Beyond The Brand - Jorn Werdelin of Linde Werdelin

Beyond the Brand - Linde Werdelin

Haute Review brings you a series of brief interviews with some of the most influential individuals and the brand they are famous for.

Today we bring you Jorn Werdelin, from the cutting edge partnership of Linde Werdelin.

Linde Werdelin, the brand itself was born out of a life threatening incident in the Swiss alps, a 40 year friendship and an uncompromising drive for quality, combined with high functionality.

Now, forward we go:

Q: It’s been since 2002, when you partnered with Morten Linde around an idea years before any "Smart Device". At the time the idea was a high-end sports watch which could, when required, be combined with a digital instrument to provide information for adventure seekers. Is there a drive to revisit the notion, or do you feel the "smartwatch" industry has cornered the market?

A: A combination of smartwatches and apps on phones have carved a large market - most prominent is Apple’s iWatch and iPhone. This has had significant negative impact on low to mid end watches, and more particularly for Linde Werdelin it meant it was increasingly difficult to rationalise developing instruments that could compete in that segment.

In 2012 we decided to stop producing the attachable instruments because most customers desired our watches without necessarily wanting the instrument. They liked the original idea and story behind the brand.

We have of course and are still discussing how we can use that original idea in a more contemporary context. Most likely we will present something within the next couple of years - which is probably a much as I can say for the moment.

Q: Linde Werdelin is part of the very exclusive "Independent" Swiss Watch
Manufacturers list, given some challenges posed to independent watchmakers, would you feel at liberty to explain some of those challenges (if any) and how you are addressing them?

A: There are some very essential challenges which are at the core of creating a sustainable and long term business and proposition to our customers. Large groups and brands have over the years created awareness and history that are near impossible for newer smaller brands to surmount - mostly because of inertia amongst large majority of customers.

The challenge for a smaller brand such as us is to be adequately unique - not too much - in most things we produce and do to create enough desirability for a large enough group of existing and new customers to grow a healthy and long term brand. This requires us to be very flexible in how we operate and always near the customer.

At Linde Werdelin we have become completely customer centric. In 2015 we took a tough and necessary choice to become a largely direct to consumer business and to increase focus on the existing LW owners rather than only focusing on new customers. I think managing our own pre owned watches (as the first in the industry) was an important step in that direction.

Q: You have had great success collaborating with other brands and designers for example, using Frédéric Piguet complications (known for Breguet) and working with Valérien Jaquet (Concepto), are there other upcoming movements and/or collaborations on the horizon?

A: We went through a period of big change and progress in our understanding of movements and materials in the first ten years. We have since slowed down somewhat to consolidate and because our customers want continuity in what we do.

As for collaborations we have just launched our third piece (the Oktopus Volcano) with the famed engraver Johnny Dowell and we will launch other collaboration in 2020 which we have been working on for the last year or so.

We will also expand our offering in the next few years - both something you would expect and also some you would not expect - but what else would you expect from Linde Werdelin!

Q: Can you tell us about the unique inspiration behind your very own pre-owned initiative, in which you link sellers with buyers to ensure authenticity and warranty?

A: As pre owned market gathered prominence in particular during the last three to five years we noticed an increased interest in our original and older pieces. 

We received more and more enquiries as to authenticity and pricing of pieces offered on pre owned platforms and decided to build our own platform. We found that we could offer something no third party platform can, namely 100% authenticity, guarantee and service - and knowledge.

It is our view that a lot more brands should do the same - take responsibility for all watches they have ever made and it is in keeping with the notion of luxury and rarity.

Q: Any idea on where you see Linde Werdelin in say 5 to 10 years? Do you foresee an expanding collection or will you stay the course with limited edition pieces say of 100?

A: With the speed and gravity of changes going on in our industry it is not possible to predict sensibly. When I look back to November 2014 I had a very different view at to what we would be and do in November 2019 than is reality. Having said that I would like to stay true to our origins and develop at a pace which will interest and satisfy and sometimes surprise our clients.

Q: Lastly, if you can narrow it down to 1, which is your favorite LW piece and why?

A: The SpidoLite titanium with 3D movement because it is the essential Linde Werdelin - uniquely futuristic in its construction and inspired by one of our universes; the mountains which is near to my heart.

Linde Werdelin is one of my true favorites, always on the cutting edge of the industry with new and exciting innovation's offered to their admirers.

Check out the full collection and purchase yours at:

Signing off,