First, when I heard about this brand, I thought it was another microbrand from Asia, but then I talked to the founder and learned that he was a very known person in watch world Peter Speake-Marin! Yup, the same one! And my interest sparked even more! Before we take a closer look at the watch and the company itself, I had a little chat with him:
I have been a watchmaker for the past 30 years, during this time I have worked in many areas of the industry from restoration to brand development. Today my time is spent split between education with The Naked Watchmaker platform (www.thenakedwatchmaker.com) and the development of STOIC timepieces, (www.stoicworld.com)
There wasn’t a true path, I started early at 17 years old, and beyond wanting to work in a mechanical domain I had no real direction.
Working on and restoring extraordinary historical pieces from Breguet to Arnold and vintage pieces manufactured until the 1950s, whilst developing a restoration workshop in London in the early ’90s. It was mind-altering, working on watches, pocket and wrist which gave the direction for what has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
It must speak to you on some level, before the basic function of the watch. Watches are an emotional purchase and for myself, I am today more fascinated in the process than the result. Possibly I am ‘too close’ to the industry to be objective in relation to the final product as a conventional client would be. When I see watches today I see the process behind them, the people, technology, challenges, the time spent which go beyond the final product. I see a watch as being the result of that process and because of that I look at watches in a very different way to other people. In short, a good watch which will survive time in design and mechanics is the result of a thorough and well thought-out process.
Historically I have owned many watches, but fewer than people imagine. When I developed Speake-Marin watches with Daniela, my wife, we never owned the product because we needed to sell it and with each new model and prototype I would change and wear them constantly to validate each watch. At the same time, I would not purchase other brands products because my goal was always to sell my own, you can’t sell a Mercedes Benz effectively if you are driving a BMW. The result is that after 17 years of developing a watch company I left with no personal watches from that brand or any other. Today my daily watches are the three first models of Stoic, they are a reminder to me of the value of time, of what is the most important elements in my life that I have often forgotten, all which would be lost if I was not aware of the value of the most important commodity, time itself.
Partly because I have never executed a project like this one before, never in collaborations, or my own businesses and I wanted to make watches that virtually anybody could purchase, not for financial motivation because whether a watch is 3 figures or 6, the purchase is about value not price. Part of the motivation of the project has been from the start to be able to make watches that can introduce people, young and older to the world of watchmaking through classic designs which tend to be far more expensive than Stoic timepieces, for any product of the equivalent quality.
Stoic timepieces have only just been born, In the first few months, the purchasers have been a mature generation, beyond generation Z and the millennials whom I thought would be the early adopters of the watches. I still believe that as the brand develops we will see more and more people adopting the designs as a first step into the world of quality watches.
Historically, with my previous work especially the art pieces, the inspiration came from travel and often Asia, also from themes such as Momento Mori which places an emphasis on the value of time, the value of life. With Stoic, the influences derive from my days in restoration and love of vintage designs, which lead the way an industry developed over the last half a century.
It will grow, diversify and become a recognised name in the watch world, it will become a brand opposed to micro-brand that can appeal to everybody, both young and older, anybody who appreciates both the value of the watches, as well as those who see a little further beyond the watch and to the message behind them (literally, engraved on the case backs) which is about the value of time, the value of life…
My friend, for that you will have to wait and see; but the adventure has just begun 😉
In 2005 I was interviewed and asked what I thought the future of independent watchmaking would be like, the term micro-brand did not exist at that point in the way it does today. My reply was that the market over the coming years would become saturated with products and brands because it has never been as easy to develop a brand and with time to communicate its existence. The problematic would be to see the real value of a brand separated from financial opportunism. Ultimately natural selection will define who survives and who does not. The product is only part of the success of a business, equally important are the process, marketing and constant momentum, no matter how good a product is without the aforementioned elements it will not survive, and products which are not great but have a complete holistic approach to the business will prosper. You only need to walk into jewellers and watch shops to see this is true. It is a very competitive business and one which is constantly changing, but one which I personally have always loved.
Stoic has 3 watches in their current collection. The Pilot’s watch that I chose, a Chronograph in that Rolex Daytona style and a diver which is also pretty interesting. The Chronograph is the only watch in their collection that has a quartz movement. I chose the Pilot’s watch because I don’t get this style of a watch that much in for review and you “the readers” have been asking to deliver some Pilot watch reviews from brands that aren’t that well known and so I deliver!
The Pilots Watch (#1)Reference
Hour, minute, central seconds, date
Special Movement Details
Rotor with Geneva stripes
316L Stainless steel
Distance Between Shoulders
Sapphire with printed quoteBezel Glass
Sapphire with 3 layers of anti-reflective coating
Leather (quick release)
75mm x 116mm
Shipping cost included