The second iteration of the Oktopus Moon timepiece by Linde Werdelin represents a milestone for the watchmaker, since this mechanical diving watch features the very first in-house made moonphase complication. Just like its predecessor, the new timekeeper combines a lovely realistic stages of the moon indication with an increased water resistance of 300 meters. This time, the unlikely mixture of Oktopus Moon series – a high-end mechanical diving watch which tells the phases of the moon – has an increased amount of watchmaking prestige since it comes with the first complication that was entirely envisioned, designed and constructed in-house. It is available in two limited editions: in red gold and DLC titanium case, as well as in a housing made entirely from DLC titanium. Both versions of the watch are made with a ceramic bezel, while the entire restricted series of Oktopus II Moon timekeepers consists of 59 products, the number corresponding to two lunar cycles.
Danish Design of Analog Mechanical Watches and Digital Instruments
Since Linde Werdelin is not that well known to the general public, let us share some details about the brand. The firm is headed by the Danish duo, Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin, who founded the company in 2002. Its headquarters are located in London and Copenhagen, but the manufacture of timekeepers takes place in Switzerland. Linde Werdelin is specialized for the creation of analog mechanical watches since its founders consider such representation of time as the most distinguished one. Similarly, its timekeepers are made in very small quantities, while the number in pieces for an edition is between 22 and 222. Such restrictions are caused by the intention to remain exclusive, as well as with the limited production capability.
A production of analog mechanical watches in small series is by all means the value which is universally treasured in the high-end niche of the watchmaking industry. What is different in the approach of Linde Werdelin is the fact that it also constructs complex digital instruments for skiing and diving, since they think that a digital precision is required for such activities. These instruments (for example The Reef is made for diving, while The Rock facilitates climbing) are developed together with and in accordance with the needs of professionals who are among the leading authorities in the fields of diving and mountaineering. A neat trait of the instruments is that they are made to be clipped over the watches and used while you enjoy the thrills of the extreme sports adventures. The downside to this is the fact that your mechanical watch gets hidden with a crude looking digital face, as well as the extra price of around $1,300 to $2,000 for the additional gadget.
Though founded more than a decade ago, the first product by Linde Werdelin was actually launched in 2006, after five years of research and development. At the beginning, the vast majority of Linde Werdelin were made with high-grade movements by ETA. This practice was bound to change, especially considering the recent changes in the industry. That is one of the reasons why the company established the cooperation with the likes of Concepto which is an independent Swiss movement manufacture. Concepto was behind the creation of the exclusive movements used in SpidoSpeed Chronograph launched two years ago, as well as the more recent SpidoLite II timekeepers.
Oktopus Moon – A Diving Watch with Moon Phases
After a few facts about the background of the company, let us examine the new Oktopus II Moon timekeeper more thoroughly. As it has been said, the watch represents an unlikely mixture of traits: it is a diving mechanical timekeeper made with a display of moon phases. The direction that the brand went into by creating such timekeepers was explained by one of the founders, Jorn Werdelin: “moonlight creates the perfect conditions for afterhour sports activities and particularly diving. More people these days enjoy sports under the full moon”. As Werdelin recommends, the wearer can consult his Oktopus Moon to see when the next full moon will occur and then to plan a dive. Additionally, once it happens, Werdelin recommends that a wearer clips the Reef instrument on his wristwatch in order to commence the dive in the safest possible way. This could be interpreted as a bit far-fetched connection, since this means that the watch does not fully participate in the dive, but serves only as a basis for the diving instrument to be clipped on, since the Oktopus Moon itself does not include any additional features that are usually found on a diving watch, apart from the water resistance. Be that as it may, this approach is undoubtedly in accordance with the brand’s policy of combining analog mechanical watches with digital instruments for precision.
The Second Incarnation with an In-House Complication
The new diving moonphase timekeeper is the second incarnation of the concept. It was preceded with the watch launched in 2010, the initial timekeeper from the Oktopus diving series (other major series by the brand is dubbed Spido) which was also made with the unusual stages of the moon complication. Unlike the new one, this watch was made with Frederic Piguet 1150 movement which was modified by the Danish watchmaker Svend Andersen and it was nearly three times more resistant to water. However, the new version can be still considered as a breakthrough since it has the proprietary complication, completely designed and constructed in-house. The automatic caliber features the balance frequency of 28,800 vph, includes a strengthened escapement and provides a power reserve which lasts for 42 hours.
The supported water resistance in the new version is still more than enough. This is caused by the use of the new casing-style which was previously used on the Oktopus II Dive watches which were presented at the Baselworld 2012 show and launched this fall. It is a five-part casing with the protective mechanism that stops any potential water ingress during the dive with the inclusion of an inner cylinder made of titanium. The black DLC treated element is prior to this treatment first blasted with microbille technique, and subsequently topped off by satin and polish finish performed by hand. On the back of the casing, there is a solid screwed in back with the iconic hand drawing of an octopus made by Morten Linde, while the matching engraving graces the screw in crown. The housing of Oktopus II Moon watch is 44mm wide, 46mm long and 15.25mm thick.
Realistic Moon on a Skeletonized Three-Dimensional Dial
Visually, the dial of the new diving watch by Linde Werdelin and especially its photo-realistic representation of moon phases at the bottom is likely the most appealing trait of the product. The face of the watch consists of three components which feature a luminous moon disk on the bottom. Over the moon disk, there is a layer with a Cotes de Geneva pattern, while the third skeltonized part sports the brand’s logo, indexes, numerals and three hands. The current moon phase, shown with the use of a realistic luminous moon disk is shown at the very bottom of the face. Apart from the current stage, the wearer can get a more comprehensive idea about the phase of a moon cycle by looking at the stages for three previous and fifteen following days.
Two Variations of the Piece
There are two versions of the new watch by Linde Werdelin and both are highly restricted in volume. The first and the more exclusive version of the timekeeper is made with a housing made of red gold and titanium and with a ceramic bezel. It also has accents on the dial in the color of red gold, while its announced price is around $29,000. On the other hand, the second version sports a casing made just from DLC treated titanium which is once again coupled with a ceramic bezel (this variation costs around $13,500). Both of the versions are thus made in the combination of materials that provide marginally low reactivity and exceptional resilience. The gold-titanium version is made in 12 issues, while the other one consists of 47 pieces. Each of the watches in the series is individually numbered (red gold version models are marked as the first in the series). The watch is going to be officially unveiled at the Geneva Time Exhibition (January 22-25), while its sales begin this February.