September 8, 2021
Since its inception, Speake-Marin has looked to architecture and contemporary design for inspiration. In the One & Two collection, the Geneva-based purveyors of “Belle Horlogerie,” channel the architectural style of deconstructivism, a design philosophy that challenges conventions of harmony and symmetry in design. In Speake-Marin’s latest release, the reimagined One & Two Openworked HMS V3, this design ethos permeates every aspect of the watch, from the dial to the movement. By reimagining the placement of the sub-seconds, the brand was able to create a striking, yet unconventional, movement that is showcased on the openworked dial.
The deconstructivist movement began in the 1980s as a response to the structured and orderly styles of modernism and post-modernism embraced at the time. The movement spawned architectural marvels from the likes of Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Daniel Liebeskind that eschewed straight lines and conventional angles in favor of sweeping, organic forms, and surreal shapes that defied architectural norms. In many ways, defying conventions and norms lies at the heart of deconstructivism, and in this spirit, the One & Two Openworked was born.
Starting with the idea of placing a strong element in a location almost entirely overlooked on the dial — the 1:30 position — Speake-Marin was forced to rethink not just the aesthetics of the dial but the entire movement architecture. To accommodate the prominent subdial at 1:30, Speake-Marin had to design and develop the movement from the ground up in its Haute Horlogerie workshop near Neuchâtel, in Switzerland. The result is the SMA01 Calibre, and in-house openworked movement with an integrated micro-rotor. Indeed, Speake-Marin is the only watchmaker to position the sub-seconds at 1:30, due largely to the constraints this placement places on the design of the movement. However, this is exactly why, in 2015, Speake-Marin decided to fully develop and assemble proprietary movements within its atelier. By challenging convention, Speake-Marin was able to create a movement never before seen by the watch industry.
By embracing the deconstructivist ethos and challenging the placement of the seconds hand, Speake-Marin was able to create a new movement design that features rounded bridges, openings in the main plate, and new positions for the wheels. Though placing the micro-rotor at 6:00 should create asymmetry in the dial, the movement maintains visual balance among the barrel, oscillating mass, and small seconds — each interacting to create a triangle shape.
The eye is quickly drawn to the sub-seconds at 1:30, not only due to the bold, black sub-seconds dial, but also because the sub-seconds acts as the vanishing point for the sunburst Geneva stripes on the dial. In typical fashion for Speake-Marin, superfluous elements are discarded. Indices are excluded in favor of subdued markings on the chapter ring and branding remains minimal, with “Speake-Marin” placed subtly at 7:30 and the model name integrated into the ratchet wheel. Together, these elements produce a dial that is subtle, yet striking, and forms and finishes that interact with the light in surprising ways.
The One & Two Openworked HMS V3 utilizes the brand’s Picadilly case, the newest generation of which has been reworked to allow straps to be moved closer to the case and the crown moved further into the case. As a result, the case has a softer aesthetic, but it retains the original Picadilly case DNA. The case clearly evokes Speake-Marin’s aesthetic sensibility; the bezel and caseback overlap the center case, which alters the traditional case shape. In addition, Speake-Marin has chosen to utilize a box sapphire crystal to reduce the thickness of the case and accentuate the technical lines of the watch.
The Speake-Marin Openworked is available in two colorways, both featuring an openworked dial with sunburst Geneva stripes. The two colorways are differentiated by the case (grade 5 titanium or red gold 5N) and handset. The titanium features heart-shaped, blued steel hands and is available in two case diameters, both limited to 19 pieces: 38mm for 17,825 CHF without tax or 42mm for 18,400 CHF without tax. The gold model features heart-shaped golden steel hands to complement the case, and this model is limited to only 10 pieces for both the 38mm version priced at 31,625 CHF without tax and the 42mm version, which is priced at 33,925 CHF without tax. To learn more about the Speake-Marin One & Two Openworked V3, be sure to visit the brand’s website.
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