BaselWorld 2009 just ended, and when thinking about adding a new watch for my own collection/watchbox, I’ve become very impressed by Linde Werdelin’s new watches.?Ç¬? Although their press releases are quite extensive, nothing beats a ‘real’ look & feel of a wrist watch. In Basel, I was finally able to see all new models in the flesh. I have to admit that their watches needed to grow on me a bit, as they looked a bit too functional for me in the first place. This changed when I saw them on the wrists of Jorn Werdelin and Sky Sit when I met them in London a few months ago.
Now, for their Basel highlights, the Oktopus , Spidolite and 3-Timer,?Ç¬? I must say that these are impressive time pieces! Not only for their target audience (divers/sports), but also for the fellow (m/f) who wants to have a ‘good watch’ and do not want to find himself buying something everyone else has already. The design of the watch is out of the ordinary (it IS a Linde Werdelin watch, and not a timepiece that you could recognize as another brand), you are able to change straps like you can with Panerai watches and you can add the Reef or Rock module that will fit your needs as a (professional) climber/diver/ski-er.
The Oktopus will be available for 5900 euro (for the stainless steel model, including 19% VAT), the 3-Timer for 4050 Euro (incl. 19% VAT) and the Spidolite will be available from 6550 (incl. 19% VAT) to 9520 Euro for the skeletonized version. Actual prices can be found on the LindeWerdelin website.
The cool thing about the Spidolite with skeleton dial is that its movement has been optically finished by Svend Andersen. The movement used by the SpidoLite Svend Andersen (SA) is a vintage A. Schild caliber 1876. As written before, the Oktopus uses a modified ETA 2892-A2 movement. A movement that has proven itself over time. The The 3-Timer uses a follow-up version of the ETA 2892-A2, namely caliber ETA 2893-A2. This movement is basically the same as the 2892-A2, but with an extra hour hand for the extra timezone. We have seen this movement before in (a.o.) the Omega Seamaster GMT.
During my conversations with the people over at Linde Werdelin, I found that they have been very cooperative and understand the needs and wishes by the modern watch fanatic (scoops on forums, blogs and being able to order directly from their website). This, combined with the great quality watches is a unique selling point in my opinion. I have become very enthusiastic about the brand and their watches. Especially the 3-Timer is a watch that fits my ‘need’ for a next time piece, as I love the extra timezone as a complication on a wrist watch. This watch is available in stainless steel, gold/steel and gold. I really like this particular model in stainless steel:
The pattern on the dial is superb! You can also see that the crown guard on Linde Werdelin’s watches has a real function, with most other brand’s watches, it doesn’t cover the whole crown and loses functionality. A good example of this is with the Omega Seamaster Professional or former Rolex Sea-Dweller. The crown on these watches is only protected half-way.
In Basel, Aphrodite (the Linde Werdelin PR lady) showed me the Oktopus, 3-Timer and SpidoLite models and I was able to try them on, have a closer look on all the details and ask questions about the watches. The Oktopus has been covered here already in detail (click here for the Oktopus coverage), but in the flesh, the watch is even nicer than I thought it would be.
The bezel amazed me, the numerals are raised (I didn’t see that much depth in the official press photos) like the bezels of the Rolex Yacht-Master or Blancpain diver. I prefer this over a ‘printed’ bezel anytime. In the picture below, you’ll see a wrist shot made by Frank (of Monochrome.nl) who joined me on the trip to Basel. You can see the bezel with raised numerals, but unfortunately it is still hard to see the ‘depth’.
The Oktopus is available in stainless steel, gold and titanium. Linde Werdelin uses Grade 5 titanium, which is considered to be the workhorse of all the titanium grades. The most common market for this grade of titanium is aerospace.
The same titanium is also used for the SpidoLite for all of its versions. The eye-catcher of this collection is of course the SpidoLite SA, with its skeletonized dial. However, the ‘regular’ titanium version and the black DLC version (both with titanium dial) are impressive as well. The latter one has a yellow coated crystal. I actually don’t know if this suits a special purpose, but I have never seen this before on a watch. I can’t say that I like it for myself, but I assume that there will be people who will (I am also not in for DLC’ed watches ;-)). Below, you see the wrist shots of the skeletonized version, the titanium version and the DLC version with yellow coated sapphire crystal.
To me personally, the SpidoLite SA was one of the high lights of the BaselWorld show this year. This light weight watch with A.S caliber 1876 movement, finished by Svend Andersen is very comfortable on the wrist and the skeletonized dial reveals parts of the movement. Although I gave up on watches bigger than 44mm, all Linde Werdelin watches measure 46mm x 49mm, and they actually wear very well on the wrist. There will be only 44 watches of this version and the yellow coated sapphire crystal version. The normal titanium (with ditto dial) version is limited to 222 time pieces. The DLC and titanium (non skeletonized) watches have an ETA 2892-A2 movement ticking inside.
Linde Werdelin also presented their advertizing campaign in Basel, using comics by Bertail (also known for his art in comic Shandy and l’Enfre des Pelgram). These drawings made for Linde Werdelin are very refreshing and I haven’t seen watch manufacturers using material like this before.
Rumours go that some of the characters in the advertizing material represent the people who work at Linde Werdelin. This couldn’t be confirmed though. 🙂
Click on the video below for Linde Werdelin’s new collection, reveiled during BaselWorld 2009.
Do not hesitate to leave a comment on these wacthes, as I am curious to know what you think of them…
Big thanks to Frank for taking pictures during our visit and Martin Issing (Linde Werdelin) for the additional information on the SpidoLite movement.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more