A chance encounter ended up with the new Speake-Marin Ripples Blue Jeans on my wrist during the recent Watches & Wonders 2023. I was surprised at how much I liked the watch. Here is our quick take on it with some live photographs.
Quick take on the new Speake-Marin Ripples Blue Jeans
The Speake-Marin Ripples Blue Jeans has a retail price of CHF 23,000.
I have always taken the snob high road ever since I first heard of the Speake-Marine Ripples series. After all, I consider Peter Speake (as he is now called), who founded the brand a good personal friend. And the watch on paper looked too much like a rip off of the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711. But I should have known better than to judge a watch before putting it on my wrist.
At first glance, it does have some of the look of the famed Nautilus. But on a closer look, it does not. The dial, which is perhaps the key cue as to the resemblance is totally different. The dial is made up of ripples, hence the name, and looks more like the groove design on those on the Rimowa luggage, which itself is a homage to those found on aluminium aircraft. The dial layout is also quite well balanced, with an unusual location for the silver framed subsidiary seconds sub-dial at 1 o’clock in a darker blue with concentric circles as a decoration. With the original Speake-Marin hands and appliqué bar markers. A chapter ring at the dial’s peripheral carry dots for the minutes with lume on the larger 5 minute markers.
And the powder blue hue of the Blue Jeans (I think its an awful name, the dial looks nothing like denim), is gorgeous. And the watch itself feels remarkably thin. The impression on the wrist is almost wafer like, though it is not a slim watch at all, given that it measures 9.2mm on a nominal case diameter of 40mm.
The movement, the Calibre SMA03-T, is quite beautiful as well, though it takes the industrialisation steps to round off corners, safe for one cock with a particularly nice inward curve jewel, with accompanying sharp outward angle on the adjacent. The other bridges, especially the one holding the wheel train look like an amorphous, shapeless lump. Finishing is rather good, with attention to detail paid on the Poinçoin de Genève looking very sharp, the anglage nicely wide and polished, and the micro-rotor with a nice guilloché finish.
So I came away quite impressed. The bracelet looks beautiful, and is quite comfortable on the wrist. My conclusion after this brief encounter is that the new Speake-Marin Ripples Blue Jeans is a winner!
The watermarked photographs were hastily taken in the Speake-Marin briefing room, using the LED soft box provided by them.