September 14, 2012
by Ariel Adams
Linde Werdelin releases a bejeweled watch for men. I first noticed it on the wrist of Jorn Werdelin at this year’s Baselworld watch show. They often play with designs as an experiment to see what might make the next cool limited edition piece. I wasn’t sure if this was one of those experiments. A lot of the time, brand owners and CEOs like to produce exclusive pieces reserved just for them. A watch with black diamonds and a mother-of-pearl dial is precisely the type of thing that Jorn might produce just one of for himself to wear. We now learn that Linde Werdelin will produce 50 of them.
The watch is the Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Black Diamond watch. It is based on the original Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Chronograph the we fully reviewed here. The SpidoSpeed Chronograph is the brand’s first ever chronograph watch. It is based on the Spidolite collection and was quite cool when it was first debuted. Now it gets a bit dressed up with diamonds. For their chronograph watch, Linde Werdelin chose a Concepto caliber 2251 automatic chronograph movement with a custom rotor.
If you noticed, my hands-on images of the SpidoSpeed Black Diamond differ a little bit from the final version. Two differences I can spot are the color of the brand logo as well as the hour and minute hands. For the final version, the logo gets a dark application and the hour and minute hands are in blued steel. The rest of the hands retain that matte finished gray tone. I do agree with the changes and think that the blued hands go quite nicely with the black diamonds and mother-of-pearl dial.
It isn’t particularly easy to make a men’s jewelry watch that western guys would wear. Black diamonds are a good way to make a piece look less feminine. However, not everyone appreciates black diamonds the same way. Why? Well they don’t have the same luxury cache as white diamonds, and they are also not clearly diamonds. You can get the same effect from black sapphires for example. Nevertheless, men’s jewelry wear from makers such as Shambala have proven that black diamonds certainly have a place in “men’s luxury.”
The SpidoSpeed Black Diamond contains 48 black diamonds on the bezel and a single black diamond on the chronograph hour register. What is it doing there? There used to be a letter “R” in that place which stood for “Rock” or “Reef” which are Linde Werdelin’s computerized wearable instruments for land exploration or diving. The “R” being placed at four and a half hours indicates how long it takes those gadgets to fully recharge the battery when plugged in. And now you have a diamond to remind you.
The SpidoSpeed Black Diamond case is 44mm wide in a black DLC coated steel case. Like the Spidolite before it, the case is “skeletonized.” The case is water resistant to 100 meters and comes with a beautiful black calf leather strap with portholes. The marketing pictures do not do it justice at all, so it is a good thing I have some real pictures of it. Are you a fan of black (Tahitian” mother-of-pearl)? Unlike normal mother-of-pearl, it offers a darker but still lustrous look which can be nice when used correctly. I think it is a good fit on this watch. What Linde Werdelin was able to do in my opinion is create a form of men’s jewelry watch that isn’t girly, remains sporty, and also has a unique look to it. Price for the 50 piece limited edition Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Black Diamond watch is $27,500.