Linde Werdelin was born out of a life-threatening event in the Swiss Alps, a 40 year friendship and an uncompromising drive for genuine usefulness and style.In the winter of 1996, Jorn Werdelin, a keen mountaineer and off-piste skier, was taken by surprise in a bout of bad weather, got lost, skied off a cliff and broke his back. In 2002, Jorn Werdelin and Morten Linde partnered to develop a new idea: a highly crafted sports watch, when required, can be combined with a professional digital instrument to provide the right level of information at the right time for skiing and diving.
A common passion for design, functionality, craftsmanship, quality, and sports has led Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin to partner and develop a new idea that redefines a highly crafted sports watch. The unique combination of watches and instruments makes Linde Werdelin the only true sports watch of today. Linde Werdelin brings together the best of Danish ingenuity and Swiss craftsmanship.
Jorn is the visionary and driving force of Linde Werdelin.
His grandfather opened the first family jewellery and watch boutique in Aalborg, Denmark, selling luxury and technical watches. At 14, Jorn sees a new high-end sports watch that will spark an ever-growing passion for watches. As an entrepreneur, Jorn fuses the spirit of free-ride skiing with business: pushing the boundaries by finding a way, not by taking uncalculated risks; revisiting the old to create and experience the new. Luxurious Magazine took the opportunity to put some questions to this visionary designer.
LM: Jorn, thank you for agreeing to a Luxurious Interview. Lets start by some background information – Linde Werdelin was founded by yourself and Morten, tell us about your friendship and the period when you decided to create Linde Werdelin
JW: It is my absolute pleasure!
Morten and I have known each other since the age of 6 and have remained close friends ever since despite each going his own way. Morten became a designer and went on to follow a career in banking. Even if our career paths were different, we share the same values have common interests and most importantly we trust each other. The latter is always good if you decide to go on business with someone!
Morten and I always had conversations on innovative creations and in 2002 Morten asked if it would be possible to design a mechanical watch with attached digital functionality. Hours of discussions between us sparked such an enthusiasm that we decided to take it to the next level. Soon after, a number of meetings with watch industry professionals were set-up to discuss how it would be possible to create such a timepiece. A mechanical timepiece with a digital clip-on device that would have a unique design.
LM: When yourself and Morten started to discuss the first ever Linde Werdelin watch, do you remember some of the key aspects that you wanted to include and have these changed/evolved much over the years?
JW: When Morten and I started discussing the idea of Linde Werdelin we wanted to create a modern sports watch that stayed true to functionalist Danish craftsmanship and design. I can now say that many things have evolved since then but these remain the key aspects.
LM: Tell us about the work synergy between yourself and Morten
JW: Having a business partner is not always easy. For me the synergy lies on mutual respect for each other as a professional and of course sharing the same vision for the brand. We do not agree on everything and we do not always have the same tastes but this we believe brings a more ‘balanced’ end result!
LM: How did you become involved in the watch industry, and prior to Linde Werdelin did you have a favourite time piece?
JW: I come from a family of jewellers and have grown up learning about time pieces. I have therefore come to develop a genuine interest in watches from a young age especially the sportier time pieces.
LM: What are some of the key characteristics that differentiate Linde Werdelin watches from other brands?
JW: Many of Linde Werdelin’s fundamental design elements are inspired by our lifestyle. Apart from the unique to Linde Werdelin clip-on system for the instruments there are at least two more key characteristics whereby one can really distinguish a Linde Werdelin watch. The angular, multi-faceted case construction with indentations at 3 and 9 o’clock to hold the instrument in place and the skeletisation of the case (SpidoSpeed). The strap-changing system developed especially for the LW watches is one more distinct brand characteristic to allow a LW watch to be worn in any way we would like to spend our time, be it urban or sporting.
The facets of the LW watch case reflect the light differently from different angles in different environments, which is visually more interesting. On top of that, our wrists are not flat, there’s a certain degree of curvature which can be accommodated to allow a watch to sit comfortably. Plus, it also helps fit nicely even when you wear a suit!
LM: What’s been your personal favourite Linde Werdelin time piece and why?
JW: All Linde Werdelin timepieces are a reflection of what Morten and I like and wear. At the moment I am wearing the SpidoSpeed Steel, launched in Basel earlier this year.
LM: When Morten and yourself decide to launch a new series, what’s the basic process and how long does it take from idea to finished product?
JW: It usually takes about two years from initial idea to finished product. If of course the project is more complicated it can take much longer. The SpidoSpeed is a good example of this. The time spent on technical studies and prototypes to ensure the sturdiness of the skeletonised watch case was beyond what has been planned. We are however more than thrilled that one of the most complicated cases in the industry is finally a finished product and even more so with the good response it has had so far two months in the market.
LM: People often don’t consider the painstaking work involved in making a watch, have you ever come across situations where the concept/idea is halted by what is physically possible and practical?
JW: Throughout the years we have been building Linde Werdelin there were several times we have been advised otherwise and have been delayed in some cases because our ideas were ‘not possible’.
Should we have listened and not tried to make it happen there would not be ‘The Reef’ (diving instrument) or the ‘SpidoLite’ and the ‘SpidoSpeed’. One can only know his limits once he has passed them.
LM: We hope you don’t mind us asking, and we are aware that it’s asked a lot, but your skiing accident is something that is important as it shows how one can bounce back from adversity, please tell us about it
JW: It was certainly a grey time in my life but as many people who had a similar experience in their lives, I bounced back. Although Linde Werdelin did not exist as an idea at the time, some safety and guidance features on The Rock are a fruit of this incident.
LM: Away from Linde Werdelin, what do you like to do to relax and unwind?
JW: Doing sports namely skiing and diving and spending quality time with my family
LM: It’s almost been 10 year since Linde Werdelin was founded. What words would you use to summarise this period of your life?
JW: It has been a rocky road but an incredible learning curve. Building a watch brand is very hard in our days but when all the pieces of puzzle start to slowly be put together one realises how all the years of ‘sweat and tears’ are so much worth it.
LM: Linde Werdelin is almost ten, have yourself and Morten discussed where you would like the company to be when the company turns twenty?
JW: I would still like to see Linde Werdelin as a small organic watch company with more innovative and well crafted timepieces.
LM: Thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions, is there anything you would like to add?
JW: Thank you very much. It was a pleasure talking to you.
You can find out much more about Linde Werdelin and the their current range of high-end Sport Watches by visiting the official company website: www.lindewerdelin.com