The single-hand Velsheda by Speake-Marin began life in 2004 as the Shimoda, a visually striking piece with one single hand, but one in which you couldn’t tell, from the dial, that the piece was running. It returned as the Velsheda in 2014, named after a British J-Class yacht, with a central seconds wheel in the form of the Speake-Marin topping-tool logo, whose rotation brought life to the dial. On a previous occasion, Peter Speake-Marin said about Velsheda, “It’s actually a very interesting movement, but the idea of executing it like this with the seconds wheel in the centre, that’s something completely original. I have a lot of retailers where their staff often buy it. They’re meant to sell the watches, but their staff actually buy them. They love it. People who are in the industry really get it. It takes a bit more time to explain it to people who our out of the industry.”
Peter also spoke about the origins of this one-hand watch. “Single handed watches were the very first watches ever to be made. I executed the original idea in the Shimoda back in 2004. Breguet made a pocket watch called the Subscription back in about 1800 and it had the same concept, with the single hand and five minute sectors. I was fascinated by it. They are also known as Philosophers’ watches because time goes slowly. I stopped making the Shimoda because it didn’t live like a watch where you can see the seconds hand going around: I love the animation that you get with mechanics. So I brought it back, but instead of bringing it back as the Shimoda I increased the size of the hand so that I could have the seconds wheel in the centre, duplicating the form underneath. That provided the animation, so in the Velsheda you see that the heart of the watch is alive.”
At a presentation in Geneva, January 2016, Peter Speake-Marin said that he is working on the collection’s existing families, introducing limited editions that give him more freedom and increasing the total number of references, growing the presence of the principal models.
The Velsheda Gothic is a limited edition piece with Gothic-style dial. The single hand shows the time on the clearly-delineated chapter ring, with five-minute divisions. The major design element remains the ever-changing patterns created between the central hub of the hand, which features the brand’s signature motif, and the seconds wheel. There is a small detail on the detail that can be distinguished using a lens: one arm of the Roman “V” numeral conceals the word “enamel,” referring to the grande feu enamel process used to make the dial, ensuring optimum contrast with the black and red dial markings, and a long dial life.
The brand’s signature motif also appears on the caseback, where the sapphire display window reveals the blued winding rotor. The watch has a calibre by Vaucher, the Vaucher 3002 self-winding movement running at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz) and providing 50 hours power reserve. Vaucher also makes the case in titanium, 42 mm in diameter, water resistance 3 bar (30 metres). The watch has an alligator strap with titanium pin buckle.
Velsheda Gothic price
The Velsheda Gothic costs 11.500 Swiss francs excluding tax. It is a limited edition of eight pieces.