The Velsheda was a super yacht Velsheda by Speake-Marin
Named after the iconic British “J Class” yacht built in the 1930s and still racing today, Velsheda offers a minimalist display of time using a single polished steel, blued hand. While the single hand extends across the diameter of the dial, its central hub is in the form of the Speake-Marin topping tool logo, as is the central seconds 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.
The blued hand and topping tool motifs contrast beautifully against the elegant white lacquer, multi-level dial. The sides of the highly legible Roman numerals taper towards the centre, a subtle but significant detail endowing the dial with a dynamic, contemporary feel.
The sumptuously sculpted hand is neatly counter balanced by a pointer at one end and an arc at the other; coupled with the fine 5-minute graduations around the peripheral chapter ring they create an overall aesthetic echoing that of a compass. This seafaring visual aspect is fitting since Velsheda’s name is inspired by the marine world: The yacht Velsheda was designed for racing and in the 1930s was one of the most technically advanced sloops of her day.
This nautical feel is strengthened by the stainless steel Piccadilly case featuring a fluted, two-position crown (manual winding and time-setting with hacking seconds). Peter Speake-Marin says: “The shape of the Speake-Marin Piccadilly case is inspired by early marine chronometers. For me, the case is a means of clothing the movement, as was the case with early marine chronometers.”
Velsheda’s Eros calibre is an automatic winding movement, featuring a long, five-day power reserve and the signature Speake-Marin ‘mystery’ rotor. The large-diameter movement dominates the view through the display-back and provides a technical backdrop for the beautifully finished rotor. Like the central hub of the hand and the seconds wheel, the rotor is in the shape of the Speake-Marin topping tool logo, a motif permeating the whole timepiece.
The Velsheda was a super yacht, part of the J Class, designed by Charles Ernest Nicholson and built in 1933 by Camper and Nicholsons in Gosport, England for businessman William Lawrence Stephenson. Its name came from the first syllable of each of Stephenson’s three daughters: Velma, Sheila and Daphne. At the time, she incorporated some of the most sophisticated technical designs for sails, deck gear, ropes, spars and rigging. Between 1933 and 1936 she was a regular race-winner, competing with the likes of Britannia, Shamrock V and Endeavour.
Velsheda is part of Speake-Marin’s “J Class” collection. After the exhilaration of a white-knuckle ride on a finely-tuned racing yacht – heeling on a broad reach with its rail near the ocean and spray cutting the air – comes the yacht club, replete with rich wood-panelled walls and vintage navigation instruments. And it is in the rarefied ambience of the club that the high-class pedigree of the Speake-Marin “J Class” timepieces – including Velsheda – comes into its own.