Style / World of Watches (WOW)

SIHH 2019 Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon “Légèreté”

The SIHH 2019 Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon “Légèreté” is the brand’s first high complication without its namesake founder and it is epic.

Jan 24, 2019 | By Jonathan Ho

The 2019 edition of SIHH answers a fairly important question for Speake-Marin. Can a fledgling atelier survive (and thrive) without its namesake watchmaker-founder? With the new SIHH 2019 Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon “Légèreté”, the world’s first sapphire cased Minute Repeater Carillon, the answer appears to be a resounding yes.

“Légèreté” translates to “lightness” in English, is not an allusion to the weight of the new Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon but rather the transparency and the allowance of light to touch the majority of the calibre thanks to its 100% sapphire case.

SIHH 2019 Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon “Légèreté”

Comprising of three sections, bezel, caseback and mid-case, the watch-head of the SIHH 2019 Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon is extraordinarily difficult to manufacture. Sapphire, a grade lower than diamond, requires diamond tip tools to machine. The polishing of the “Légèreté” takes many more hours of polishing where one must avoid any blemishes during finishing to ensure the case is perfectly transparent, hence worthy of the name.

And then, there’s the Minute Repeater complication itself. An alchemical concoction of engineering and artistry; engineered because over 100 unique components are involved in the architecture of a minute repeater complication, each requiring exact tolerances. Artistry because it’s in the polishing and decorating of each part that the audio characteristics of each chime and ring alters and changes – to what degree, depends on the artisan’s deft handling of the work.

Typically, assembling a minute repeater of this nature, a Carillon AND a tourbllon as in the “Légèreté”, will take a watchmaker up to 300 hours of work, and such an adventure is only possible by masters with at least a decade of experience under their belt. On the Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon, the hammers are welded to a block which creates a sound box with the case, allowing the Carillon to reverberate through the crystal for crisp chimes.

The Minute Repeater Carillon gives through three hammers:

  • One hammer for the hours
  • The three hammers all together for the quarters
  • One hammer for the minutes
  • Once the time is given by the 3 hammers, the XII Roman numeral comes back to its initial position.

At 12, the XII parts, similar to the Skull animation on another model, when the slider on the left activates the Minute Repeater Carillon, giving a deeper glimpse at the gorgeously finished gearwork below. Ingeniously the highlight of the “Légèreté” isn’t the sapphire or the exquisite minute repeater flying tourbillon calibre but what hides inside: a double safety module, which enables the setting of the time while the watch chimes and less notably, but no less important, a barely audible regulator wheel (you can hear most minute repeater regulator wheels spinning up) which regulates the Carillon speed. The SIHH 2019 Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon “Légèreté” has two mainsprings, with a specific barrel dedicated to the Carillon and the dial animation; while the other, drives the flying tourbillon (decorated as the brand’s signature topping wheel motif) so as not to disturb watch chronometry.

Speake-Marin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon Price and Specs

Movement Manual winding Calibre SMAHH-02 with 72 hours power reserve
Case 46.4 mm sapphire piccadilly case with 30 metres water resistance
Strap Ostrich leather
Price Piece Unique


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