Linde Werdelin introduced the SpidoLite II Tech Green earlier this year at Baselworld and we got one of the two prototypes for an extensive review. The new SpidoLite II Tech Green is one of two new models that mark a special moment for Linde Werdelin as they have started using new materials. Like forged carbon and ALW, which stand for Alloy Linde Werdelin, being their own extremely light alloy. Besides the Tech Green, there’s the Tech Gold, that features a solid gold bezel and crown.
The first thing you’ll notice when strapping the SpidoLite II Tech Green on the wrist, is that it is incredibly light. That also makes it into a very comfortable wear and I have to admit that the review period was over before I knew it and the watch had to be returned to the good folks of Linde Werdelin. So let’s take a closer look at the new forged carbon SpidoLite II Tech Green.
The Tech Green feels solid, well build and looks far from the ordinary. Its technical design looks masculine, tough, sporty and also luxurious. Its probably best to describe it as a luxury sports watch and when looking at its siblings that come in different materials including 18 carat gold, that designation seems befitting.
The green accents on the dial and the strap’s stitching immediately stand out. This color actually ads to the masculine, tough and sporty looks, while the Tech Gold has more luxury looks. The forged carbon case looks technical and strangely most watch aficionados whom I showed the Tech Green liked it a lot, while non watch people thought it looked plastic and not luxurious at all. I can only image that the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver forged carbon provokes the exact same reactions.
Linde Werdelin has two watch collections, being the Spido and the Oktopus. Both collections are immediately recognizable as Linde Werdelin, because they share a bundle of similar features. The most important of which, have to do with the two instruments – the Rock and the Reef – that can be connected on top of the watches. So every Linde Werdelin, whether that case is skeletonized or not, features a similar angular case design. All watches need the indentations at 3 and 9 o’clock to hold the instrument in place. Another recognizable feature lies within how the strap and case are connected. The faceted design allows the strap to seamlessly fit into the case.
All Spido models share the skeletonized case that is so typical for this collection. The SpidoSpeed – the chronograph in the Spido collection – features of course a slightly different case in order to allow for the chronograph pushers to fit into the skeletonized side. All SpidoLite II models feature a similar case, exact the two Tech models and that has everything to do with the used material, forged carbon.
What is forged carbon?
Maybe you know carbon fiber. This is a material is an extremely strong and light fiber-reinforced polymer which contains carbon fibers. It is used in sports cars, motor bikes and other high-tech applications and can be recognized by its checkered appearance.
Forged composite is composed of bundles of microscopic carbon fiber held together in a resin. It uses about 500,000 intertwined turbostratic fibers per square inch. Instead of traditional woven carbon fiber sheets impregnated with resin – that have the checkered appearance – it uses a malleable paste of carbon and resin. The result is an extremely light and strong/stiff material. While the material is extremely stiff, however it is less scratch resistance than for instance titanium.
More info can be found at Wikipedia.
Both new Tech models, the Tech Green and the Tech Gold, also feature a new material called ALW or Alloy Linde Werdelin. ALW is an alloy of metals that is 50% lighter than titanium. The inner case (movement container), which originally retains the same strength as steel, receives 25 microns treatment to harden its surface, resulting in a composite stronger than steel.
Typically for Linde Werdelin are the skeletonized dials. This actually started on the first SpidoLite and today all LW timepieces feature a skeletonized dial. Somehow this totally suits the brand’s style and image perfectly. The Tech Green’s dial shows several concentric rings, which have been thoroughly skeletonized to show much of the movement’s main plate and the date wheel. The date wheel is made in the Alloy Linde Werdelin and the date numerals are printed in green, to match the other green accents.
The only part of the dial that isn’t skeletonized, is the small seconds sub dial that is positioned at 9 o’clock. The numerals 60, 15, 30 and 45 and several stripes in between are printed in the thematic green color. Just below that, is the LW logo in green and at the 6 o’clock position is the full name printed in green.
The skeletonized hands and hour markers on the dial have applied luminescent material, so the time can be read in the dark. It might be due to the fact that we received one of the prototypes, however the glow-in-the-dark was rather minimal and reading time in the dark was not possible.
The most attention catching aspect about Linde Werdelin watches is their strong and very recognizable design. With the Spido collection that is only stronger, because of the skeletonized case. And now with the two new Tech models, this is yet again stronger because of the used material. The forged carbon has a very technical appearance and the name, Tech Green, seems very well chosen.
The case comprises a movement container, which is made in Alloy Linde Werdelin, the skeletonized “over-case” in which the movement container is placed, a case back and a bezel. The bezel of the SpidoLite II Tech Green is made in black ceramic. Again a very light and strong material and well chosen because it is extremely scratch resistant.
As we already explained, the forged carbon is a very light material, and so is ALW that is used for the movement container and crown, and the ceramic bezel. The Tech Green weighs just 33 grams in total!
Both Tech models have a bit different shapes around the indents at the side of the case, which are there to hold the instruments in place when these are connected atop of the watch. Making a skeletonized case isn’t easy, as the entire case needs to maintain enough rigidity for daily use. Especially for being able to connect and disconnect instruments, all Linde Werdelin watches must be extra rigid.
Linde Werdelin has their own unique way, to connect a strap to the case. This means no traditional lugs, but a narrow notch in which the strap sits. But this is mainly for the looks as the strap is really connect with two bend screws that go from the case top, through the notch, into the strap. Unscrewing the hex screw heads makes it possible to exchange the strap for another and Linde Werdelin offers a variety of straps. The Tech Green comes on a black textured calfskin strap with green stitching, that is held together by an ardillon buckle with engraved LW logo.
Case dimensions: : 44mm (w) by 46mm (l) by 15mm (h)
The case dimensions might lead you to think that the SpidoLite II is rather hefty on the wrist, but on the contrary, the SpidoLite II is actually extremely comfortable on the wrist and wears much smaller that the given numbers would suggest. The use of ultra-light materials like the forged carbon for the outer case and the Alloy Linde Werdelin for movement container, date wheel and crown, makes this Tech Green even lighter en more comfortable than the regular SpidoLite II (that already is very comfy). Because of the typical construction of case and connection to the strap, the SpidoLite II really “hugs” the wrist.
The movement, caliber LW04, can be admired through the sapphire crystal in the case back. This proprietary movement has been made by Concepto, one of the movement producers that full the gap that ETA left behind when the stopped delivering movements to non-Swatch Group parties. Caliber LW 04 has a 42-hour power reserve and ticks away the time at a 4 Hz pace (28,800 vph).
The verdict – pros and cons
Now we come to the pros and cons and that’s actually not easy this time. When focusing on the wearing experience that SpidoLite II Tech Green gets an A+, hands down. The only “complaint” I have about it, is most likely due to the fact this was a prototype and the luminescent material was not on par with normal production models. That causes a reduced legibility.
Personally I loved the comfort of the forged carbon outer case, although I understand the comment from some people that it is “plastic”. That is something that has its effect on the price perception as well, by the way. OK, one last thing, unscrewing and screwing down the crown wasn’t the easiest, because the protective shoulders are very close to the crown and that prevents a firm grip.
- Very cool and unique design
- Superb comfort on the wrist
- A “new” luxury sports watch
- Difficult grip on the crown
- Reduced legibility (probably because this is a prototype)
- Comment from some about a plastic look and feel
All together wearing the SpidoLite II Tech Green was a very pleasant experience. The sheer comfort was just brilliant and the Tech Green really is a great all-round sports watch that goes perfectly with any casual outfit.We’ve heard the comparison with Audemars Piguet’s ROO Diver on more than one occasion and that’s fully understandable. With its price tag it also comes close to the aforementioned AP. While that might seem like a steep price for a “new-comer” one should also consider that this SpidoLite II is a rare bird, because it’s limited to just 75 pieces.
The SpidoLite II Tech Green comes at a price of CHF 13,000 (before tax), and can be bought directly through the Linde Werdelin website or at the authorized retailers. Click through to the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite II Tech Green.
PS. check out the try before you buy experience (in the side bar on the LW website)!!