Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon Watch

Linde Werdelin is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and at Baselworld 2016 the brand introduced a new SpidoLite model that uses the 3DTP Carbon technology that has recently been the hallmark of Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, and other modern sports watch brands wanting a material that is light, hard, and exclusive. The Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon watch follows in the steps of these über-luxurious watch makers and does it with a microbillé finish while maintaining their unique aesthetic and DNA, love it or hate it.While Linde Werdelin has its detractors, based on comments here and on social media, for me, they create some of the most highly satisfying modern watch designs. I’ve owned an Oktopus II for about a year now, and I never tire of wearing it. And with LW exchangeable rubber straps, I change the look for summer and other seasons in an instant, giving it different vibe throughout the year. I believe evoking strong feelings is a sign of design success for a modern watch brand, and with Linde Werdelin while there are some critics, there are also more than a fair share of avid fans.The first thing one notices with the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon is the patented LW yellow strap. This is the same strap used on the original Oktopus II yellow. I love the strap and feel it contrasts well with the black carbon case. Like all of the SpidoLite watches, the 44mm case is itself skeletonized, reducing it to what amounts to a carbon shell with an inner section that uses a new material from Linde Werdelin that they claim weighs just 3.8 grams while having the strength of steel.Regardless of your thoughts on the subject or whether you care about these Formula One type tactics and technology applied to your watch, the effective result is a watch that is super light and comfortable at a mere 90 grams. This was easily the lightest and most comfortable watch I have ever worn for an extended period, and the lightest Linde Werdelin on record.Looking down at the dial, past the ceramic bezel, though the crisp and clear sapphire crystal, and then further through the skeletonization of the dial, one can see the LW07 three-hand movement specially made for Linde Werdelin by Concepto. There is no date aperture and this actually works well, as the date wheel would distract from the view of the dial.The hands are typical of Linde Werdelin and are also skeletonized. This can rub some the wrong way as it can make the watch harder to read, and that’s a legitimate complaint as far as legibility goes. This is actually exacerbated due to the fact that the hour and minutes hands do not contrast much. They each have their tip filled with Super-LumiNova which works fine at night, though not enough to qualify as a great night watch. Parts of the chapter ring indicating five-minute increments have small applications of Super-LumiNova as well, but like the hands, this helps only slightly at night.For me, these shortcomings are minor, as the watch shines with its light weight and unique modern design. The case back on this watch is not exhibition, which at first bothered me a bit as one is not able to see the other side of the movement. However, as I wore it, two things became apparent. First, the front side is skeletonized enough that a transparent case back would perhaps become distracting with a view of the wearer’s wrist.Second, with a solid DLC-treated titanium case back, the strength of the watch is perhaps increased by creating a solid foundation for the case. Remember that Linde Werdelin watches are designed as serious sports watches. The Oktopus is designed as a dive watch, while the SpidoLite is designed as a skiing and hiking watch. For each, the unique Linde Werdelin advantage is the ability to add on an LW electronic instrument: the Reef for diving and the Rock for climbing.While summertime where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area is hardly a time for skiing, even in the beautiful peaks of the nearby Lake Tahoe area, I did take the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon mountain biking and hiking. It performed admirably. I did not doubt it would during my simple couple 1000-foot hikes, but what was unexpected was how well it would perform during the mountain biking ride.You see, the quick switchback trails I use here make for not only a challenging and bumpy ride but also one that tests your watch. Not only because of the bumps but also, importantly, whether the watch wears comfortably enough for it to disappear while riding. I cannot stress this enough: very few watches pass this test for me. Essentially, half way into my ride, when I need to be most focused going down and up my twisty and somewhat dangerous route, the last thing I need is to feel the watch wearing down my wrist or digging into my hands.

To my surprise, the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon performed admirably. The light weight and superbly comfortable strap and integrated case design allowed me to strap it on tightly and completely forget it… Except for some pics I wanted to take to remember the moment and show to you here, I pretty much forgot I was wearing it as I attempted to beat my Strava record.While I can conclude that the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon makes for a great sports watch due to its sharp design and light weight, the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon is not perfect. My biggest complaint comes in the difficulty of handling the crown to manually wind or to change the time. This is impossible with gloves and hard with naked hands. The crown, also in titanium but treated with nitride, which gives it that yellow gold color, is not a screw-down one, so I kind of expected it to be easier to catch and use.The problem stems from how the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon case design around the crown almost completely protects it. Using my nail was the easiest way I could find to manipulate the crown. Note, however, that this is not a problem I have with my Oktopus II, so this could be an issue with this generation of SpidoLite – not sure. Or perhaps it will be improved in the production version, as I tested a preproduction piece.Besides this annoyance, I have overall enjoyed every minute with the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon. As an out-of-the-ordinary watch design, it pops out when wearing it; and wore especially well with blue jeans and simple late spring shirts as well as shorts and t-shirt for summer. Since it’s not a watch you are likely to see anyone else wearing, as only 75 will ever be produced worldwide, it’s the perfect accessory to distinguish you at the next hipster party or dinner event.And that yellow strap guarantees it to be an attention grabber and conversation starter, for sure. Naturally, as I do with my Oktopus, you can easily change the strap to one of the LW alternatives (e.g., black rubber or even black alligator) to tone down the look while still keeping its essential modern design.