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Velsheda Gothic: Speake Marin’s Upper Hand

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February 2016


This year the Swiss watchmaker has revisited one of its most iconic watches, The Velsheda. Part of the J-Class collection, this latest release sports an updated design inspired by the Gothic Style, and of course, the single-handed telling of the time.

Speake Marin first launched its impressive Velsheda timepiece at Baselworld 2014, as part of the J-Class collection. Named after the iconic British “J Class” yacht built in the 1930s, the watch featured a minimalist display of time, and its claim to fame was using a single polished, blued steel hand to tell the time.

Velsheda Gothic: Speake Marin's Upper Hand

That wasn’t the first time the brand had experimented with a single-handed wristwatch; before the Velsheda there was the Piccadilly “Shimoda”, which was a more traditional take on a single handed watch. The Velsheda, however, was much more artistic in its execution. And the artistic level has improved even further with its latest iteration, the Velsheda Gothic.

Much like the original, the Gothic version offers the familiar traits that we have come to expect from a Peter Speake-Marin watch; there is the 42mm case, sporting thick lugs with large screws, blued hands and a crisp white dial.

Velsheda Gothic: Speake Marin's Upper Hand

Of course, we also get only the single hand to tell the time, which extends across the diameter of the dial. At its centre there is a hub in the form of the Speake-Marin topping tool logo, with the central second wheel sitting above it. The rotation of the seconds wheel on top of the slower moving hub of the hand creates ever-changing, eye-catching patterns, drawing the eye to the centre of Velsheda’s dial.

Among some of the changes to this new edition are the strong curves and the enamel dial dressed with Roman and Arabic numerals, thanks to is the Gothic influence. Under its elegant surface we have Velsheda’s automatic Vaucher calibre running the show. The movement dominates the view through the display-back and provides a technical backdrop for the beautifully finished rotor. Just like the central hub of the hand and the seconds wheel, the rotor is in the shape of the Speake-Marin topping tool logo.

Velsheda Gothic: Speake Marin's Upper Hand

I leave it to Peter Speake-Marin himself to summarize the virtues of his latest creation:

The Velsheda is a genuinely unique watch, all the Velsheda’s set themselves apart from other watches in the Speake-Marin Collection not only due to the single hand but the central animation between the watch’s hand and seconds wheel, the addition of enamel and an accentuated Gothic dial complement the design in a perfect flamboyant fashion.

Fast Facts:

  • Movement: Calibre Vaucher 3002, self-winding movement.
  • Jewels: 28
  • Frequency: 28,800vph / 4Hz
  • Indications: Central hours, minutes and seconds wheel
  • Power reserve: 50 hours
  • Case: Piccadilly case in titanium (grade 5) Front and back sapphire crystals treated with anti-reflective coating
  • Diameter: 42 mm
  • Water resistance: 3 bar (30 meters)
  • Dial: Enamel featuring tapered Roman and Arabic numerals. Red marker at 12. Chapter ring divided into graduations of 5 minutes
  • Hands: Single central blued hand, central blued ‘topping tool’ seconds wheel. Point of the hand in red.
  • Strap: Alligator. Pin buckle in titanium