Well I think this is pretty cool!
The Danish Frogmen Military Corps Get Exclusive Linde Werdelin Watches
Source Forbes Life LINK
If you are an elite military unit, at some point, you’ve noticed a particular need that yearns to be filled. That need is the existence of a special watch made exclusively available to people in your small group. One of the least discussed stories of the modern luxury watch world is the practice of watch brands making small productions of special timepieces only available to people in special military units or groups. While this practice has historical analogs, especially where units have their own graphics or insignia, the idea of an “in-group” timepiece has particular model appeal.
Perhaps the most popular brand to engage in the production of limited production, specially branded timepieces for various military units around the world is British Bremont – who is regularly asked by groups to produce mainly aviation timepieces. Also based in England is the brand Linde Werdelin, who recently completely their very first line of timepieces make exclusively for a military group. And that group is the Danish Frogman Corps.
Even though Linde Werdelin is operated out of London, their founders Jorn Werdelin and Morten Linde are from Denmark, with the brand’s designer Morten still living in Copenhagen. Thus, when Linde Werdelin was approached by the Danish Frogman Corps via the Coventus Ranae group, it was at first a matter of national pride to see about outfitting the Corps’ current and past members with a special watch.
What makes military units such as this Danish SEALs team interesting is that the timepieces made for them need to both communicate their lifestyle and personality, but also need to put up with their professional activities. Military watches throughout history have needed to be both durable and legible – so the same principles often apply today when a brand is asked to produce even vanity watches for military groups.
To better understand the activities of the Danish Frogmen, Linde Werdelin actually accompanied them on various missions to see what qualities a Frogman watch should have. Linde Werdelin opted to begin with their Oktopus series of dive watches, and eventually designed an entirely unique dial with a sober gray-toned case produced from titanium and ceramic.
Linde Werdelin came on the watch scene several years ago attempting to rattle the notions of what a luxury sports watch brand could be. If anything, Linde Werdelin has triumphed by helping to bring a sense of both modern design and marketing concepts to the often ultra-conservative luxury watch industry. With a focus on futuristic notions, fun marketing, and internet-based communication, Linde Werdelin was a key part of introducing the modern era to the mechanical watch industry.
Their primary watch case design can be argued to epitomize these concepts. Adapted from some late generation sport watch styles, the Linde Werdelin DNA brings an enjoyment of mechanical watches into the modern era, while still respecting the traditions of the industry. In fact, I personally felt that the Oktopus II watch – which the special Danish Frogman Corps edition is based on - was the first watch design that marked the brand really finding their design DNA groove.
In gray and richly painted with SuperLumiNova luminant, the dial of this special watch is perhaps the most legible one that Linde Werdelin has ever produced. This was due in large part to the fact that when diving, the Danish Frogman Corps are often in dark waters. Thus, even though the Corps’ activities take them to places via land, air, and sea, many of the most challenging environments are in the ocean – a place their special watch is purposefully suited for. Linde Werdelin internally calls the timepieces simply, the “Oktopus Frogman.”
Linde Werdelin will produce – at a special price – an Oktopus Frogman for any current or former member of the Danish Frogman Corps, and will have engraved numbers which match their unique badge numbers. In the future, Linde Werdelin may produce additional watches for new Danish Frogman. It will be a source of pride and honor for members of the elite military from Denmark to not only have a watch made specially for them, but an exclusive high-quality luxury item. Most Linde Werdelin watches are priced in the vicinity of $10,000 – which makes the timepieces exclusive as well as elite. For members of the corps, ownership of these watches is as much as status item as it is an item which helps identify them as belonging to a particular group.
Perhaps the most interesting moral of the story is just how powerful a mere watch is in allowing small population groups to have desirable items which communication membership in, or a belonging to that group. While a Linde Werdelin watch can accompany you to the depths of the ocean or any other adventure, it can also help you feel a sense of belonging to a group you closely identify with – and that quality is something that has helped keep timepieces so desirable, for so many people, for so long.