Have you ever owned something you love so much that nothing else seems good enough for it? This was the problem our friend Allen found himself facing back in 2011 after what would prove to be a life-changing event.
It all started out innocently enough, after attending an enjoyable dinner with his wife and a rather charming entrepreneur named Maximilian Busser, Allen made the decision to purchase his first Horological Machine from MB&F, the HM No.3.
My name is Vincent and I live in a quiet New York suburb just 30 minutes from New York City’s busiest areas. I have been a watch fanatic most of my life sporting a Mickey Mouse Timex from the age of five, before I could even tell the time!
I have gone through my different phases of watch “tastes”, ranging from my gadgety digital watch phase Casio phone dialer to my hip phase of Swatch and Fossil. However, it wasn’t until I worked with a watch-smith for some time during my high school years that my love for mechanical watches really bloomed!
I am now a law enforcement helicopter pilot and like most pilots, we just love watches! I have to say my all time favorites are my trusty Breitling B-2 and my Bell and Ross 03-88 Aviation Type.
I also wear a Hamilton Aviator and in the last 2 years came to fall in love with the LUM TEC line of watches. I currently own a B-1, a Lumzilla, and a revisit to quartz analog with the M15.
In all I own about 15 watches that I rotate through with mood and mission for the day. As a helicopter pilot reliability is essential and a reliable wristwatch is standard equipment as part of my flight gear.
Being so close to NYC allows me to window shop all the latest high end models that maybe one day I will make a reality on my own wrist.
One of the biggest stars of the recently concluded World Cup was ‘Paul, the Octopus’ – a prophetic cephalopod that predicted correctly the outcome of every single one of the eight matches he was asked to. Well, I’ve got my own Oktopus and it also gets it right… in many different ways.
When Tom Mulraney and I were discussing all the hoopla regarding Rafael Nadal’s $525,000 Richard Mille tourbillon a couple of months ago, he asked me to write a feature about a watch of mine for The Watch Lounge. Back then I was swamped with work, not only writing for my Espiral do Tempo watch magazine but also doing a lot of tennis commentary for Eurosport, so I had to decline. But recently I had a few days off after Wimbledon and thought about the challenge – I’ve always enjoyed talking about my watches and used to have a column in the magazine with that kind of personal/emotional insight, so I decided to give it a go.
Initially I thought of writing about one of the best, affordable sleepers in the watch industry that always gets praise whenever I use it on my wrist: the Klassik Chronograph, an atypical watch within the Chronoswiss collection that sadly just went out of production. But then World Cup fever made me decide to go from the most classical to the most contemporary timepiece in my collection and pick my diver’s watch from Linde Werdelin instead for the article.
A great diver’s watch with titanium case, helium escape valve and water resistant to 1111m.
I had a couple of friends over at my house and we were discussing who would be the favourite team to win the final; of course, Pulpo Paul’s predictions came into the conversation and I said: «Well, I also have a psychic Oktopus, this watch I’m wearing right now – and it says Spain is going to win, because from all the five international ladies working at the Linde Werdelin headquarters, this one was handed out to me by Eva Mureddu, who’s Spanish». And it turned out my Oktopus was right – Spain actually won (though I have to underline they beat us in the last 16 with an offside goal that was the only one Portugal suffered in the competition!).
I picked up my Oktopus during my stay in London for this year’s Wimbledon championships. I’m always happy whenever I can mix my two passions that are also my two jobs (writing about tennis and watches); I had already visited the Linde Werdelin premises in the past, located in the Notting Hill area and also invited Jorn Werdelin to watch some tennis at the O2 Arena, where the year-end ATP World Tour Championship is played, and at Wimbledon’s famous Centre Court.
I have to say that I was divided until the very last second (and had doubts even after the decision!) between the grade-5 Titanium version and the blackened DLC version, but from the beginning it was pretty much clear that the Oktopus would be the model I’d want from a brand that got my attention right from the beginning.
For those of you not familiar with the two different models, Morten Linde has created an excellent video where he discusses the two. Check it out below and then keep reading:
So why the Oktopus? Well, for emotional and rational reasons. Emotionally, I think I’ve always been attracted to Nordic design – and even though I’m a purist that loves vintage timepieces (especially those from the 60’s and car racing inspired chronographs from the early 70’s), my taste is versatile enough to also embrace a great modern design like Linde Werdelin’s: it was a ‘coup de coeur’ right from the beginning, when I saw the first pictures. Rationally, I find the Linde Werdelin concept quite ideal – a stylish designer watch powered by a traditional mechanical calibre combined with an electronic instrument able to provide all sorts of downloadable data.
There were also a couple of prior references that might have prepared me for Linde Werdelin: I remember going to Baselworld more than a decade ago and looking for another Nordic brand, albeit Swedish (Linde Werdelin has Danish roots), called Sjöo Sändstrom, that also combined a mechanical and a quartz calibre (a bit like TAG Heuer’s Monaco Sixty Nine, a few years later); I also remember vividly a discussion I had with Franck Müller a long time ago where he told me that the future of watchmaking would lie in a combination of a mechanical watch and a quartz-powered device that would provide all the extra information required in these rapidly evolving times.
So, there you go: I was somehow unconsciously prepared to pay a lot of attention to Linde Werdelin. I’m quite demanding, but everything I saw was convincing and, as a member of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève jury, I even put Linde Werdelin’s Trigon & Land Instrument combo on top of my top 10 list in the ‘Sports Category’ because I found it to be the most innovative entry. Turns out my colleagues from the jury thought otherwise, but by then I knew sooner or later I’d make the decision to have one for myself.
The Linde Werdelin original analogue-digital combo of watch + instrument.
After the sturdier Oktopus model was introduced in 2009, I knew it was the one I’d be expecting when I had the chance to see it closely at the Baselworld fair: it is slightly bigger than the previous models, I find the bezel a bit more attractive and it’s the first Linde Werdelin line with numerals instead of only indexes on the dial. Yes, it’s also watertight to 1111m with a helium valve, but I mainly wanted a sports watch with a contemporary design, rather than a diver’s watch…
So, after the decision was made I had to choose which model from the Oktopus range. I love the Moonphase introduced this year, but it’s a specialty version and out of my budget; I also find the Tattoo quite interesting and think it can be the starting point for a series of limited editions dedicated to contemporary icons. But I knew my choice would be between the Titanium and the DLC versions… and, because I’m thinking of getting one of Project X Designs DLC blackened customizations, I ended up picking the Oktopus Titanium – with a dark gray case that offers a nice contrast with the lacquered black bezel.
DLC and Titanium versions: undecided until the very last moment.
Now, which strap? I’m really demanding (almost maniac!) in what concerns strap selection and Linde Werdelin offers a great variety of sumptuous straps/bracelets; probably for the Oktopus Titanium the right choice is the rubberized calf strap, but since I already have a black-dial Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore with black rubberized calf, I opted for the black textile strap – but planning on getting a pointed calf strap and a tracked calf strap later on so that I can adequate the look of my Oktopus to more urban circumstances.
The strap attachment system invented by Linde Werdelin is quite interesting and a fundamental part of the modernity of the design. Eva Mureddu just took a couple of minutes to change the straps and I could finally get the timepiece on my wrist.
So, as you can see, my Oktopus got it right in so many ways – from the outcome of the World Cup final, to the design and architecture of the case, to the sophisticated details. It even predicts what time it’ll be in exactly 5 minutes. And if they gave the name ‘Paul’ to that now legendary octopus, I think I might as well do some baptizing around here: from now on, this beauty on my wrist is going to be ‘Otto, the Oktopus’.
*Miguel Seabra hails from Portugal and has been covering tennis for 20 years and watches for 15. Check out Miguel’s profile on his Twitter page: «Tennis & Mechanical Timepieces – editor of Jornal do Ténis and Espiral do Tempo, Eurosport commentator and watch specialist. It is great to have both passions for a job!»
I’m Jon Gaffney. I’m a husband, brother, son, and gym rat. I’m also a young professional in hot pursuit of my “corner“ which Mr. Eames spoke so eloquently of. Along the way I have developed a healthy appetite for timepieces without the funds to match…yet. I have three watches. A Hamilton that belonged to both my Grandfather and his father before him, and a Hamilton GG-W-113 (eat your heart out J. Crew).
The watch that graces my wrist almost every day though is a Stowa Marine Original.
Built around a Unitas 6498 its made to honor a deck watch from World War II known as the Kreigsmarine. To me its 41mm of versatility. Its simple brushed stainless steel case, classic white dial, Arabic numerals, and blued steel hands make it at home in almost any situation.
It goes well with any outfit and has been dressed up or down with a number of bands. Most of the time I leave it on one of a handful of NATO straps for a more casual look. The fact that Stowa makes all their cases and dials in house as well as finishing the movement add a lot of value in my eyes.
Gazing through the crystal case back has yet to lose its siren power over me, always looking like an elegant steam punk heart dutifully beating away.
As my first true timepiece I’ll be hard pressed to ever have to the Marine Original leave my collection.
Check out Stowa’s official website for their full collection – www.stowa.de
Robert-Jan Broer, 33 years old and long time collector and admirer of fine timepieces. Although not professionally occupied in the watch industry, I know my way around pretty well and get things done for my dedicated blog (FratelloWatches) about fine watches.
My all time favorite watches are those designed by Gérald Genta in the 1970s. Why? Not because every self respected playboy was wearing one of these time pieces when relaxing in St Tropez or Monaco in those days, but because they reflected something new… something unheard of… a luxury stainless steel wrist watch for the price of a gold Patek Philippe Calatrava. Although only made in a limited number at first, demand soon outstripped supply.
I am, of course talking about the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’, introduced in 1972.
Later on, Gérald Genta repeated the same with his design for the stainless steel Patek Philippe Nautilus timepiece and the IWC Ingenieur SL. Hysek followed with his ’222′ (now Overseas) model for Vacheron Constantin.
You either hate or love these watches at first sight (and start to learn loving them later on in your watch collecting career). I belong to the first category and ever since I learned about the Royal Oak, I promised myself to get one whenever possible.
Although the Royal Oak Off-Shore (introduced in 1993) and the Royal Oak Date which got a facelift in 2005 are timepieces that will fit the current standards for tough looking stainless steel sports watches a bit better than the original 1972 based model, I still decided to pursue the mother of all Royal Oak watches.
The Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ by the reference of 15202ST is the one I bought last year December, the crown jewel of my modest collection. The Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 920 based movement, the AP 2121, has a height of just barely over 3 millimeters thanks to the clever rail-system for its rotor and the Gyromax balance wheel which makes my heart tick faster.
The hour and minute hand seems to float between the tapisserie dial and the flat sapphire crystal, the stainless steel octagonal bezel with eight bolts made out of white gold clearly demonstrating their difference in color when playing with (sun)light and the hand crafted bracelet with its amazingly razor-sharp satinized finish are proof of a well thought through design by its creators, Gérald Genta and Audemars Piguet.