February 26, 2010
by Ariel Adams
Hardcore diving watches with moon phase complications? Not too many of those around. Sure the concept seems paradoxical, but when you think about it, there could be a functional component to this power combo of uses. Some divers need to be aware of the tides, and the tides are influenced by moon. There could be some correlation here? Maybe that is a stretch, but when it comes down to it such a small percentage of dive watch owners actually dive. The style of the watch is more an indicator of build strength and the wearer’s personality these days. So while most dive watches are up to “the task,” few of them are actually called upon for deep duty.
Nevertheless the Linde Werdelin Oktopus dive watch has you covered in most any sport watch contingency, and this new version adds an interesting style of moonphase indication to the dial. The movement used is also very interesting. I originally discussed the Linde Werdelin Oktopus watch here (while look at that article check at the bottom for a few other “related posts” where I also discuss the watch and get some images of it). You will recall that this 1,111 meter water resistant dive watch is a first from the brand, and has been continued a bit in a few versions. This newest version gets more of a luxury treatment. The case dimensions stay the same, as does the titanium construction, but a nicely made rose gold bezel is used with minute indicators in relief (more gold is used on the dial for the hands and the hour indicators). I’ve seen watch Linde Werdelin does with gold cases and it is really cool. They are becoming quite adept at playing with alternating polished. Because the watch has a sapphire crystal over the face as well as on the caseback with a view to the movement, the water resistance of this Moonphase model is down to 888 meters (like that changes what you are going to do with the watch?). This is because the other Oktopus models have a totally metal caseback.
The new golden stance and features of the Oktopus Moonphase take it in a different direction that the other versions. While most Oktopus watches are designed with a style that yells “sink me and test my limits.” The Oktopus Moonphase seems to suggest a more congenial afternoon or activity though it won’t make too much of a fuss when it comes to times that you might need a dedicated sports watch. In order to maintain a good view of the moonphase, the large hands have been skeletonized a bit. This will marginally effect legibility. Lots of SuperLumiNova is still present all over the dial. The moon phase indicator itself is an interesting design. Made by Svend Andersen over a Frederic Piguet Calibre 1150 movement, it has photo-realistic moon images that also glow realistically. Reading the moonphase is simple as there is a small indicator at the center of the dial for reading what the phase it. The style of indicator also can show you whether the moon is waning or waxing. Plus, you can used to dial to easily calculate how many days until the next phase of the moon. Kudos to Svend Andersen and Linde Werdelin for conceiving and implementing a unique touch such as this on a dive watch.
Until now (other than the SpidoLite watches), most Linde Werdelin watches contained high-grade ETA movement. That is going to change, and the Oktopus Moonphase is one of the first indicators of this. As a collector oriented brand, Linde Werdelin wants to give its clients the most bang for their buck. As such, they are going to start using even higher-end, more exclusive movements in their watches. Inside this watch is a modified Frederic Piguet Calibre 1150 automatic movement. While Frederic Piguet is actually a sister company of ETA, they make movements used in brands such as Blancpain, Breguet, and Ulysse Nardin. Starting to have movements like this in watches of an entirely different species like Linde Werdelin is a big benefit to the brand, and will really attract the eyes of collectors looking for the best, and most interesting watches (love that long sentence). I am quite happy that Linde Werdelin is going to be moving in this higher status direction.
If you want a Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moonphase watch you will have to act soon. The timepieces will be available in a limited edition of just 29 pieces and won’t start shipping until the Fall. I’ll get a hands on look at them though next month a Baselworld 2010. Price is $21,700.