Angus Davies reviews the Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold. This is a timepiece which evokes thoughts of “life in the fast lane”.
I have always been fascinated by motorsport. The shrill of an engine revved to the absolute limit of its performance envelope, the aroma of fuel and rubber wafting through the trackside breeze and the sight of masters of driving negotiating bends with millimetric precision thrills.
If you look at a touring car it can sometimes resemble a typical family saloon car. However, the decals adorning the apparent wings and bonnet are applied to one faux carbon-fibre shell which shrouds the engine and other mechanical and electronic wizardry.
Examine the inside of the car, you will see no rear seats, no front passenger seat, no electric windows or satellite navigation. There are none of the other creature comforts which now constitute as essentials for anyone wishing to transport their partner and 1.7 children.
The purpose of the car is to circumnavigate the race track in the shortest time. There is no excess weight. The cars are designed to be lithe, powerful, perfectly balanced. Any excess material is dispensed with.
Some aspects of the car will be skeletonised, eschewing surplus mass whilst retaining strength and rigidity.
When I look at the Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold the first thing you notice is the case and bezel, drilled and hollowed of any surplus material. It immediately reminds me of the touring cars in competition that I enjoy watching.
The use of gold will never result in a feather-like mass. The hewn from billet appearance is symbolic rather than any genuine attempt to impart the litheness of a ballerina.If Linde Werdelin were genuinely looking for lightweight properties they would have selected titanium or some other material favoured by the aerospace industry.
The black hue of the dial may at first glance appear conventional from a distance, however, ponder for a second and examine the dial more closely and you are left spell-bound by its intricate construction.
The dial is made of two parts. A base part features circular graining or perlage typically found on a high-end base plate inside the watch case. Above this an opaline top dial with rose gold plated sub-dials resides.
The sub-dials feature chrono counters for hours, minutes and seconds.
A key aspect of the watch is the depth provided by the layers of the dial. They attract the eyes to the majesty of the dial and engage with the wearer.
The hour and minute hands are sword-shaped, partly skeletonised near the axis and inlayed with luminous material. The seconds hand is fully skeletonised with a small dash of luminous material at its tip. The character of the hands reinforces the stripped out persona of the watch.
White indices are used to mark off the hourly integers around the dial, save for 6 o’clock, where the 12 hour chrono counter is positioned. At 12 o ‘clock larger twin indices are used to indicate noon or midnight for nocturnal types.
The case as previously mentioned features a stripped out look. However, this requires further explanation.
A block of gold is drilled to create the recessed areas of the bezel and case. This has to be performed with great care to ensure the strength and integrity are not compromised. This watch needs to tolerate underwater adventure. Water ingress could risk the valuable movement if the integrity is compromised by the case maker during drilling.
The result is a carefully crafted case, finished by hand with satin and microbillé treatment. The watch has a modernistic and purposeful aesthetic.
The screw in crown ensures water resistance to 100 metres. The watch can be complemented with an electronic diving computer from the brand, for those who like to survey the wonder of the underwater exploration. Alternatively, an electronic skiing aid can be affixed to the watch. This is a watch for the adventurer.
Reef – dive instrument
Rock – skiing instrument
The crown and the chrono pushers sit flush with the adjacent surfaces of the case.
The alligator strap is attached to the case using black hexagonal bolts positioned on the front of the case.
Linde Werdelin have used a Concepto calibre 2251, made to their own specification.
This is a pleasing movement harnessing 237 components, featuring a skeletonised black rotor and utiising a screwed balance wheel.
The sapphire crystal back allows the wearer to enjoy the details of the self-winding movement courtesy of a sapphire crystal caseback.
There will only be 100 pieces of this watch made.
I like the design because it is contemporary and has wonderful originality.
The watch is lighter than if the case were non-skeletonised. However, it could be lighter if alternative metals were used, but they would lack the warmth imparted by the rose gold case of this watch.
This is a watch conceived by the idea of removing excess material whilst retaining torsional rigidity like a performance car.
The watch suits those who frequent the fast lane whether on four wheels, exploring oceans deep or skiing on snow clad mountains. This is a timpiece for those who pursue thrills and excitement. It is a concept I can identify with and that is why I am charmed by the design language and personality of the Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold.
Model: Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold
Case: 18-carat rose gold; dimensions 44.00 mm (W) by 46.00 mm (L); height 15.0 mm; water resistant to 10 bar (100 metres); sapphire crystal to front and rear.
Functions: Hours; minutes; seconds; chronograph.
Movement: LW 03 Concepto calibre 2251, self-winding; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 27 jewels; 237 parts; power reserve 48 hours.
Strap: black alligator leather strap on rose gold pin buckle.
Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.