Linde Werdelin – Horology’s true boutique brand.

In an industry where hundreds of thousands of products are made a year and its biggest brand Rolex are making 2000 watches a day being individual is an accomplishment. Shying away from the big names is often for the man with multiple timepieces, a man who owns a number of staples and is looking for a piece to separate him from the pack. For those that don’t have $100k to drop on a MB&F Legacy Machine buying into a boutique brand can present a challenge because there aren’t a lot of boutique brands that are worthy of consideration at an accessible level. Enter Linde Werdelin. Linde Werdelin is truly boutique, making a maximum of 500 pieces a year and when you consider that they’ve been making watches for less than 10 years it means you’re buying one of less than 5000 watches that exist worldwide from the brand.

Until last friday I’d never seen a Linde Werdelin watch in the flesh, I’d looked at plenty of photos and read about their mechanical prowess but I’d never held one in my hand. Fortunately I was invited to lunch with Jorn Werdelin, one half of the Linde Werdelin partnership. We spent the day on a lovely Sunseeker motor yacht followed by lunch at Flying Fish chatting everything Linde Werdelin and it was an absolute honour to get the chance to share my thoughts about the industry and the brand with the watchmaker.

Linde Werdelin makes sports watches. The classification ‘Sports Watch’ gets thrown around very loosely in the world of horology, it seems that anything that is somewhat related to a sport is deemed a sports watch. The watches that Jorn and Morten (Linde) make are designed for two specific sports, diving and skiing. They are deliberately functional instruments for sport and this is why I respect the brand. Where other brands claim to have a mild association with sport, LW has a clear and purposeful link. I asked Jorn what the next model for the brand was and he chuckled, ‘there isn’t a next model, these are the two sports we make instruments for and we will strive to perfect them over the years to come’. It was fascinating chatting with Jorn, hearing his perspective on the industry he lives and works in and the brand he created. Having the man who designed the watch explain it to you is not something many people would get the chance to hear and from the moment I picked up one of the watches I was enthralled. They are fascinating and highly engaging – they are so unique and you notice it instantly, then you strap one on your wrist and you are absolutely certain you have to have one. This is all before you see the watch in action and when Jorn and the brand’s distributor Troy Barbagallo pull out the sport specific instruments and clip them over the front of the respective models you see that Linde Werdelin watches are like nothing else on the market and I don’t think many people know this.

The Spidospeed (Skiing) and the Oktopus (Diving) are both designed to be paired with instruments designed for amplifying their respective sport. The Rock is a tool for protection, guidance and re-experience in the mountains, be it off-piste, heli-skiing, or mountaineering. Developed with professional athletes in extreme conditions in Everest and the South Pole The Rock captures a whole day’s experience graphically employing aerospace algorithms in its in house developed software capable off measuring accurate air temp and body temperature with a clip on thermometer that resides within the users jacket. The Reef dive computer boasts a huge 55mm LCD colour screen made of sapphire crystal glass, second only to diamond in hardness ensuring scratch resistance. It’s quite phenomenal and appears to be of the highest quality and easy to use, offering transflective technology to provide excellent readability in low light and measuring every important aspect of your dive. Both of these effortlessly clip onto the top of your Linde Werdelin watch and its one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen. The concept of having a computer on your wrist with the ability to clip it off, pocket it and walk into the bar for a round of schnapps with the most individual watch in the room and probably the entire resort is quite remarkable.

At the end of the day, Linde Werdelin is an admirable brand and one of the finest accessible boutique watch companies on the market today. They’re not pretending to produce ‘in-house’ calibres, they have their movements made by an independent movement maker in Geneva who works closely with the brand to cater to their exact needs and build the perfect movement for the specific watch. I asked Jorn about the future of an ‘in-house’ movement at Linde Werdelin and he made a very solid point, “we are a young brand, developing and perfecting in house movements takes decades, who knows what the future will hold, but for now we put the most suitable, durable and trustworthy movements that are available for us to use in our watches”. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing the brand grow and develop – the future looks bright for Linde Werdelin and any man that choses to invest in one.

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James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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