The Linde Werdelin Spidolite Titanium Blue - Danish Finest
Welcome to the world of independent high-end watchmaking, where it is still possible to have two people who wake up one day and decide to set up a new brand, something that might have seemed impossible just a few years ago, when big industrial groups, along with their massive investments and their wide product offering, were still ruling the place. Despite the fact that is a very interesting story I'm not going to spend too much time telling you how Jorn Werdelin and Morten Linde came up with a new brand. Since these two artists started creating watches back in 2002 the brand awareness has increased significantly, also thanks to the worldwide renowned Danish taste for style, which is actually second to none, although I used to associate it to a different type of products.
These two guys are a bit different from the rest of the crowd and their watches are definitely not on the typical Danish minimalist side, but they rather express a plus side, especially when it comes to Jorn's passion for sports, mainly for skiing and diving (I have to say that I definitely share with him the same passion for the first type of sport.) When you have a Linde Werdelin Spidolite Titanium Blue in your hands the first thing that you will notice is that it is everything but minimalist, it is actually a complex mix of hollows and surfaces that have been carved, polished, microblasted and finished: a tribute to the purest concept of CNC machining.
Last week I was in Milan having dinner with a friend who works for Maserati and we spent most of the time together discussing this watch and how complicated it must have been to create such an atypical case. Its design is very similar to that of a gearbox, it is first of all very light (the 44m wide and 46mm high case is actually made of titanium), and to me it really looks like a trellis frame, whose parts have been secured together through Allen screws. Conceptually speaking it reminds me the opposite of an Oktopus, the other collection from Linde Werdelin, where everything revolves around a single plain faceted block.
The Linde Werdelin Spidolite Titanium Blue features some sort of a skeletonized case with a blue and orange dial made up of two layers: the lower one sports the orange Linde Werdelin logo, while the upper “eletric blue” one features orange indexes and a yellow seconds counter at 9 o' clock. The date disc is skeletonized too and despite it being a bit oversized, it is actually quite hard to read it and, to be honest, it seems quite useless too. I was wondering why the designer decided not to create it in the very same shade of orange used for the other parts of the dial, thus making it more easily readable and more in line with the blue and orange style of the watch itself.
If we now move from the outside part to the inside one this is what makes the Linde Werdelin Spidolite Titanium Blue special: its heart is a non in-house built industrial caliber, which is definitely not cheap (as it sometimes happens with other standard brands, where a bold and elaborated design is not coupled with an appropriate “engine”.) At Linde Werdelin, the movement has been carefully selected, since the brand partnered with Concepto, a company based in La Chaux de Fonds that is specialized in providing the watch industry with a wide offering of high-end calibers.
The caliber is automatic and is coded as caliber LW04, among its features are the 42 hours of Power Reserve and the 4Hz frequency of the balance wheel. The icing on the cake is the winding rotor, which has been mounted on ceramic ball bearings to reduce friction, that is to say that the rotor needs less lubrication, which translates into a greater winding efficiency and into an enhanced durability. If you take a look through the transparent case back you can also note the blue screws, the gear train with anchor escapement and the seconds wheel placed on the upper right handside.
The Linde Werdelin Spidolite Titanium Blue comes with an interchangeable black calfskin strap with blue stitches and an ardillon buckle. I can assure that it is an extremely comfortable watch to wear, especially if you use it during one of those extremely hot Italian summer days. This timepiece retails at CHF10,900 and it is a cool and unusual item, it's 100% hand crafted, extremely sporty and it is perfect for an early-adopter or for those with a bold personality who enjoy being different from the wearers of ordinary mass-produced luxury watches.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter