Linde Werdelin has collaborated with British artist and gun engraver Johnny Dowell to create a unique Oktopus Reef timepiece.
In a special project that teased out creativity from both the brand’s founders Morton Linde and Jorn Werdelin and engraver Dowell, the resulting timepiece features swirling tentacles, bubbles and corals hand-engraved into rose gold and titanium.
A gun engraver by trade, Dowell has spent 14 years honing his craft, following in the footsteps of his uncle. He has since worked on engraving jewellery and more recently watches.
Speaking of the project, Dowell said: “I must admit, doing this Oktopus Reef project has been the most fun just because I had a lot more space to manoeuvre with regards to design and drawings. Morten and Jorn were quite happy for me to put my own style into it. It was quite satisfying to transfer the drawings I’d put in the original templates onto the watch.”
Noting that titanium was particularly hard to engrave, Dowell even ordered pieces of the metal to practice with. The case and bezel engraving itself was done under a microscope or with a magnifying loupe, in a process Dowell describes as ‘painstakingly long’.
“The engraving process took 100 hours, from planning the layout onto the watch to engraving and finally creating the black effect,” he said. “The most challenging part was working with Grade 2 titanium. I had to order a piece to practice on, to feel how hard it was. It’s probably the hardest material I’ve cut. On the other hand, the sides of the watch are all flat rather than curved, which makes it lovely to work with. [The Oktopus Reef’s] facets providing the best canvases.”