In February 2009, I had a lunch with Jorn Werdelin and Sky Sit in London. This lunch was organized since I have a blog on watches and had mentioned them a few times (with the upcoming BaselWorld 2009 at that time).
Jorn and Sky showed me the current Linde Werdelin models (on their wrists) and I was immediately impressed by the design and quality of the wristwatch. Jorn also showed me some drawings of a prototype wristwatch they were going to introduce in Basel. The Linde Werdelin 3-Timer.
Fast forward to BaselWorld 2009. I visited the Linde Werdelin booth, and another staff member (by the name of Aphrodite) showed me the total new line up, including the Oktopus, One, SpidoLite SA and ofcourse, the 3-Timer. Although the drawings of the prototype were impressive, the real prototype of the watch blew me off my socks.
Available in both stainless steel and 18 carat gold, the stainless steel version would also become available with a brown dial (limited to 22 pieces). A few days after BaselWorld, I decided to order a brown dialed 3-Timer and did so on my birthday on the 13th of April. To make it extra special, I asked Linde Werdelin whether it was possible to make a reservation on number 13 of 22. I ordered the watch with a brown alligator strap.
As with all the good things in life, you have to wait for them. Sometimes a bit longer than expected, but the joy isn’t any lesser when you finally receive it. Linde Werdelin did send me a prototype to play around with until my own number 13 would arrive. They had sent it with a tracked calf strap (I prefer the nickname ‘Riva’, since it reminds me of the mahogany deck of a Riva Aquarama).
Anyway, a few weeks ago I received the Linde Werdelin 3-Timer brown dial. The black carton box revealed another carton outer box, printed with an adventurous character from their comic-style logos and advertizing.
The package also included a warranty card, signed on the 27th of October 2009. Linde Werdelin gives a 2 year warranty on their watches. It also shows the individual number of the watch, number 13 of 22. The LW3TM-23 is the official reference number of the watch.
The piano finish box says Linde Werdelin on top, and for the rest no other fancy stuff. The box has one small pillow, on which my 3-Timer rested during the travel from London to The Netherlands.
Just as I saw it for the first time in BaselWorld 2009 and no changes had been made since the prototype that I had in my possession for a few weeks.
The brown tracked calf strap or 'Riva'-strap nicely attached to the watchcase using inbus screws.The case has polished and satinized parts and the edges are quite sharp. As I wrote before on my blog - on the prototype - the watchcase reminds me a bit of the Patek Philippe Nautilus because of the 'ears' (protectors) of the watchcase and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak because of the sharp edges on the lugs.
Let's zoom in a bit. Above you can clearly see the nice polished and satinized parts of the watchcase, and the use of the inbus screws in both watchcase and strap. The strap has this metal (I think) part inside, to prevent from 'breaking' as the strap can make quite a sharp angle when worn on the wrist (also depends on your wrist size). I have also seen this in leather AP RO straps and the IWC Ingenieur softstrap.
The lettering in the bezel (bi-directional) is brown, to perfectly match the dial and strap. I didn't see this at first (when being inside without proper light), but it is clearly visible by daylight or with a loupe.
Here is the watch from another angle, demonstrating the shape of the case, crown guards and the lugs that are slightly longer on top than they are on the backside of the watch. The strap is forced to go downwards this way, making a perfect fit for almost every wrist.
And here is the left side of the watch, showing its left 'ear' with the attachment-points for the Linde Werdelin module for rock clibers (The Rock) and divers (The Reef). These additional/optional modules are for professional sports people, enabling a read-out of valuable and useful values for under the surface or when climbing/skiiing.
Above a photograph of the strap and folding clasp. The folding clasp is proper made and feels very solid (as does the rest of the watch). However, since my wrist is fairly large, the folding clasp can become annoying when it is a bit on the tight side. Linde Werdelin also has an ardillon buckle available, which didn't bother me (on the prototype).
The strap is very nicely made and it feels very high-end. If you take a look at the Linde Werdelin website, you also will notice that they don't come cheap.
The caseback of the watch shows the internal serialnumber of Linde Werdelin, starting with A01010103-. The coding is not entirely clear to me, but I have been told that the year of production and month can be read. The 13/22 engraving is clearly visible below the Linde Werdelin logo.
Here is a photo I took of the Linde Werdelin 3-Timer sitting next to some of my other watches, with similar design and 'wear'. The left one is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15300ST with inhouse cal.3120 movement, and the one on the right is an IWC Ingenieur 3227-01 with inhouse caliber 80110.
The Royal Oak is the smallest of all three, with 39.7mm in diameter and only 9mm in height. The Ingenieur is 42.5mm and the 3-Timer is a whopping 46mm x 49mm and 12mm in height. I have to admit that the 46mm x 49mm dimension doesn't feel as big as it is on paper. I have had my share of 44mm Panerai Luminor watches and they felt bigger on the wrist. Perhaps it is the shape of the lugs and case that makes it feel a bit smaller than it is.
As you have probably seen already, the watch has a second hour hand (hence the name 3-Timer) to display either another timezone or show the 24 hour notation. Using an ETA 2893-2 movement, the second hour hand can be set when pulling out the crown in 2nd position. This position is used to set the date as well (turning the crown in the other direction). This surely differs from my Rolex GMT-Master ref.16710, where you can independently set the regular hour hand to another timezone and where the second hour hand just moves a long when setting the time. The ETA 2893-2 movement has a 42 hour powerreserve and winds bi-directionally.
The 3-Timer is water resistant to 300 meters (1000 feet) and features a screw-down crown to secure its water resistancy. This watch seems to be a true competitor as for specifications with the current Rolex GMT-Master IIc. Both watches also fall into the same price category.
Before I forget, the manual of the watch is delivered on a credit card size USB-stick from Linde Werdelin. It is a very easy to operate watch and I think giving this electronic version of the manual is more than sufficient.
The regular (black) 3-Timer - available in 222 pieces - is 4080 Euro. The white dial version with Ostrich strap is 4110 Euro (aso 222 pieces) and the brown dialed version (22 pieces) is 4800 Euro.
Linde Werdelin has the 'Try it for free for 5 days'-option, which I suggest doing so when you are interested in one of their watches.