The New Blue Seafire is part of the Spirit collection by Speake-Marin, comprising men’s watches with a military inspiration. As is customary for the brand, this watch is completely different to anything else out there and in particular, it has nothing in common with the customary pilot’s watch aesthetic. There are distant echoes in the form of the conical crown and the triangular hour markers.
The Seafire is Speake-Marin’s first chronograph, and it uses the classic Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement, which is not in-house, but a sturdy and reliable engine. The New Blue Seafire is a further chromatic variation on the existing range of Seafire models, most of which have dark or black dials. This piece is given greater luminosity by the white dial, with its blue details, and touches of red that extend beyond the chronograph hands and include the pushers. The caseband has a blue DLC coating.
The dial is unorthodox, with Arabic numbers used on the chronograph minutes subdial at the top, Roman numerals for the chronograph hours at 6 o’clock, and Peter Speake-Marin’s hallmark continuous seconds disc in the form of a watchmaker’s tool, the so-called topping tool. At 3 o’clock there is a small date window with white numerals on a black background. It’s a dial where there’s a lot going on, with circular and triangular hour markers inside another circle with SuperLuminova hours and dots for the minutes, the different hand designs and colours, the small Speake-Marin logo… all this, combined with the Piccadilly case and the red-capped pushers, makes this piece a very striking variant on the classic Valjoux 7750 chronograph.
There are a couple of details that show a sort of quirky inspiration. The numerals, when you look at them closely, have a strange spacing, sometimes touching, as if the dial had been hand-painted. This, along with the shade of blue that Peter selected, creates an effect of Delft pottery. And those pushers are like the stalks of pears that in some European countries are sealed with sealing wax to improve storage quality. It’s as if, in these many low-number limited editions of watches, Peter Speake-Marin wants to give expression to some of the many visual inspirations that he has, like an artist who crystallizes his vision in paint. As Georges Braque said, “The painting is finished when the idea has disappeared.”
The case is 42 mm in diameter, made in titanium. It has a solid caseback engraved with the motto “Fight, love and persevere.” Water resistance is the standard 3 bar. It is fitted with a blue rubber or calf leather strap, with a titanium pin buckle.
Reference and price
The New Blue Seafire is reference 20003-57, a limited edition of 28 watches. Price 9,720 Swiss francs inclusive of VAT.