The One & Two Openworked watches that appeared in 2017 as the J Class One & Two was easily one of the best launches from Speake-Marin in recent times. It was the start of something important for the brand, as these watches were, in aesthetics and complication, the ideal candidate to become a foundational model upon which a nice collection could be built.
With a small seconds sub-dial in a totally new position, at 1.30 o’clock, a micro rotor on the dial side and a skeletonized in-house and COSC Certified Calibre SMA01, these watches had, in my opinion, the prerequisites to become future icons for the brand, something which Speake-Marin has not had in a real way for an entire watch, even when considering the distinctive Piccadilly case.
At SIHH 2019, we find the promise of the collection’s original intent marching forward with the new One & Two Openworked Dual Time, one of the best surprises of the fair. I rationalised that a nice collection could be built from the original watches, but even so, when one looks at the original One & Two Openworked watches, it is quite an exercise to think of a way to incorporate new complications into the design, since each element seems to have a rightful place on the dial.
Well, Speake-Marin must have considered this fact even when the original watches were designed, for it is amazing that barely two years later at SIHH 2019, they have released a new variation of these watches that come with not one, but two new complications, all placed in a way that does not disrupt the lines of the original design. For this reason, it’s not hard to see why the new Speake Marin One & Two Openworked Dual Time ranks as one of the best releases I’ve seen at the fair this year.
Looking closely at the watches, one finds that the GMT function is displayed via a ring around the micro-rotor, a position that makes sense since this is the complication that you will be using most often while travelling, to track home time.
Note that this GMT function of this watch is the proper type, or a Real GMT, in that when you pull out the crown to adjust it, the main hour hand jump in one hour steps, instead of the little triangle within the GMT sub-dial. This is the proper way, since as you land in a new timezone, you allow the main hour hand to jump to the correct local time, while the 24 hour display in the GMT sub-dial remains constant to your home time.
What about the date? Well, blink and you might miss it. In this case, the date is a retrograde one that functions via a little bracket that moves on a curved track running along one side of the small seconds sub-dial. Sure, it is a little small, but it makes sense in the context of the design, since it is there when you need it, and of “disappears” when you don’t.
Certainly, since this watch priorities the GMT function, when you use this watch in its intended way, when travelling, it is the main time, and the GMT time that are the ones you’ll look at more often. The date can be relatively small in this case, since in the hierarchy of information that you need to get from the watch, you will use it less times. Perhaps once or twice a day in my experience, for example when you land in a new place and need to look at the date to fill up an immigration form.
The new watches come with a variant of the original Calibre SMA01. This time it is the Calibre SMA02, having the same self-winding movement with micro-rotor, and adding the retrograde date and Dual Time indication via an in-house design module. Note that unlike its predecessor, this new movement is not COSC Certified, though given the pedigree of the original, it’s not hard to imagine that the new variation will display similar levels of performance.
Now a word on the name of the collection as it relates to the watches. The collection is called One & Two, and the convention follows from original One & Two Openworked watches. In that instance “One” refers to variants in a Rose Gold case while “Two” refers to variant in a Titanium case. At the moment the One & Two Openworked Dual Time comes only in a Rose Gold case, either a 38 and 42mm case size. However it is not hard to imagine that a Titanium version will be announced soon, also with the aforementioned two cases sizes. This Rose Gold Edition you see here however is in a Limited Edition of 20 pieces in each case diameter. Truth be told, the naming convention is a little confusing, but it’s a small thing considering what the watches bring to the table in terms of looks, complication and utility. Either way, I’m looking forward to have one of these on the wrist while travelling, since they really deserved to be tried out and worn for their intended use. I’ll see if I can get one from Speake-Marin to do so for a more well-rounded review.