Linde Werdelin collaborates with James Thompson of Black Badger to explore what is possible with a lume dial with the new Oktopus Blue Sea.
Press Release information with commentary in italics
The Linde Werdelin Oktopus Blue Sea retails for SGD 21,451 inclusive of GST or GBP 12,000 exclusive of VAT.
Interesting new application of lume technology, as usual pioneered by the glow-in-the-dark man himself, James Thompson of Black Badger. The base is the Linde Werdelin Oktopus collection.
This is an extension to the interesting collection that LW markets as an indestructible tool diving watch. The case is what LW calls ALW or Alloy Linde Werdelin – a unique material created for aerospace and Formula 1 but repurposed by Linde Werdelin. The material itself is described as colourless – we see it as a kind of a mid-tone grey, and is treated to create a protective layer of some 25μm – making it twice the strength of steel while remaining half the weight of titanium. The treatment is deeper than the typical surface hardening treatment of 5μm with techniques like DLC because the ALW is porous. The case is said to be very strong, and depth rating for diving is 300m.
The case is in the rather iconic Linde Werdelin style with angular surfaces on a tonneau like base. The base case shape is reminiscent of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Concept. Link is to the latest in the collection, but AP introduced the case shape as early as 2002.
But the main attraction in the Oktopus Blue Sea is the dial. From these photographs and the release description, the dial is made up in blue of three shades, ranging from a pale blue to a rather intense one. The entire dial’s lume fades in bright light to reveal a background colour of grey, and as it gets progressively darker, the blue becomes brighter. In total darkness it looks like an intense, iridescent glow which looks quite bright. Quite interesting.
The price point of some S$21.5k, the Oktopus Blue Sea is not inexpensive for a dive watch, the use of the unique ALW case material notwithstanding. The landscape is rather rife with competitive offerings, many of which are icons of the industry.
At this point, we only have high resolution photographs to go by, but we have requested for review loaners from Linde Werdelin and await them to respond. And will bring you our complete report when we get our hands on the loaner.
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Blue Sea
During the day, Oktopus Blue Sea is clean and monochromatic, with a subtle dial and facets on the milky white Alloy Linde Werdelin (ALW) case.
In darkness, however, the piece comes to life and features three different colours of the Badgerite lume.
These shades of blue become progressively darker as you go down deeper into the watch, as if you are looking off the edge of a boat into deepening water in a reef.
“This was great fun for me, an established brand takes one of their successful pieces and gives complete creative freedom. What really sets this piece apart is that it is the leading edge of the new generation of lume material and application technologies. Even with the previous lume-forward pieces I’ve done, the lume material itself, when it wasn’t glowing, was tolerated but not exactly celebrated. It needed to be hidden away in the design of the watch. With the Blue Sea, the lume material absolutely has centre stage.”
James Thompson of Black Badger
Aqua blue, ultramarine blue, and finally a new violet lume are used to create this stunning visual effect. In a lume first, all three shades of blue have been specifically engineered to have a common daytime (non-glowing) color of Pantone Cool Grey #3. The effect is very uniform and subtle in the day, reflecting the clean, intentional lines of the finest Danish architecture, but when the lights go down, the Oktopus Blue Sea reveals its new personality.
The material known as Badgerite is a material that James use exclusively in his work. The Oktopus Blue Sea uses a new innovation in lume application – some areas are surface coated, some are liquid infilled engravings and others are using the Lumicase method, where the components are cast in solid glow material.
On night dives, the Oktopus blue Sea glows like a searchlight and is waterproof to depths of 300 M. The blue spectrum of emitted (glow) light is ideal for very dark environments, as in total darkness, your eye sees the blue spectrum better, as the eye shifts from photopic to scotopic.
This is the first time an ALW case, an aerospace metal developed to achieve the ultimate weight reduction and strength, has been combined with a Double Date Dubois-Depraz movement in a LW Piece. The case is twice as hard as steel but extremely light weight – and is half the weight of LW’s titanium cases.
The Oktopus Blue sea can be accompanied by a range of interchangeable straps of varied colours and textures.
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Blue Sea Specifications
Numbered Series Limited to 88 individually numbered pieces worldwide
Three proprietary colours of Badgerite lume, developed in cooperation with Swiss Super-LumiNova® Upper dial laser-cut in stencil technique Lower dial circular Côtes de Genève Hands in grade II titanium with satin finish Large numerals 3, 9 and 12 Hour and minute indexes, logo and logo type Laser-cut date wheels in black Date dial at 12 o’clock
Outer Case: Three-part case construction in colourless ALW; satin and microbillé finishing Sapphire crystal, anti-reflective on the inside Crown: Titanium; screw-down; circular satin and microbillé finishing; engraved with an octopus icon Back Case: Titanium Grade 2; engraved with a multi-layer Octopus motif, LW and Black Badger logo; circular satin finish Limited edition number laser engraved from 1 to 88
Bezel: Black ceramic with circular satin finish Titanium screws with circular satin finish; black tension discs
Dimensions 44mm (w) by 46mm (l) by 15mm (h)
Movement LW customised Dubois Dépraz caliber 14580 Automatic Double date at 12 o’clock Power Reserve: 40 to 44 hours 26 jewels / 28,800bph (4Hz) Strap Interchangeable rubber strap in white; titanium ardillion buckle with satin finish Waterproof to a depth of 300M