Linde Werdelin request the pleasure of your company
by James Gurney
Playing hard to get is, to say the least, an eccentric strategy to pursue in such tough market conditions. There is, nevertheless, certain logic behind Linde Werdelin’s invitation-only launch of the 10th anniversary watch collection, the LW 10-24.
Alongside any qualities of design, craftsmanship and performance the one attribute that almost everyone looks for in a potential swiss mens watch purchase is rarity and that applies right across the value range. People will accept the chance that they might see their watch on another’s wrists if it’s an established classic, though even with a Submariner, collectors are quick to point out the most subtle details that mark their model as being out of the common run. Otherwise it’s an absolute requirement that the limitation (and therefore exclusivity) is guaranteed, even if that number is quite large – Omega’s Seamaster 300 SPECTRE had a limitation of 7,007 watches.
Clearly, a brand such as Linde Werdelin Mens Watches already promises exclusivity by virtue of its comparative size, the brand having made less than 5,000 watches in all, but other factors complicate matters: those buying into a niche brand have an elevated desire for that exclusivity, the refinement of the idea that lower limitation numbers have greater value and higher prices magnify all that. All that means Linde Werdelin need to go the extra mile in persuading their clients to stay loyal rather than opt for easier to access equivalents, hence the brand announced the watch privately to existing customers, before opening up the edition to those prepared to request an invitation via the web-site (I rather suspect that such a tortuous process is part of the attraction).
Favouring existing clients makes sense even if it does mean dancing around a bit when explaining the policy to potential customers: “We prioritised our existing customer base as they’ve been with us over the past 10 years. We share a mutual loyalty and so it only seemed right to share the timepiece exclusively with them first. As we launch the watch publically, we would like to extend the invite to the wider LW community (e.g. second-hand owners, or followers of the brand who are thinking of purchasing their first timepiece with us).”
So much for the strategy, what about the watch? The LW 10-24 is clearly from the same DNA that produced the earlier generations of Linde Werdelin designs, emphasising the technical and functional. Nevertheless, there are developments enough to justify this being referred to as their Third Generation. It’s a GMT with a simple pusher system to switch between time zones and change the am/pm indicator.
The angular case is its most distinctive feature, having an even stronger resemblance to a Nighthawk stealth fighter than its predecessors, but the most interesting development is the almost brutally industrial dial. Sharp edged hands are highlighted with the same luminescent treatment as the Oktopus Frogman, a system developed by the mysteriously named Conventus Ranae.
There will be 96 LW 10-24 watches in rose gold, 96 made from 3DTP, a multi-layered carbon material. Each watch having two back cases: one signed by founders Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin and the other with space to be engraved for the buyer.
Somewhat less technical but with the inestimable advantage of being absolutely unique is the Oktopus Reef, a collaboration with the artist Johnny Dowell who was trained as a gun engraver. Rather amazing.
There will be 96 Linde Werdelin 10-24 watches in rose gold, 96 made from 3DTP, a multi-layered carbon material. Each watch having two back cases: one signed by founders Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin and the other with space to be engraved for the buyer.