Peter Speake-Marin was the first person I met attending my first Baselworld show, it must have been around 2010 or 2011. I was standing in the Palace in front of his booth watching his “Foundation Watch” which was a Tourbillon pocketwatch.
It was the Foundation Watch that helped Peter Speake-Marin earn his membership at the prestigious Academy of Independent Watchmakers (AHCI).
Peter came around and started talking to me. He explained that this was his first own designed watch and that he made it in watchmaking school as far as I recall. From then on, I visited Peter every Baselworld to see his new wristwatches. Peter now runs “thenakedwatchmaker.com“, a site that is dedicated to show the “inside” of watchmaking to interested watchenthusiasts. He basically goes and deconstructs famous watchcalibers to show how they truly are.
I can only recommend visiting the site as it reveals the inside of a watch in a way you have never seen unless you are a watchmaker. In my eyes, this site possesses great educational value, a site like this will be the foundation of future understanding of watchmaking for many of the young watchenthusiasts to show them the heart of a watch, and to educate them to look beyond the usual suspects.
Recently, we spoke about making an interview, and so we did, the result can be found below.
.) Would you like to talk about your upbringing in England? What brought you to watchmaking? Were your parents watchmakers?.) When did you decide that you wanted to become a watchmaker?I was born in Essex England, my father was a London Bus driver and my mother was a clerk. I had never heard of horology, I had little to no direction and a careers advisor mentioned a course in horology when I was 17. It sounded interesting enough so I gave it a try and it was a natural fit. It was also a job that would allow me to leave the country, something I had always dreamed of. I searched for a position outside of England, and eventually found my way to Renaud & Papi in Switzerland..) What motivated you to create your Peter Speake Marin brand and watches? (the brand is not Peter Speake-Marin – it is Speake-Marin)Many a watchmaker wants to one day make something that they have made for themselves . It was a natural progression for me.I had reached a place where my learning had stopped and my desire to do something more creative began.
I started making my own watches because I knew I could, and I would make my watches the way I wanted to.Would you like to talk a bit about what brought you to create your “Speake Marin” brand? Could you ever imagine to go back to the brand?
At this point in time, no.
.) What made you start “The Naked Watchmaker”?I needed to do something after leaving my previous brand, when I was working in London in restoration, I would take pictures of the watches and write articles about them. I wanted to share the fortunate position I was in, these watches were historically important and how many people would have that opportunity to see what I had seen ? The Naked Watchmaker was a continuation of a project that was started a long time ago but today it has evolved. Today we are facing a generation that doesn’t understand what a time piece is, the importance of education in this industry has taken on a whole new level..) What are your plans going forward with “The Naked Watchmaker”?
The aim is to make The Naked Watchmaker a reference point for all those who wish to increase their knowledge about watchmaking. Where you will find eventually examples from every watch company. A reference library that is available to everyone in the world, all they need is internet access, there are free to download internet books that means if you have not such a great connection, you can download the material and go through it off linein high resolution . We have retailers that use it to learn more about the watches they are selling, we have journalists/ bloggers who contact us asking for the right to use the images for articles they are working on. We have professors that use the material and of course we have collectors that follow the site..) I recall that you created new watches (Stoic) in a comparably affordable segment? Are you still pursuiing this?Yes, Stoic was launched last summer so its early days. Stoic watches are a good quality entry level classic timepiece,
they are not watches for a high – end watch collector.It is a project I have wanted to do since the early days, its a watch you can put on your wrist and just go ..) Would you start another watchbrand? With your extensive experience and knowledge, could you imagine creating your own watches again?Yes of course I will make high end watches again, I am a watchmaker and I will make watches that are meant for the collectors markets , but firstly for myself..) What do you think about all the kickstarter branded watches?I have no real opinion on them, everyone has the right to buy and make what they want. My only hopeis that people get the product they are being promised and the after sales service that should come with it..) What do you think about the current state of watchmaking? Especially high-end watchmaking? There seems to be so much turmoil looking at the Baselworld Fair? Do you have any opinion you would like to share? Where do you see luxury watches in the coming decade or decades? Will they stay around?A long time ago, I was talking to an old friend , he had been in the industry for decades, I was panicking about the crisis in the industry, he told me to calm down that this was his 3rd or 4th crisis and that this one would pass just like the others. The luxury industry will always be there. People will always love to have something extraordinary, unique and exceptional.Baselworld – , this is a good time to really change things. The industry will evolve, Baselworld may eventually dissapear or simply continue to shrink but the industry is not just dependent on Baselworld. There are many other fairs and they will take on more importance if Baselworld doesn’t rise to the challenge its facing, people may no longer see the benefit of it and vote with their feet..) Do you have a watch that you love the most?The one that I am working on in my head. I amin my soul a watchmaker, I love the process of seeing the idea unfold and become a reality.Which is your personal most cherished timepiece?
The foundation watch, has a very high place in my heart, it was the beginning of one part of my life, and the end of it as well . Also my Stoic timepieces I wear on a daily basis and signify where I came from, design wise, and a philosophy I believe in..) If a young person asks you about going into watchmaking, what would you advise them to do?
Go to watchmaking school, there are some great schools out there . Then become a journeyman whilst its still possible to move around.
Don’t ever stop learning and growing.