Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Chronograph Watch Review

Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Chronograph Watch Review

Linde Werdelin put a lot of time and effort into the release of their first chronograph model. I am pretty sure that the team spend a lot of time discussing the right movement, dial design, and other features of their new chronograph timepiece. Why so much effort? Whether you believe it or not chronograph models make up the bulk on non-diver sport watches sold and produced. Having a strong chronograph model in any collection is very important for a watch brand's strength in the sport watch market. That is of particular importance to a brand like Linde Werdelin that pretty only produces sport watches.

The movement they finally decided to settle on is the Concepto 2251 automatic chronograph. Likely based on some ETA architecture, the Concepto movement features a slick design and some modern looking finishing on all the bridge surface. The movement presentation is made complete by a custom skeletonized Linde Werdelin rotor. On the dial you'll notice that the chronograph measures 12 hours and offers a tri-compax subdial layout. No date is offered on this dial design.

The SpidoSpeed Chronograph case design is based on both the original Linde Werdelin case and the SpidoLite (reviewed here). The SpidoLite introduced the brands skeletonized case concept. That model was in titanium while the SpidoSpeed is steel for now. There are DLC black coated versions as well as this model in a sandblasted finish. The case is 44mm wide and sits large but comfortably on the wrist.

As it must hold a larger chronograph movement, the case is a rather thick 15mm. You can see via the diagram here in this article how the case is put together. The middle section and bezel holding the movement is like a barrel with the decorative structure placed around it.

This system works well, but looking through the side case you can rather easily tell how it was done. I would have appreciated a bit more of a seamless integration from the middle to the outer case elements where it looks like one solid structure. I also think that injecting black or dark colored elements into the "open holes" in the case would have called more attention to the skeletonized elements.

There is a bit of a controversial feature in the case design that relates to the chronograph pushers. I wouldn't have mentioned this unless it has been a topic of conversation among collectors. The original SpidoSpeed designs included unique chronograph pushers that sat more flush with the case design. These neat looking pushers suffered however from being difficult to press once the prototypes were produced and tested by the team members.

The fix seemed to be the addition of not larger pushers but rather those with extensions on them. This allows for easier operation of the chronograph, but the newer pushers unfortunately aren't as attractive as the original ones. It isn't a big deal and I am sure Linde Werdelin spent a fair amount of time concerned with the right fix. I have a feeling that in the future this element might be redesigned yet again.

The dial design is a highlight of the watch. It looks good and is also legible. The textures and small skeletonized parts are attractive, and the indicators are all easy to see. It is very Linde Werdelin in design and feels like what a chronograph from them would feel like. Color variations and such on the dial are sure to come. You can see the applied luminant, and thankfully it is placed on all of the hands.

Attached to the watch is a tapered textile strap with portholes. It would look good with a rubber strap as well. I really do love most of Linde Werdelin's straps and they also benefit from being comfortable. While a boutique brand with only limited edition watches, no doubt Linde Werdelin timepieces are on the pricier side. I feel that the uniqueness is merited however if you can budget for it. Limited to 100 pieces per model, this steel version of the Linde Werdelin SpidoSeepd Chronograph watch is priced at 11,760 euros.

  • Kris C

    lol @ $15k. Can I just pay $20k and get it on a non-hideous strap made of something other than plastic. I mean, ‘textile’. Wait, never mind – I can buy a plain rubber strap from them for a totally reasonable $250.

    By how scratched up the bezel is, and the fraying of the ‘textile’, I can only assume this review unit has been getting whored out quite heavily. I certainly don’t wish them any ill will, and do think they have some really cool case designs, but it’s a shame they’ve drank the Swiss watch value proposition kool-aid. In London.

  • CG

    Parkerize certain case elements… Rub with linseed oil, let green tarnish then it might look like something.

  • AtSeaWatch

    I really like certain elements of the design. It’s an attractive watch that looks rugged without being cliched. The Concepto 2251 is a nice variation of the 7750. The finish on the bridges fits the watch well. The program for loaning out watches to potential customers is a great idea. Overall, LW comes across as a breath of fresh air in a musty industry.

    And now the bad stuff…

    For a watch that’s supposedly design driven, there are some glaring design issues. The strap attachment system keeps the strap at wide angles from the case. Jorn Werdelin has admitted that it makes it a poor fit for “smaller wrists” and has said they’re working on solutions, but that is not a feature of a watch ready for retail. Based on the photos here, it doesn’t look like a good fit for Ariel’s dainty limbs. Even more frustratingly, those straps cost a chunk of change and only come from LW.

    Additionally, the whole pusher debacle was pretty bad. They sold the customers on a design that they couldn’t deliver and ended up compromising in a way that didn’t fit the design and really angered many of the recipients.

    The crown is deeply buried in the case, making it a pain to get at. Not a triumph of useable design.

    • AtSeaWatch

      Here’s the second part:

      I think the final, most damning part of this watch is the price. It’s a premium price that can be commanded by companies that have a history of putting out quality watches. Many of the flaws in this watch could have been avoided by a more experienced company. $15K is a lot for a base chronograph with compromised design and slim chance that it will fit comfortably on you’re wrist.

      I find it very telling that for a company that has made a small number of watches, those pieces keep ending up on Timezone’s sales forums. There are at least three up there right now. One that has been owned for half a year, and the other that has been around for a year a and a half, but is already headed to a third owner.

      • JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

        @AtSeaWatch 2k price point.

      • cluedog12

        @AtSeaWatch Good points. I suspect that the quality of the designs will continue to improve. I have a Linde Werdelin AD nearby, located in an upscale indoor outlet mall. To me, this suggests that sales are probably on the upswing. As their sales numbers increase and they find their way into more distribution channels, the price-to-quality (both aesthetically and technically) ratio should continue to improve.

  • JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

    Looks like a transformer.

  • JohnnyJohnnyJohnny

    Id pay 2k (and maybe throw in some self-pic nudes) for the all black one to replace my pathfinder on home invasions, but definatly not 15k. What’s the resale value going to be? Will people be able to dump them for more than 2-5?

  • AtSeaWatch

    I’d like to point out that the price Ariel lists for the watch includes 20% VAT. That means 2352 Euro is tax alone. One shouldn’t expect to pay amount elsewhere.

  • cshepley

    It certainly would have been a lot more difficult to justify the price if they had used a 7750 like everybody and their mother does.

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