But the Speake-Marin watch brand is not only playing in the very high-end arena. For a few years now, the brand has also offered a more affordable collection: the Spirit Line, which uses many of the same iconic Speake-Marin design elements, including the Piccadilly case and the Foundation-style hands, but with a sportier approach. All of the watches that compose this collection – the Spirit Mk II, the Seafire Chronograph and the Wing Commander pictured here – are inspired by pilot instruments. Along with an enlarged case (42 mm), a matte black dial, and contrasting indexes and hands, Speake-Marin adds a lighter and stiffer case material, grade 5 titanium.
In order to maintain a relatively reasonable price (about $8,750) without any compromises on the quality and spirit of the brand, the Speake-Marin Spirit Wing Commander relies on an outsourced movement. However, this caliber offers a very interesting layout and displays useful indications, such as a big date at 12 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock (represented here by a white wheel in the ‘topping tool’ shape that Peter loves – an element now emblematic of the brand) and a power-reserve indicator at 6 o’clock, similar to a “fuel gauge,” which displays a bright, Super-LumiNova white when completely wound (full), turning black (half-full), and then red (running on empty) as the available energy diminishes.
The titanium case offers great comfort on the wrist, due to its reasonably light weight. The indexes and numerals are made of white elements in Super-LumiNova, in 3D relief and inserted into the dial, creating a splendid contrast with the black dial and thus a very high legibility — an important point for any sports watch or pilot watch.
We were most surprised is to see how this watch was treated by its owner and creator for these photos — buried in the forest ground, attached to barbed wire, plunged in a river. And actually, it looks pretty good in these “back to nature” settings. The strap may be damaged and patinated, and the watch will certainly keep some scratches and dents after such a treatment, but it can be argued that this type of watch was made to handle that. And now it truly has a story written on its case and strap.