With WatchTime New York, America’s largest luxury watch show, less than a month away, we continue to spotlight important watches from the exhibiting brands that will be on display at the event. Today we look at a super-complicated, unique piece by Peter Speake-Marin, the Black Magister Vertical Double Tourbillon.
The Speake-Marin Black Magister Vertical Double Tourbillon, outfitted with the manual-wound Caliber SM6, follows up on the success of the British watchmaker’s original Vertical Double Tourbillon from 2015, adding an all-black, gilded mainplate to enhance and contrast with the complexity of the vertically aligned twin tourbillons on the left of the dial.
On the front of the timepiece, which is housed in a 46-mm-diameter white-gold case in Speake-Marin’s “Piccadilly” style, is an oven-fired enamel subdial, displaying the hours and minutes with heat-blued steel “Foundation” hands, another signature Speake-Marin element. Another indicator directly above displays the movement’s 72-hour power reserve by means of a cam-shaped disk that opens when fully wound to reveal the gears and mechanisms below, and gradually closes and signals empty when a red section of the disk reaches the central marker. This display is balanced by the day/night indicator directly below the hours-and-minutes subdial.
The upper sides of both vertically aligned tourbillons are supported by a single, massive bridge, which has been hand finished with mirror polished internal bevels. Each tourbillon has its own independent gear train powered by its own mainspring barrel; both barrels are wound simultaneously via the crown. A device called an équilibreur de marche — a miniature, limited-slip spring gearbox, whose spring absorbs and balances the tiny rate variations between the two cages – links the two tourbillon regulators.
The design of the movement bridge and its decoration is partly inspired by one of the first tourbillons in the Speake-Marin collection, the Vintage Tourbillon Mk II. As with that watch, the Magister Vertical Double Tourbillon’s movement features bridges made of German silver and treated with perlage and ruthenium plating. The blackened three-quarter mainplate boasts an unusual Geneva stripes motif, with the waves running in two directions away from the center of the plate.
The rear side of the movement, visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback, also features a black gilded finish with contrasting engraving. The undersides of the two tourbillons are on display, along with a small wheel between the openings of their cages marked “Equilibreur de Marche,” which takes the rates of the two independent regulators and transmits their average to the time display.
The rate equalizing device linking the two 60-second tourbillons consists of two concentric wheels arranged one on top of the other. A small spring sandwiched between the wheels has each end attached to a wheel. Each of these wheels rotates with its respective tourbillon cage, and the spring between them tenses when the rates of the two regulators differ, or if subjected to asymmetric shocks.
The Speake-Marin Black Magister Vertical Double Tourbillon is mounted on a black alligator strap with a white-gold pin buckle. If you’d like the rare opportunity to see this one-of-a-kind timepiece, and how it looks and feel on your own wrist, click here to reserve your spot at WatchTime New York 2016, taking place at Gotham Hall on October 14-15.