While I’m not familiar with the first iteration of Speake-Marin’s Spirit line, when I caught sight of the Spirit MK II DLC, I definitely had my attention captured. Sure, putting a coat of DLC on something doesn’t necessarily make for a better, or necessarily different, watch. Here, however, it makes for quite a nice piece.
For those not familiar with Speake-Marin, it was founded in 2002 by Peter Speake-Marin (no mystery in that company name). Prior to that point, Speake-Marin worked in London, restoring antique timepieces. He traces the roots of the company to this time, specifically when he had a well-worn military piece from the 1930’s cross his work bench. This particular watch is what brought about the first Spirit, the Spirit Pioneer.
The first big break with other models in the Spirit lineup is of course that DLC coating. It’s presenting a much different (and darker) look than we’re used too from the brand; they contrast it to the white enamel found in their other models. The dial itself carries on the matte black finish found on the 42mm case, with multi-dimensional application of lume to the dial (and the filled hands), making for a monochromatic pallet that’s simultaneously bold and simple.
Tucked away inside the case we’ve got the TT738 Caliber movement, which gains a 5-day power reserve courtesy of having a second mainspring barrel added. This is a welcome feature to the movement, for what might otherwise be considered a “boring” three-hander. I find the watch anything but boring, however. I appreciate the simplicity of the design, and the efforts that went into it to create something that’s bold, rather than meek. I think this is due to how domed those lumed indices are, as well as that hour hand.
I do wish the minute hand wasn’t nearly as slender as it is, given that it looks about ready to disappear into the case. By itself, though, I think it’s fine – it’s just when you take it as a whole, and compare it to that wide hour hand, that the proportion feels a little off – at least from the pictures I’ve seen. Regardless, this is an eye-catching piece from a brand that’s been turning out some great British watches for the last decade or so. speake-marin.com
Tech Specs from Speake-Marin
- Features and Indications
- High-legibility, three-dimensional one-piece dial
- Central hours, minutes and seconds
- Case-back engraved motto “Fight, Love and Persevere”
- Automatic movement with long, five-day power reserve
- Dial and Hands
- Numerals, hour and minute markers, railroad chapter ring, Speake-Marin name, topping tool motif and Spirit title all in white Super-LumiNova moulded as part of one-piece dial with matte black base
- Foundation central hour and minute hands in white lacquer, hand-filled with white Super-LumiNova
- White lacquered central second hand
- Calibre TT738
- Unidirectional automatic-winding mechanical movement
- Dimensions: 30.40mm x 4.35mm
- Power reserve: 120 hours
- Jewels: 35
- Twin barrels
- Frequency: 28,800vph / 4Hz
- Case and strap
- Piccadilly three-piece case
- Diameter: 42mm
- Height: 12mm
- Material: Stainless steel
- Water resistance: 3 atm/30m/100’
- Front sapphire crystal treated with multi-layer anti-reflective coatings
- Domed compression case back with central Speake-Marin topping-tool engraving
- “Speake-Marin” engraved on case-back above topping-tool motif
- “Fight, Love & Persevere” motto engraved on the case back below topping-tool motif
- Red-brown calf leather strap with contrasting white stitching and stainless steel tang buckle