A native Englishman, Peter Speake-Marin originally had the intention of making jewelry, but found himself seduced by the art and mechanics of watch making. He began his horological journey at London's Hackney Technical College (1985) and then continued his education at WOSTEP, the prestigious Swiss watch making school.
Returning to England, Peter worked for a number of different companies around the UK before accepting an offer to head the prestigious antique watch section at Somio Antiques. At their store in the Piccadilly Arcade, he had the privilege to restore timepieces by great masters and houses, including Dent, Frodsham, Nielson, Breguet and Patek Philippe. Working on these horological treasures taught him how past masters worked, it fueled his desire to raise his skills and knowledge even further.
Peter moved back to Switzerland in 1996 where he was recruited by the illustrious manufacture Renaud & Papi (now Audemars Piguet Renaud &Papi) to develop high complications. During this time, he began acquiring his own machinery and constructed by hand a tourbillon pocket watch with two power trains. This timepiece became the Foundation Watch for his own independent atelier, established in 2000 in the picturesque village of Rolle, between Geneva and Lausanne.
The first model to come out of the Speake-Marin workshop was called "The Piccadilly", because, as Peter explains, " The time I spent in Piccadilly remains the most influential period of my working career." The experience he gained there allowed him to discover the wide variety of methods used by watchmakers over the centuries, the best of which Peter Speake-Marin brings to his own designs.
Others have frequently sought Peter for his talent and innovative ideas. Collaborations include: 2006 Harry Winston's stunning Excenter Tourbillon; 2008 MB&F's Horological Machine No.1; 2008 one of the three Masters developing Chapter One for Maitres du Temps and Chapter Two in 2009.
With all his creations, Peter Speake-Marin pays homage to the horologicai tradition and its valuable lessons, while at the same time mining the rich possibilities available of the today. "The goal is not just to manufacture a product that sells well today," he says. ' True value will come from its durability over time."