Peter Speake-Marin: The Independent Spirit Of Watchmaking
In our Insiders series, we invite our friends from the world of independent watchmaking to share their perspectives on the issues that matter most to them.
For those familiar with the watch universe, Peter Speake-Marin needs no introduction. A skilled British watchmaker and restorer, he founded the eponymous Speake-Marin brand in 2002, developing a personal style and synergy that brings together Swiss classicism with a distinctive English flair.
A guiding light within high-end horology, as a designer and consultant he has collaborated with brands including MB&F and Maîtres du Temps.
To kick off the series, Peter reflects on the state of the industry, and why independent watchmaking has never had it so good.
The watchmaking universe is in a constant state of metamorphosis. Despite the public perception that it has existed for hundreds of years, this is very far from the truth; the reality is that it is an unpredictable animal that continues to evolve and re-invent itself. Today, it is younger than it has ever been as it again experiences a re-birth and enters a new era.
Watchmaking is a domain which combines art, design, mechanics, innovation, technology, luxury, celebrity and more. This, combined with its capricious tendencies is why so many people are drawn to it and into it. Combine these elements with the modern creations of social media, digital photography and CAD (computer-aided design) – plus the expansive new technologies that exist to execute mechanical marvels – and the world is in an entirely different place to 20 years ago.
Regardless of the new technologies that have changed our industry (and continue to do so), one element that always remains is the need for an individual with the drive, passion and imagination to create something unique. This is human. This is what generates the seeds that become the physical realities we hold and place on our wrists; that ground us and remind us what its all about – products driven by imagination and bought through desire and emotion.
Independent watchmaking is alive, fighting and will be the future of the industry.
As recently as 25 years ago, it was challenging for individual watchmakers and entrepreneurs to design and execute genuinely original, quality products. Innovation was often monopolised by the large brands and goliath groups that possessed them. Today however, an environment exists where individuals with drive can realise dreams that appear insurmountable by the giants of the industry. This new world is what excites and motivates me and others like me. It is an opportunity to design, make and market products that are extraordinary representations of the individuals and artists that create them.
There is a spirit behind independent watchmaking that is all too often lacking amongst the established, group-owned brands that surround us. Independent watchmaking is alive, fighting and will be the future of the industry. Here’s to new life and new ideas, for a new world.