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BaselWorld 2014: Belles of the Fair: Speake-Marin Magister

by Robin Lim on June 28, 2014

Speake-Marin may be a relatively new independent watchmaking brand, but its impact has been tremendous. And with the new Magister Tourbillon, it just gets better.

The Speake-Marin Magister Tourbillon.

The Speake-Marin Magister Tourbillon.

The folks at Deployant has been fans of Speake-Marin since its inception. Personally, I have a soft spot for the brand. One of the most distinct features of the watch would be the design; a fusion of classic and modern looks that blends together seamlessly. The visual appeal of the watch is simply immense, and its popularity in the world of horology is a testament to that.

The Speake-Marin Velsheda. Another 2014 novelty from the watchmaker, and this single-hand watch is pretty breathtaking.

The Speake-Marin Velsheda. Another 2014 novelty from the watchmaker, and this single-hand watch is pretty breathtaking.

Speake-Marin has introduced several models in this year’s Baselworld. Amongst which is the Velsheda, a timepiece that really resonate with us. The Velsheda is a single-hand watch (it looks like it has got two hands, but nope), but the most stunning feature would be the moving Speake-Marin motif in the middle of the watch (which acts as a seconds indicator). To sum the Velsheda up in one sentence: It is simply a dress watch that is not boring at all. I mean, just look at it. It is not just a device that tells time; it is an art, or even a miniature sculpture. Brilliant.

Another shot of the Magister. We like its minimalist design, which allows the tourbilllon to stand out.

Another shot of the Magister. We like its minimalist design, which allows the tourbilllon to stand out.

Back to the Magister. This is another novelty from BaselWorld, and it features a complication that seems to be an obsession with watchmakers recently- the Tourbillon. A Tourbillon, as some might know, is a mechanism that counteracts the effect of gravity to improve the accuracy of watches. Because of the complexities in the manufacturing process, it is rare and expensive. However, there is a recent proliferation in the amount of tourbillon pieces in the market. A sign of changing times?

The caseback of the Magister. The movement seems relatively sparse, but it features a mini-rotor that is made from platinum.

The caseback of the Magister. The movement seems relatively sparse, but it features a mini-rotor that is made from platinum.

The movement that powers the Magister is the Caliber SM3. It is automatic-winding, and it features a tourbillon as mentioned. The movement features a mini-rotor that is made from platinum, which blends well with the German silver bridges (the bridges are rhodium-plated, by the way). The gold-plated engravings on the bridge stood out, thanks to the color contrasts between the two entities.

The star of the Magister: the Tourbillon.

The star of the Magister: the Tourbillon.

The Tourbillon completes a revolution in 60 seconds, and it is running on a frequency of 3Hz. The Speake-Marin “Topping Tool” motif is featured on the cage of the Tourbillon too. This is similar to first timepiece of Speake-Marin: the Foundation Watch. This adds a very nice touch to the Tourbillon, and it also reminds us of the beginnings of the watchmaker himself.

Cased in the quintessential Piccadilly case, the watch is also finished with the iconic blue steel hands.

Cased in the quintessential Piccadilly case, the watch is also finished with the iconic blue steel hands.

The Magister is features the usual Piccadilly case, albeit this is in grade 5 titanium. The iconic blued-steel hands contrast very well with the white multi-layered lacquered dial too. My only qualm would be the details of the dial; I would have preferred omitting “3Hz Tourbillon” and “Platinum Mass” off it. That would have made the dial “cleaner” and more elegant. Nevertheless, this is yet another wonderful effort from the independent watchmaker. Speake-Marin has done relatively well since its foray into the world of horology, and we foresee that this trend would continue if the standards are maintained. In a nutshell, the Magister is a just a small preview of what Speake-Marin is capable of achieving.

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