This article was written and contributed by Jonathan Fairfield, a journalist and English teacher based in Thailand
From their headquarters in London’s trendy Notting Hill, the Swiss-Danish design team of Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin has spent the last decade creating what is arguably one of the world’s most exciting boutique watch brands. Whilst some of us could be forgiven for wondering what exactly happened to the last ten years, this month sees Linde Werdelin reaching yet another milestone – its tenth anniversary. In celebration of this anniversary, The Decade is a unique and detailed retrospective look at Linde Werdelin watches during this time.
It’s fair to say that many watch collectors and horology aficionado’s become a little excited at even the mention of LW. Their wonderfully illustrated timeline runs through Linde Werdelin’s evolution of unique timepieces since the brands conception in 2002 and it’s pretty easy to see why they have caught the imagination of watch lovers the world over.
More than just a sports watch
Featuring the brands most iconic creations and remarkable achievements, The Decade fully explores all of the significant events in the history of this innovative watch brand. From the birth of the Biformeter, to the revolutionary Oktopus Diver, not forgetting their most recent timepiece, the SpidoSpeed, Linde Werdelin has a quite exquisite range of sports watches in their collection.
In an age and industry where it is often difficult to be truly unique or individual, Linde Werdelin, somehow manage to pull it off. What makes the accomplishment even more impressive is that Linde Werdelin specializes in making sports watches, in the truest sense of term. A classification which often gets banded around too freely in my opinion, it can often be the case that a watch that is even slightly related to the world of sport is deemed to be a ‘sports watch’. However, Linde Werdelin creates fully functional, purpose built timepieces specifically for skiing and diving. Their innovative design transforms a watch suitable for all occasions into one that’s a state of the art, precision instrument.
According to the brand’s website, it’s Morten Linde whose background in design is the brand’s creative spark, whilst Jorn Werdelin is very much the brand’s visionary thinker and the driving force behind Linde Werdelin.
Interestingly, horology runs in Jorn Werdelin’s blood, as his grandfather once owned a watch and jewellery boutique back in his native Denmark. It was during this time, around the age of 14, that he first realised his passion for watches after laying eyes on a new top of the range sports watch. A keen mountaineer and skier, Jorn Werdelin suffered serious injury in a horrific skiing accident in the winter of 1996. After becoming lost in the Swiss Alps during a spell of bad weather, Werdelin skied off the edge of a cliff and broke his back. Having now fully recovered, the accident is said to have been one of the inspirations behind the idea to create a digital instrument that could be attached to a watch in order to help skiers on the slopes.
Innovative technology at the core of Linde Werderlin
The innovative design of a Linde Wederlin timepiece is typified by its contemporary style and functionality. The Oktopus and Spidospeed are both designed to be paired with instruments that will enhance their respective sports of diving and skiing.
The Reef, a state of the art dive computer, boasts a substantial 55mm LCD screen, which is made from reinforced, scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass. It offers divers superb readability in poor light, whilst measuring all the important aspects required when someone is diving.
The Rock, developed to withstand even the most extreme conditions in places like the South Pole or Everest, provides users with guidance and protection when mountaineering or skiing. Capable of measuring air and body temperature, the instruments in house built software can graphically record the experience from a whole day.
These instruments are pretty phenomenal both aesthetically and technologically and can be effortlessly attached to a Linde Werdelin watch making them surely one of the most awesome pieces of kit in modern day horology.
Personally, I hope Linde Werdelin continue to create and innovate as much in the next decade as they have in the last. When it comes down to it, Linde Werdelin is not only an admirable boutique watch brand but one of the finest on the market today.