerly Known as Peter Speake-Marin? I need a bucket of Pepto-Bismol to handle this.

    • Luciano

      Same happened with Daniel Roth, Gerald Genta and Roger Dubuis.

    • Gokart Mozart

      He should do a Prince. Prince had his quiggle that he drew on his face, PSM can just stick a rotor to his forhead.

      TWFNPSM. Will that be the name of the college with the rotor design as the logo along with the serpent hands.

      Bit of a shame to be honest. How long before this new company is bought up by Bulgari.

  • Yan Fin

    Get the legal name Omega F. Rolex

  • SuperStrapper

    Was just talking about PSM 2 days ago, And it stuck out as odd at the time because he/the brand rarely comes up. Was unaware this was pending, interesting news. Much like Dubis and Roth, this brand will possibly carry less cache than when the namesake was at the helm. There is a chance though i.e. Breguet.

  • Beefalope

    I was never a fan of the designs, the but his horological chops are absolutely legitimate, and I’m looking forward to the education project that he’s launching. Hope he does well.

  • Garrett Hu

    Better get one of these pre departure watches when I still can with authentic DNA.

  • Dinkee, H. O.

    He’s working for me now. Be ready for great surprises on the scene coming soon.

  • WatchMark

    This reminds me of when GR Lang left Chronoswiss. Not identical because the brand didn’t include his name, but he was clearly the leader and visionary there. The brand was never the same after he left.

  • JF Schnell

    Passion and business rarely go well together. Luck few of us managed to get around it but it is really a luck few. they are the few exceptions rather than the rule.

  • Adi Lungu

    oh, that’s sad…Peter is a great friend and a class act. i wish him nothing but the best!