The Kennin-ji Temple Masters Project by Speake-Marin is an ornate timepiece inspired by the historic Kennin-ji Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. In 2002, to commemorate the temple's 800th anniversary, the Dharma Hall was enhanced by a dramatic painting of two dragons on the ceiling by artist Koizumi Junsaku. To honor and convey the power of the monumental artwork, a multi-national Swiss-based team of four Masters was commissioned by an experienced collector to scale down the same painting to wristwatch proportions. The project team consisted of:
- Peter Speake-Marin (English): Project manager and watchmaker responsible for the in-house SM2 movement beating beneath the dragons on the dial.
- Kees Engelbarts (Dutch): Engraver for the dial, and case.
- Eddy Jaquet (Swiss): Engraver for the SM2 movement.
- Christophe Seewer (Swiss): Engraver for embossing the leather of the presentation case
This is the most extraordinary engraving project I've ever been involved with due to the complexity of the subject (two dragons instead of one), the incredible detail of the engravings and the fact that it isn't just one component that's engraved, but the designs cover practically the whole watch.The one-off timepiece features ornately engraved twin dragons spilling out from the dial to the case and onto the surrounding presentation box. The original stepped bezel was redeveloped to have a rounder profile so that the dragons flow seamlessly from the dial, over the bezel and down the sides of the caseband. And the engraving isn't restricted to the top and sides: the movement is also engraved and the leather lining of the presentation case is embossed with a similar dragon motif to the watch.