Combining the distinctive cutting edge styling which defines the Linde Werdelin timepiece with the dramatic luminous technologies of Stockholm-based Black Badger, the Oktopus Blue Sea is a spectacular piece of contemporary watchmaking which takes display luminosity into never before seen territory, with its astonishing lightshow which intensifies as it progresses through five stages as daylight fades and darkness takes over.
An already imposing piece in its 44mm case with exposed hex screw heads a prominent feature, not only is Oktopus a design icon of the twenty-first century, but a serious tool watch too, with a water resistance rating of 300 metres. Providing the perfect canvas for the Black Badger treatment, the Oktopus Blue Sea is manufactured in a proprietary material called ALW (Alloy Linde Werdelin), which is hard wearing but incredibly light, with an eye-catching milky-white colour and a satin smooth texture which contrasts with the black ceramic bezel. Rugged in its construction and uncompromising in its aesthetics, it is a watch which is identifiable across a crowded room thanks to its pronounced angular design, which owes itself to no other.
With everything underneath the flat anti-reflective sapphire glass left to the devices of James Thompson, the creative energy of the in-demand Black Badger lume lab, there is glowing colour everywhere, although it’s not until the light of day ebbs and darkness creeps in that the full effect of this extraordinary luminant technology truly hits home, as the face of the watch begins its transformation from a crisp, clean white daytime appearance to a vibrant electric blue.
With no rules to dilute the potential of his specialty, Thompson has not held back, and using everything in the Black Badger armoury the result is a display which transitions across five phases, and in three distinct hues of blue, from the subtle glow which begins to energise the accents on the three hands, the numerals, the floor of the display and even the rehaut ring as light fades, through evermore vivid luminescence, until the entire display has been transformed into a powerful light force of contrasting colours which penetrates the dark.
The high impact visibility means that the Oktopus Blue Sea is a piece which is going to stand out anywhere, but in the world beneath the waves, where light diminishes and the senses are forced to detune to normality, and where time is as crucial to survival as air supply, the potency of the illuminated display truly comes into its own. The hour and minute hands are easily distinguishable in all of the changing phases with their green-blue Super-LumiNova, while the three, six and nine numerals and minute markings are a shade lighter, and as the ultimate failsafe, the background of the dial plate is a rich glowing blue.
Powered by a Dubois Dépraz self winding movement which has been customised and hand finished in the Linde Werdelin atelier. the watch features a three hand display with hours, minutes and seconds, as well as a big double date display on two skeletonised wheels which reveal just below the twelve o’clock position.
As a small brand which can deservedly claim to be one of those which contributed to the kick-starting of a new era of independent watchmaking, the Linde Werdelin Black Badger Oktopus Blue Sea collaboration brings together two of the most dynamic forces in watch design, and it is a triumph of this synergy. Production is limited to only eighty-eight pieces