Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red
Angus Davies provides an in-depth, hands-on review of the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red, a watch exhibiting an ingenious design and exciting use of colour.
This detailed review of the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red includes live images, specification details and pricing.
Recently, I was approached by my friend Robert-Jan Broer at fratellowatches.com to see if I would be willing to answer a few questions for a series of interviews he is conducting with “watch editors / journalists”. I acceded to his request and agreed to answer his questions.
I thought I would look at some of Robert-Jan’s previous interviews. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the informed opinions of Elizabeth Doerr and Kristian Haagen. As I read the comments made by my esteemed fellow professionals, I noticed an advert depicting a bright red timepiece, the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red.
I would describe my taste in watches as eclectic. Indeed, it is a similar trait I exhibit when choosing music. I adore Gloria by Vivaldi, Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni and confess to having a love of Wagner. However, I also admit to owning albums by Nirvana, REM and Radiohead. Life is more interesting by embracing different genres of music and so it is with horology.
The Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red piqued my interest. It was a refreshing change from the “usual suspects” I often see on my travels. With a heightened sense of curiosity, I felt a compunction to locate the vibrantly hued watch. “The Hunt for Red Oktopus” began.
My efforts to locate the rare model, a limited series of 88 pieces, soon proved successful and a very obliging lady at Linde Werdelin arranged for a press loan to be dispatched to my office.
A parcel arrived by courier. This is something in common with UK buyers of Linde Werdelin watches, purchasing the brand’s products via its online shop. Suddenly, I found myself adopting the role of Linde Werdelin customer, eagerly unpacking a factory fresh watch.
I carefully opened the brown cardboard box to discover a plethora of bubble wrap. There, nestled in a sea of polythene packaging, was a black cardboard box with foil text adorning the lid, enticing my eager hands to grasp its form. I felt like a small excited child at 6am on Christmas Day. Reminiscent of a series of iconic Russian dolls, I removed each layer until, eventually, I got my hands on the fiery red watch.
I was not disappointed, the visual spectacle of the watch adorning my wrist was breathtaking. A limitation of images, whether online or in print, is that they can never adequately convey the “in the flesh” experience. A few enjoyable days of temporary wear beckoned.
There is an absence of numerous functions on the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red. The specification is restricted to hour, minutes, central sweep seconds and big date. However, it is the means of conveying this information which distinguishes this timepiece as unique.
The sword-shaped hour and minute hands are made of stainless steel, featuring a satin finish with white, triangular shaped superluminova to their centres. A central sweep seconds hand emulates the form of its bigger siblings, with a smattering of superluminova near the tip. All the hands exhibit a mid-dark grey tone, which in some light appears anthracite or black, providing delightful differentiation from the bright silver surfaces beneath.
The dial surface is unusual. Linde Werdelin has combined two layers. The upper layer made using a laser-cut stencil technique, provides an open-worked frame that readily discloses the lower layer beneath. The lower layer features circular Côtes de Genève, which coquettishly teases my horological tastebuds.
Red Arabic numerals feature at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock and appear to almost float above the lower layer, according an appealing depth to their form. The font chosen is über-modern, congruent with the design language ubiquitously embraced. Interestingly noon, eschews Arabic numerals in favour of two white batons which interface with the chapter ring.
Wherever you look on the dial there are interesting details. This design is not a product of expedience but rather the outcome of prolonged contemplation by the talented pencil wielding Morten Linde.
In the upper region of the dial are two red hubs, which provide the fulcrums for an ingenious big date display. Although the date display is not the most legible I have encountered, it is certainly one of the more interesting depictions of this function.
At first, I felt the inner dial area appeared rather small. This may sound surprising when talking of a watch measuring 44 mm by 46 mm, however the bezel and case account for a significant proportion of the width and length of the watch. Nevertheless, after a short period wearing the Oktopus Titanium Red, I did not find the diameter of the dial to be an issue.
Appraising the case of the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red you become immediately aware that its construction is very involved. There are numerous angles, lines, occasional curves near the strap and different materials used. The resultant mien is striking.
Some will describe this watch as a “Marmite” watch, in terms of you either love it or hate it. I fall into the amorous camp, appreciating the cutting-edge contemporary character of the timepiece.
The overall dimensions are substantial, but not ungainly. It sits comfortably on the wrist and, thanks to its use of titanium, does not feel unduly heavy.
The bezel is made of black ceramic, with 8 hexagonal bolts adorning its surface. Small red circlets, enveloping the bolts, provide visual excitement and link the case to the red dial elements and rubber strap.
The crown has a lovely design encircling its form and is engraved with an octopus on the vertical flank. The black coloured crown protection device, which also acts as one of two mounts which I will come to later, does slightly inhibit adjustment but not to any undue extent.
Linde Werdelin offers additional instruments which can be affixed to the case of the Oktopus. The Reef, a diving instrument, and the Rock, a mountaineer’s device, have been previously discussed here on ESCAPEMENT in our review of the SpidoSpeed Gold. The black mounts for the Instruments which adorn the case of Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red add to the design and confer an overtly masculine persona to the timepiece.
A solid screw-in caseback is engraved with an octopus drawing. It is different, fun and further testament to the “blue-sky” thinking of the brand.
Owners of the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red can purchase additional straps and select a deployant to replace the standard pin buckle. However, I was thoroughly smitten with the red rubber strap and pin buckle supplied with the press-loan model. I particularly liked the broad, flat profile of the pin which fits flush in the recess of the buckle. Once again, it’s the small details that delight with this model.
Linde Werdelin has used a “customised” Dubois Dépraz caliber 14580. The self-winding movement has a frequency 28,800 vph (4Hz), a power reserve of 40 – 44 hours and includes 26 jewels.
The Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red has a maximum water resistance of 300 metres, reaffirming its status as a watch ideally suited for the intrepid explorer, disposed to climbing mountains or diving deep beneath the ocean’s waves. Neverthless, despite its size and robust construction there is a pleasing absence of mass.
It has been an enjoyable experience wearing the Oktopus Titanium Red. Indeed, I feel Linde Werdelin has created a timepiece which shuns mediocrity and conservatism with stylish aplomb.
Is it perfect? No, but few watches seldom are. However, it makes a compelling case for ownership and, I for one, will be visiting the brand at Baselworld, keen to discover more intriguing timepieces, conceived by the Danish duo of Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin.
A sequel to “The Hunt for Red Oktopus”, is a very tantalising prospect.
- Model: Linde Werdelin Oktopus Titanium Red
- Case: Titanium; dimensions 44.00 mm (w) x 46.00 mm (l); height 15.25 mm; water resistant to 30 bar (300 metres); sapphire crystal to front and solid caseback.
- Functions: Hours; minutes; central sweep seconds; large date.
- Movement: Linde Werdelin “customised” Dubois Dépraz caliber 14580, self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 kph (4Hz); 26 Jewels Power reserve 40 – 44 hours.
- Bracelet: Rubber strap supplied with pin buckle.
- Price: CHF 10,200 excluding VAT (as at 6.3.2014)
- Limited Edition: 88 pieces