Linde Werdelin Spidospeed Steel: You are probably wondering, what’s up with that title? Stay with me, as I’ll get to that bit. First, let’s touch on a brief bit of background of Linde Werdelin, but if you know your stuff about LW then I’d suggest you skip the next couple of paragraphs.
The brand, Linde Werdelin, was created in 2002 by long-time Danish friends, Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin. Both are keen skiers and they decided to develop a line of modern sport watches that would server as a platform for high-tech navigation and diving instruments. Named “The Rock” and “The Reef”, respectively. Werdelin’s family owned a jewellery shop, where he learnt to appreciate timepieces from a very early age. However, a significant life-changing experience occurred while skiing off-piste in bad weather. Werdelin got lost, skied off a cliff and broke his back. It was this incident that would plant a seed in the mind of Werdelin in how useful – and even possibly life saving – a rugged, easy-to-wear navigation instrument might be.
Morten Linde worked as a product designer for Bang & Olufsen before founding his own design studio, where he designed everything from sound systems to telephones and watches. In 2002 Linde started talking to Werdelin about how skiing instruments might be improved and the two friends decided to make their own, which would attach to high quality watches. Linde Werdelin was born.
The Linde Werdelin collection currently consists of two families: Spido featuring light but strong skeletonised titanium cases for the mountains and the Oktopus – big date dive watch for the reefs. The timepieces are developed in Denmark and made in Geneva.
After picking up this timepiece from the guys over at the Linde Werdelin Pembridge Villas and making my way home on the overcrowded sweaty London Underground during the heat wave – it wasn’t until I got home and Little Bex looked at it and said ‘Transformers’, that it dawned on me what it was exactly that he saw? Which got me thinking, this Spidospeed is precisely what a watch that transformed would look like (Michael Bay, you heard it here first).
The facts: this Linde Werdelin Spidospeed Steel is interestingly a lot smaller than I expected, the case is 44mm x 46mm x 15mm (water-resistant to 100m) – okay, so maybe its not that small but the cleverly engineered skeletonised case masks these dimensions. You could imagine that this is the kind of weight-saving exercise F1 teams perform but then cover up. Linde Werdelin have left it bare for all to see, and it does make for a good bit of eye-candy but I must say it can feel a bit sharp at times.
While we’re on subject of weight-saving and F1, let’s talk about the dial which is covered by anti-reflective sapphire crystal. It seems to have a racing inspired theme behind it. If you look closely you may be able to see the carbon fibre like texture the dial has and the almost break-disc effect on the chronograph sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. The chrono-pushers are quite firmly sprung and do require a good bit of pressure. The crown however, for me, is quite fiddly and I’m pretty sure I lost a bit of skin getting to it but I guess this design trait is down to “The Rock” instrument that needs to fit snuggly over the watch.
The Spidospeed houses the LW03 calibre 2251 movement custom-made for Linde Werdelin by Concepto, an independent movement manufacturer based in La Chaux de Fond. The movement is visible through the sapphire crystal case back where you’ll be able to see the spider web shaped oscillating automatic weight.
The straps on all Linde Werdelin models are interchangeable and for this hands-on experience I opted for the rubber straps, that of the Oktopus. I also had a pair of black alligator straps that I could chop-and-change but after sometime, I just got so used to the rubber one. What I do like about the straps; is how easy they are to change and also how comfortable they feel on the wrist.
I lived with this watch for a good couple of weeks and it is amazing how some watches grown on you, and others just don’t? The fact that when I first discovered Linde Werdelin I neither liked nor disliked them, which was a bonus, as it allowed me to approach their timepieces un-opinionated. One thing is definitely for sure, they look soooo much better in the flesh. The Linde Werdelin range is probably more geared to towards the adventurous man. You could easily get away with wearing it with a suit, providing you’ve chosen your straps wisely but don’t expect to be able to squeeze it under those cuffs. My only small problem with this timepiece, was-the-dust! It gets caught in every nook and cranny and I was forever cleaning it with an old toothbrush. Admittedly, I’m not usually a fan of watches this size but this Linde Werdelin Spidospeed sits quite well on my average sized wrists.
List price of this Linde Werdelin Spidospeed Steel is currently €11,760, for more information on this timepiece and others in the collection check out the official Linde Werdelin website.