Linde Werdelin "Factory" visit

"Factory" visit at Linde Werdelin - very informative

First I would like to thank Linde Werdelin for allowing me the visit - it was very fun and informative. I was not really aware of what to expect - but my plan was just to get some hands on and see how the different models looks in real life.
I left my work early yesterday to visit LW office north of Copenhagen - and arrived at 2 o'clock and was greeted by Morten and Martin.
On the funny note is that I got my Rolex Sea-dweller from Martin in 2003 - and still have it - so that was fun.
I was directed to the first floor where there was a nice office - and was then seated by a large table - and slowly the watches started to pop up.
The watches that came to view included many "prototypes" - different color cases, bezel functionality, etc - It ended with a large collection of watches from the early "Founders watch" to the latest Octopus watch.....

Much more to come - expect 2-3 stories on this little visit

Linde Werdelin "Factory" visit - Intro - PART 1

Have uploaded the the photos from my little visti to Linde Werdelin and the first little story will be on the super time I had during my small 2 hour visit. Yes time does fly in good company ;-).
I arrived and was guided into the secret part of the R&D of Linde Werdelin.
Always nice to see the black wall for the LW ideas and see a office that can produce some watches I feel more and more interested in.

Why have I been interested in Linde Werdelin watches - well I really don't know, because I'm a Rolex man at heart and somehow also a little Panerai man at heart. I look at many other watches and have had my view on some different brands but have for the last 2 years returned to LW again and again -somehow the look of the watch had something that I can put my finger on - but well I have not been able to not thinking about that watch.

To get back to the story about my visit to LW north of Copenhagen. I left my work early and and arrived at 2 o'clock and was greeted by Martin and Morten and shown upstairs. Here I was seated and slowly the different watches and prototypes began to fill the table. It was mostly Martin that kept the watches coming while Morten talked about prototypes, different coatings, design and the love and focus on watches. I really began to see the passion behind these watches and understand the many difficult aspects of the watch making.

This first little story will be on the many different watches I had my cold hands on and my initial feelings.

Well to cut the story short - I'm a steel man, black dial and no bling. So the classic Elemental Linde Werdelin watch really did it for me. I had a soft spot for the DLC watches before I came - but somehow the classic steel was drawing my attention again and again.

Somehow a classic design will forever be classic ... And from my understanding from Morten there is also an idea in having a design that is easy to recognize even if seen from a distance. A little like Rolex and Panerai. The steel band band of a Rolex is easy to see from a distance, the crown guard on the Panerai is also something easily seen from a distance.

The same is true of the Linde Werdelin watches - the shape of the case, the band connection to the case - all is easy to recognize from a distance.

One of the things that has surprises me from when I tried a watch on for the first time - Is how good is sits on the wrist when you thing about its size.

It easily have the same comfort as my old Rolex watches - but the watch have the same "presence" as eg. my Panerai.

Well here are some of the first shoots - it was a really nice visit and I still think about the black steel LW watch ;-)

Arriving at LW - the "known" black wall with all the secrets on ;-)

And Martin checking if any secrets are there ;-)

The office - well looks like any normal office.

The table where the watches was presented on

The start of the watches in boxes.

And finally for this short presentation some of the watches and prototypes on the table.

Some close up of the watches -I really like the black dial simple watch.

Stay tuned - Next time (tomorrow) I will show more on the watches and my feelings and maybe some secrets will be reveled ;-)

Linde Werdelin "Factory" tour - The Sea Instrument - PART 2

My second little talk about my visit to the R&D of Linde Werdelin will focus on the "accessories" of the a LW watch. This is the philosophy of the LW watches and why the number 2 is so prominent in their products. It is called the power of two. And from my talk with Morten I was told that the number 2 is present in some way in their products.

The number of watches made is always with the number two included - either 22, 44, 222,...
The watch is to be seen together with the click-on tool - again the number two. And there where two (Morten and Jorn) that started the company, etc.
Again something I didn't know before my visit - and I guess only information for a WIS ;-)

After the initial show of watches I was taken on a little tour into the workshop of the dive instrument - also know as the REEF aka "The Sea Instrument". That is a dive computer with all the functionality you would expect. When I was a younger I did a lot of diving, but only with a watch and a standard dive table. It was well before the time of dive computers and BC vest.

But I really enjoyed to see the workshop, talk to the guy that programs the software. I was demonstrated the tool and could check out the last dive with all information you could wish for.

First I saw the place where each component is checked and rechecked - one of the reasons for the slim design is that this tool is filled with a special liquid - that is how the weight and thickness can be kept limited.

First I was introduced to the workshop for making and checking the instruments.

On the floor there was a big collection of prototypes - different colors and different surfaces. Making a case is not as easy as it could sound.

Here is the workbench where the components are "filled" with the special liquid - not air is allowed - anyone that dives knows that a incorrect tooth filling can cause a major pain.

Then I was introduced to "the man" that makes the software for the instruments - and check out that desk - that is really software and hardware working together.

Close up of the information screen of the dive on the PC screen. With information on time, temp and depth. That is one modern logbook from my point of view.

Then some closeup of the device - I had only seen it on the homepage - bit I do think that dive computer should looks super.

Linde Werdelin "Factory" tour - The Watches - PART 3

My third little blog on my visit to the R&D of Linde Werdelin will focus on the watches and my view of them - I did get to handle and try many different models and my view of the quality of the watches is still intact.

While I was talking to Morten - the watches began to fill the table, gold, stell, DLC and prototypes, with and without straps, different dial colors and different glass color.
One of the nice features of LW is that you can change the look of the watch by changing the crystal color by adding a "folio" of some color.

That way you can have a yellow look, a pink look, green look, etc. And it is relative easy to remove the folio again and have the "original" watch back.

The gold version of the "Octopus" really looked super - it was a massive piece of watch.

And the DLC versions also had some real "masculine" and tough look. But somehow the simple steel model with black dial kept drawing my attention - it looked so classic.

What really did surprise me was the very different look that the watches have - but they all are from the same "DNA" they have the same initial shape - in order to accept the two different instruments.

The many watches ready to be inspected

The many different color combination - based more or less on the same case design.
Somehow the look of these watches can change from the stealthy black DLC to the "flamboyant" Red dial and red strap. And if you would like - how about the Octopus in Gold - it really does have some presence.

On a note - use of different color folio could make smaller changes to the watch - don't know if it is a first that you can change color of the crystal after your mood (the change of the folio does take a visit to your watchmaker - as the folio is inserted to the inside of the crystal).

And some photos of different models together - check out the two watches with pink and yellow folio on - I does change the look of the watch. I think the color folio works best on the white dials - but even on the black dials it can change the look drastic.

Each version of the watch have a special something - what I like is that LW don't make watches as per fashion trend but watches based on functionality. That I can related to - I only hope they stay true to their vision of making watches based on functionality and not come out with some new models without a strong "reason". This is what I like with Rolex, and what I like from the "old" Panerais - before Panerai began maiking to many limited models.
This can easily be seen when making a quick compare between the "founders" watch and the present model - The only real difference is the text on the dial. Check it out. Hat of to that design idea - why change something that works.

After having seen and handled the many different watches - It was time to leave for the design room - but I quickly made a hand shoot of the watches that I found the most interesting. The steel and DLC versions - If I only had to select one ...... Well that is a difficult one. Well why not have them all ;-)

My list
  • The Steel Elemental Black Dial
  • The Steel Two-Timer Black Dial
  • The Hard DLC version
  • And if money was not a option the new Gold Octopus... ;-)

Somehow the "simple" design - and that is meant in a very positive way - has grow on me.
My very quickly personal view of the watches both positive and negative is.

My Positive List

  • "Classic" design - true to its own DNA
  • Easy to recognize - almost like Rolex / Panerai
  • Have a good presence on the wrist
  • The fit on the wrist is really good
  • Limited numbers made
  • Not made as a fashion trend - made from an idea
  • Any questions will be answered quickly
  • ....

My Negative List is also here but not that long

  • Relative unknown re-sale price - but I think it is OK
  • Straps - I'm not 100% into the deployment - maybe over time - Its a Tool watch!

Then I was introduced to the Design of watches and and got the stories on how difficult it can be to transform an idea into the final product. It might look cool in the CAD program and on the screen but when the prototype returns it looks different - and one part that is special difficult to make and know the final look is the dial. That is why they make plastic mock-ups and put them into existing models - just to get a idea.
So the final result is the work of many hours on the design and many weeks and months of checking prototypes.

Here Morten is making a detail check on the screen - the smallest detail is checked and rechecked.

Some of the very early prototypes in plastic and dial mock-ups

This concludes my visit at Linde Werdelin - hope to visit again some time. The result of the two hour visit was very positive, the hands on was good, the watch talk (all from Rolex Milsubs to the world of Panerai and WIS), the open way I was shown watches and prototypes.
In general I felt very welcome and found that this is how the watch world should be - open f or everyone and lest enjoy what we like best - the watches.

I only have a small wish list for LW - something I would like to see.
And something I think could give something else...

My Wish List for Linde Werdelin
  • Option for own strap design - like Panerai - Make a connection that can be used by all
  • Give me a Velcro strap - it is a dive watch - something like on AP EOD
  • Keep the design simple - keep faithful to the DNA - tool-watch first
  • ...

What I can say after my visit is that the LW watch has not left my Next Watch Wish list - I will stay on.
And last but not least - I made a side by side shoot of the a Steel LW watch and my Panerai 1B - so you can get an idea of the size of the LW watches. It is always difficult to understand the size fro pictures - so I hope this side by side can help you ;-)

I have hoped that you have liked my little tour as much as I have.