Linde Werdelin may be one of the most recognisable watch shapes on the market today, however each design has a very different look and feel, based mainly on the use it was created for.
Known for creating ultimate sports timepieces and high performance digital instruments for skiing and diving, the SpidoSpeed Titanium 3D continues with the theme, being a chronograph with motor racing-inspired weight optimisation.
Taking inspiration from high performance, track racing car conversions, the SpidoSpeed Titanium 3D has stripped away material, without compromising on functionality or aesthetics.
Linde Werdelin design unconventional timepieces, using materials they want to use, in a way they think is best for the purpose of the product. Co-founder and creative mind Morten Linde explains the idea behind the SpidoSpeed Titanium 3D:
The SpidoSpeed Titanium is a testament to the enduring stability of Linde Werdelin’s design DNA. Incorporating innovative artisanal techniques with refined design elements from previous generations, the SpidoSpeed Titanium sees excess material stripped away from case and body holistically, without compromising on strength or performance.
The monochrome look of the SpidoSpeed Titanium is an iconic LW design – whilst we will continue to evolve and be innovative, in my universe Linde Werdelin will always have a watch like this – it truly captures the spirit of the brand.
Face & case
Made from grade 5 titanium, the case is 44mm (w) x 46mm (l) and constructed in 3 parts; the industrial angles and reflection of light are amplified by the use of different finishes on the surfaces (satin, polished and microbillé).
The mainly satin brushed case is not traditional looking, but is very similar in shape to the majority of Linde Werdelin models. The protruding shapes and angles on the side of the case make sure of that, as do the large allen key fixing screws at each corner, where lugs would be positioned in a traditional watch case. These fixings add to the industrial look, but are functional; these are also the strap fixings, as the straps fit directly into openings in the case.
The top surface of the bezel is polished, reflecting light from its surface around the dial, whilst the eight hollowed out grooves in its centre, as well as various other deep hollowed out areas in the case are matte microbillé finished and appear much darker in contrast.
Looking into the skeletonised dial under the sapphire crystal, it initially appears very busy and almost messy, but when your eyes adjust, the shapes and layers make your eyes dart around and you will see there has been a lot of thought gone into the design and construction.
The réhaut is relatively deep. Titanium in colour with a circular satin finish, it features thin minute markers in black, as well as slightly chunkier 5 minute markers in cool grey Luminova coating. Just inside, is a thinner ring circling the dial and which replicates the indexing on the réhaut, but brings your eyes onto the flat dial surface.
There are 3 chronograph sub dials (at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock), which actually sit a little higher than the outer index ring – the outer edges of all three sub dials actually block vision of part of the outer ring, which adds to the perception of depth. These chrono dials are titanium with markers and some indicative numbers printed in black. Any numbers shown are in a futuristic font. A constant seconds sub dial can be seen at 9, minutes at 3 and hours at 6 o’clock; on the hour dial there is an R: charge-indicator printed in red visible at where 4 would be.
This feature was to designed to be used to indicate a full charge on Linde Werdelin’s “The Rock” (a land instrument designed for use whilst skiing), however is only pertinent if you have or can get one!
The next layer of the dial is in a matt cool grey colour, appearing almost white. This layer has a lot going on, including placement of both the LW logo and logotype on either side of the 6 o’clock sub dial are printed in black and various other angles sections. A few rhodium wheels (also in the same matt cool grey colour) featuring 6 circular cut-outs in each, can also been seen. Visible screws are all heat treated blue.
Underneath these layers you will also see a few elements of the movement itself, including the balance wheel spinning in the background at between 10 and 11 o’clock.
Distinctively wide and angular shaped, the hands can be seen above the multiple layers, heat blued and polished, with a cool grey Luminova covering a large central area. The flyback seconds hand is slightly longer and is only a frame, so has no Luminova.
Both of the sides of the case feature angular, industrial shapes and deep cut out areas; the crown and pushers nestled into these on the right hand side. The crown itself is grade 5 titanium and screw-down, relatively small, but with deep grooves for grip and engraved with a spider icon on the end. The pushers are also titanium, the top for “start/stop” and the bottom for “reset”. Both functions are engraved next to their respective button. All 3 are finished in a rough circular satin.
Turning the SpidoSpeed over and everything is on show again. Behind the rhodium rotor, which is also skeletonised, so as not to obscure too much of the movement whilst rotating. 4 blue “arms” reach outwards from a central blue screw, to where Linde Werdelin is also printed in bold blue around the outer edge of the rotor. “winding direction” can also be seen in red, just above the word “Linde”.
Beneath the rotor, pretty much everything is on show here too. Linde Werdelin’s signature Trigon pattern is embossed onto the rear bridge, which is an odd shape, skeletonised right back towards the centre, so that there is only a small, functional area visible. Most of the gears and rotors are on show, all in contrasting finishes, including the main plate which is in a circular sating finish, as well as oversized blue screws holding everything together.
The sapphire crystal window is framed with the case back, which shows multiple engravings, including SPIDOSPEED, the number of the watch and that the watch is water resistant to 100 metres.
The SpidoSpeed is powered by the LW06, an automatic movement based on the Swiss Concepto Caliber 2000-2120, but heavily customised and skeletonised by Linde Werdelin, with the help of the Jacquet Family.
The chronograph pusher system has also been developed by Linde Werdelin.
Beating at 28,800vph (4Hz), comprising 273 parts and featuring 27 jewels, owners should expect up to 48 hours power reserve once fully wound.
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Titanium 3D Crown and Pushers
Linde Werdelin watches all feature their own proprietary strap system, which allows the owner to easily swap straps, should they wish to change colour, material, or go for a metal bracelet available in their series of options.
The SpidoSpeed is no different and is delivered with a natural rubber strap in Linde Werdelin blue, with embossed logo and deep grooves for more interesting aesthetics.
The strap is secured using a traditional buckle and pin fastener, featuring the LW logo boldly stamped on it. Manufactured from grade 5 titanium, it has been satinised, polished and given a microbillé finish.
Linde Werdelin could quite easily be considered a pioneer when it comes to watchmaking, due to the constant pursuit of pushing boundaries.
All of their pieces have the same case size, which was originally intended to fit their digital instruments, however the different model collections all have their own independent look and feel.
Starting with materials, Linde Werdelin claim to be the first Swiss Manufacturer to use 3DTP™ carbon composite in their watches. They have also developed ALW or Alloy Linde Werdelin, which is a unique material originally created for aerospace and Formula 1, but repurposed by Linde Werdelin.
ALW is twice the strength of steel, yet only half the weight of titanium.
All movements are customised by hand, often with the help of the finest independent artisans and watchmakers to craft precision mechanisms that give life to their timepieces.
There will never be more than 100 pieces of each design made.
I have been a fan of the Linde Wedelin brand for a number of years, but having never seen one in person until now, I was surprised by the size – they appear bigger and bulkier in images, than they actually are in person. This visual misconception may be down to the shape of the case and the fact there are many more angles than most watch cases have, but the dial itself is only 30mm wide (smaller than most).
Everything about the design and concept of the SpidoSpeed ticks boxes for my personal taste, from the eccentric design to the fact everything has been stripped back, to enable us to see the inner workings of the watch. Whilst that may not have been the initial purpose of skeletonising the movement, in my opinion, it does make a big impact visually.
On the wrist, it is very comfortable and extremely light (exactly 100g); almost not noticing it being on the wrist. At 15mm high and with all the case angles, catching on cuffs is likely going to be a daily occurrence, but I don’t suppose showing it off is going to be too much of a problem for owners.
The only negative I would comment on, is the strap – I just don’t like rubber straps. The good news I suppose, is that a change of strap would not break the bank and a multitude of options are available with their strap system.
Only 99 pieces will be made and at £15,600, seems good value for the materials, design and craftsmanship that has gone into it.
Linde Werdelin watches may be easily recognisable, but the SpidoSpeed Titanium 3D is definitely a watch only independent thinkers would choose…. the question is, are you?