When offered the chance to go hands-on with the new Linde Werdelin Oktopus II — in its most eye-catching form — I of course jumped at the opportunity. It didn’t take much wrist time with the titanium-cased, yellow-strapped Okto II to get excited. Hands-down, this Linde Werdelin interpretation of an ideal timepiece for the modern diver is a winner. You can decide for yourself after this extensive review — kicked off with some “hands on” video of the piece followed by many, many awesome photos. Believe me, this is one Oktopus you don’t want to miss.
The Oktopus II is available in three variations: titanium case + black ceramic bezel with yellow or black accents, or a higher end model with rose gold-bezel and titanium case. Though Oktopus II carries through strong design influences from its predecessor, it is overall an advancement from the original Oktopus in both form and function. Most notably, the piece boasts a brand new 5-part case construction inspired by a diving bell (an air-tight pressure chamber used for diving simulations or to transport divers to depth in the ocean). For me, it is this case construction that embodies the overall attractiveness of this piece: it looks great, but not at the expense of function. LW Founders Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin did a fantastic job of bringing both form and function into the design of the Oktopus II.
(note: that the watch reviewed was a prototype with a titanium DLC bezel, not ceramic)
Linde Werdelin Oktopus II Dive Watch — Video Review
The multi-part, anti-corrosive case is mostly brushed titanium, with two strap-mount pieces at nine and twelve o’clock, two black DLC-finished insets mounted on the sides (where the dive instrument mounts) and the fixed ceramic bezel on top. The whole surface of the case undergoes a microbillé and a satin finish to reflect light or shadow — and it looks great, too.
In case you die-hard divers are wondering, I did confirm that the fixed bezel is an intentional design feature; a rotating bezel (for calculating dive submersion time, for example) is obviated by the the clip-on dive instrument with which this watch is intended to be used with.
Water resistance is tuned in to 300 meters — perfect for taking the Oktopus II out of the pool and into the sea for some real underwater exploration.
At 46mm, the case reads large on paper but it does not wear this big on the wrist. I found the Oktopus II to be a very comfortable watch, sitting nicely on the wrist despite the all the case angles up top. As a point of comparison, I wristed the Okto II alongside a dive-watch standard bearer, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean XL. Though the design contrast is obviously stark, the Omega SMPO and the Oktopus II are comparably sized (45.5mm vs. 46mm) and share the same degree of great wrist comfort.
The crown at 3 o’clock bears an engraving of an octopus symbol (image via Linde Werdelin):
On the backside — the caseback of the Oktopus II is, well, cool. Caseback engravings are nothing new, but unlike many others the Oktopus II caseback motif — a writhing octopus — is a bit more inspired and interesting to look at. In addition to tying in with the octopus motif on the crown, the writhing octopus is also a throwback to a previous Linde Werdelin timepiece, the Oktopus Tattoo.
I love how this photo turned out…
Of course the Oktopus II is also unique because it is designed with Linde Werdelin’s own dive instrument, The Reef, in mind. Together, the Oktopus II and The Reef form one of the most sophisticated combinations of dive tools available today. The combination of the Oktopus II and the Reef reflects LW’s philosophy that “time should be read analogue while performance should be measured digital”.
I have more photos and video of The Reef that I will share in a follow-up segment. In addition to the orange color seen here, the instrument is also available in yellow (matching the Okto II), black, blue, red, and silver.
The dial is busy, with two layers and lots of color coming through. The upper level is an octopus icon, and the lower level has cicular cotes-de-Geneve finishing which is intended to convey a water-ripple effect. I explore this design concept is up-close in my video review above, so be sure to check it out. There is also a date window positioned near the top of the dial — it is actually 2 independent dates wheels (partially visible underneath the skeleton dial) that work in combination to display the date through the oversized apertures.
LW states that the lume — on hands and hour markers — is a bespoke “cool grey” superluminova. I didn’t see much difference from a normal lume, but to be fair I didn’t really give the lume much attention.
On this yellow model in particular, the dial is a great mixture of layers and texture and color. On the rose gold and black models, I think the dial might be a modestly less visually interesting experience.
In this photo you can see nicely the intended “water ripple” effect of the lower, circular dial layer:
In keeping with LW’s use of higher-end movements in its timepieces these days, the Oktopus II features an automatic mechanical 3-hand big date movement custom-made by Dubois Depraz for LW (based on the DD calibre 14580).
There is not much to dislike here. My only quibble would be the visual effect of the date function; I sometimes found it challenging to read the date numbers “at a glance”; some angles of view are more legible than others.
The titanium+yellow model reviewed here is priced at $10,580. The titanium + black DLC model is $9,880. The rose gold model is near double, or in the $22k price range (est.). Each model is a limited edition of just 88 pieces — get them while they last.
The Reef dive instrument is priced at $1,980 and should be considered an essential accessory for the dive-minded purchaser.
All in, the Linde Werdelin Oktopus II, as seen here in titanium and yellow, is a fantastic high-end dive watch. Distinct amongst its dive watch peers both in design and in its ability to be used with Linde Werdelin’s sophisticated clip-on dive instrument, the Oktopus II represents itself well as a piece that is boldly beyond the conventional.
Stay tuned in for a closer look at The Reef, Linde Werdelin’s amazing dive instrument, coming up soon! You can check out more of Linde Werdelin at their website, or see all of Perpetuelle’s LW coverage here.
Hope you enjoyed the review!