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Peter Speake-Marin’s Next Move: Meet The Naked Watchmaker

If you are familiar with the independent watchmaking world, you must know of the highly respected watchmaker and all-around good guy Peter Speake-Marin. Well, we know, chances are, you are not :) so let us give you a quick blurb: Peter’s eponymous watchmaking brand, which he began in 2000, for which he creates fantastic, classically-inspired timepieces, has been a huge success by all accounts. In 2015, Peter was the ‘model watchmaker’ around which Pierce Brosnan built his character in crime-thriller Survivor. Peter taught Pierce how to use watchmaking tools onscreen, and Brosnan later became the face of the Speake-Marin brand. Cool, eh?

Anyone who has ever met Peter will be able to tell you just how passionate he is about watchmaking. The way he speaks about watches and watchmaking is in the way everyone yearns to be able to speak about their career. He clearly found his passion. So, earlier this year when Peter announced he would be stepping away from his namesake brand, the question on everybody’s mind was why?

Image Courtesy of Quill and Pad

“I had stopped learning,” he says, frankly. As we speak with Peter, it is clear that learning is something he holds dear. “Back in 2000, the reason I decided to develop my own company, or, in fact, become independent, is that the learning curve had really tapered down [while working as a watch restorer] and I wasn’t really satisfied. So, the logic was, I’ll become self-employed because I can do the same thing and basically earn more money, and in parallel I can do things that are more creative. And in the creative domain you never stop learning.”

I stopped learning

He admits; however, you can hit a wall where things “don’t move as quickly”. After taking the Speake-Marin brand as far as he did, it seems, Peter is looking for something to push and grow his skillset and, perhaps, impart some of his knowledge.

Introducing The Naked Watchmaker

Peter’s new venture is a unique one: The Naked Watchmaker. Ahem, no, Peter is not getting disrobed. The Naked Watchmaker is a website in which Peter deconstructs timepieces, photographs and writes about the process. The deconstructions are split in six categories, “you have antique pocket watches, vintage wrist watches, mainstream brands, independent watchmakers, just movements, which is separated into vintage calibres and modern calibres, and the sixth is what I call mechanical marvels.” This project will give watch enthusiasts a never-seen-before insight into watchmaking, it’s sure to be a hit.

Peter deconstructs Patek Phillipe pocket watch

“I’ve had the idea for over a year, but I’ve only really been working in it for the last few weeks,” he says humbly, but it’s not entirely true either. If you look back across Peter’s career you can see that this project has been a long time in the making.

Reminiscing on the start of his career as a watchmaker, when he worked as a watch restorer, Peter said, “it was in that period that I really fell in love with watchmaking. Because I saw the development of companies throughout their lifetime, or at least half a century of their lifetime. It was like watching time, watching history in the making. It was during this period that I started to take apart and photograph watches, and I used to write articles on them, because I, as a watchmaker, saw things that nobody else saw.”

I saw the development of companies throughout their lifetime, or at least half a century of their lifetime. It was like watching time, watching history in the making

“I used to photograph on an old medium format Mamiya camera, with Polaroid back, and write these very weak articles trying to explain the what behind the why of the watch,” he says, chuckling to himself. “That, in a sense, is what I’ve come back to twenty-five years on. But today, with a lifetime of experience, with improved skills, with technology that is phenomenal, with the means to be able to share it with literally anybody who is interested.”

Peter deconstructs Claude Meylan timepiece

> SHOP Claude Meylan LAC 6047

“My aspiration today is that The Naked Watchmaker will in the fullness of time become a point of reference where people can understand more about horology – both modern and old – on a level that has never before existed.” We dig it. A bit of education for the uninitiated and curious is also what we do at SKOLORR.

“My goal is to share a passion for watchmaking.  To show the creativity of individuals, some who left many years ago and others who are still here today. Taking ideas from their minds and turning them into objects which proves that whatever is in our imagination can be made into something real and sometimes into something quite extraordinary.”