Monday, February 10, 2014

Speake-Marin Dinner in Sydney

The Sydney Tarts and Peter Speake-Marin go way back. In fact we hosted Peter's first trip Down Under. And his second trip. This was back when Peter would traverse globally on tourbillon* worldwide tours to showcase his collection. And sometimes to hand deliver them to new owners. Now that the brand has grown and expanded so much, Peter was able to delegate the travelling and the selling to others, and on this night, it was with pleasure that we met with Dariush Djavaheri (travelling) Area Commercial Manager Asia & Middle-East and Josh (selling) from Swiss Time Machine (PSM's authorised retailer in Australia).

There was terrible weather for Dariush's first trip to Australia, right when we are experiencing one of the wettest November in Sydney. Apparently Melbourne wasn't much better but then that was to be expected.

It was a delight to be able to see the collection again after all this time. In attendance were no less than five owners, with plenty more potential owners-to-be.

This time around PSM hosted the dinner at the Park Hyatt in Sydney, and we were in "The Study" which is a private room, perfect for the evening. Park Hyatt did not disappoint with the food nor the service. Both top notch! The highlight would definitely have to be the steak, which was tender, juicy and succulent. Mine was ordered medium rare and was cooked thus. (unlike certain places where their idea of medium rare is a strip of tough leather worthy of being mounted on a dive watch). The accompanying mash was smooth and creamy I hate to think just how much fat and calorie was needed to make it so buttery smooth... And the dessert? the quote of the night was "that fixed the holes in me socks!" That says it all, doesn't it?

Now, onto the stars of the night. Most of the time, watches tend to look better in real life. There are always exceptions to the case, but PSM's latest collection, including the Resilience and the Spirit Mk II, were just superb in person. And even better on the wrist. The main issue (thickness of the case) that a couple of us had was addressed and was an issue no longer. In fact, the new generation cases offered much better proportions thanks to a new, slimmer movement, and overall balance was greatly improved. The Spirit Mk II DLC immediately stood out from the rest. It worked better than any of us had thought it would. This is why it’s always important to see watches in the metal and more importantly, to TRY THE WATCH ON.

The matte DLC treatment matches the matte black dial, making the watch extremely stealthy, yet at the same time it stands out because of it. However, having compared the DLC version to the regular steel version of the Spirit, I would personally choose the latter, simply because it's the more versatile watch and I'm not sure how a black cased watch would fare over the long run.

The Spirit Mk II is essentially PSM's entry level watch. The "no-frills" edition. You have the distinctive Piccadilly case, and amazingly detailed and three dimensional dial (have a close look at the lume). What you miss out on is the custom movement, which in this case is a Technotime TT738. You do have the option of paying a little more and option the PSM finishing with the custom topping tool rotor with the see-through back. (This brings the movement designation to EROS2) The movement aspect is a little disappointing. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am very taken with the Spirit Mk II and do see myself owning one in the near future, but when you buy an independent watchmaker's watch you kinda want the movement to be... special... and not just a basic movement in a fancy case and dial.

If, however, you don’t want to go through the hassle of ordering the Spirit Mk II with the custom movement/see through case back etc etc, perhaps the Resilience would be the way to go. It is much dressier than the Spirit, but it comes with the EROS2 movement as standard, and the dial is enamel. Stunningly beautiful in person and simply breathtaking. The one on the night was in rose gold, which was pretty much perfect. If budget doesn’t stretch that far, there is also a stainless steel version, and it’s not that much of a hike from the price of the Spirit.

The PSM Resilience in gold

I'm sure I'm in the minority here, as I believe the Spirit is doing extremely well, and I guess given the low production numbers and price point, you'd need to sacrifice some aspect... PSM is in a growth stage, and with it comes growing pains. I'm not sure if there was the need to bring the entry level model down to a certain price point? As I would happily pay the extra and have more PSM touches to the
movement. I suppose we'll wait and see how the brand evolves.

Thanks to @initialjh for most of the images used on this post.

*whirlwind... geddit?

**Apologies- this post was meant to appear much earlier, but life got in the way... Better late than never, no?


Unknown said...

great post.

I really like the Spirit MK II, but like you, for an Indie, I do want an indie movement, to be different from the mass market... the design is distinctive. Maybe I'll head to the Resilience knowing that the movement is PSM own?? :)

PS nice photos and I'm glad they turned out good enough to use in the post! challenging lights...

Melissa Craig said...

Nice watches. :-)

Zegarek said...

I have this watch