By TLex Linde Werdelin's Oktopus survives its toughest field test to date and becomes the newest member of the Frømandskorpset (Frogman Corps), the Danish Military's Naval Special Operations Force!
Although similar to its commercially-available siblings, the OKTOPUS Frogman was redesigned by so that it met the specific requirements of the Frogmen. Typical Oktopus complications such as a Moonphase or Double Date have been substituted with a simple date wheel with a window at 4 o’clock. Its case is also a little more rugged in its design and has a one-part construction in Titanium.
Excellent visibility in low-lighting conditions is essential to Frogmen, so Morten Linde designed a unique solution: a Luminova sandwich dial for maximum luminescence, which allows light to hit the numerals from all angles and activate the Luminova to its full potential. There are no superfluous lines of text or insignias on the dial.
The LW Frogman watches have been marked with each of the operative’s service number for individual personalization and are only available to those who have served with the Frogman Corps, sorry!
TESTING Development of the Oktopus Frogman became a partnership between the divers and Linde Werdelin. While every Oktopus undergoes a strict testing regime, placing it on the wrists of Frogmen was an unprecedented challenge.
“It was a privilege to work with the Frogmen and to witness them crash-testing our Oktopus, truly the best environment to test our watches,” tells co-founder Morten Linde. “Designing a timepiece worthy of them, to unite the generations, was a challenge I enjoyed. It needs to be versatile – tolerating extreme heat and cold, great heights and depths – and they needed optimal night-time visibility, a problem that required an entirely new way to apply Luminova.”
The Oktopus passed their selection requirements. “Our goal has always been to make the best dive watch and now we have achieved making a watch fit for a professional dive unit, one of the best in the world. To have Linde Werdelin be a part of Danish cultural heritage by contributing to the comradeship of the Frogmen is an absolute honor,” says co-founder Jorn Werdelin.
FROGMAN CORPS Shrouded in secrecy, Frømandskorpset (Frogman Corps) is the Naval Special Operations Force in the Danish Military. This collaboration is a rare opportunity to lift the veil and explore the uncharted waters of the Frogman Corps. Typical missions will see the fraternal unit drop into the most hostile environments to rescue hostages from pirates off the coast of Somalia, often under the cover of darkness. They have been deployed directly into the heart of the most heated conflicts.
In a rare instance of surfacing publicly, the Frogmen, through Conventus Ranae, have joined forces with Linde Werdelin to create a wholly unique timepiece commemorative of their brotherhood.
PARTNERSHIP Conventus Ranae is the formal association of Frogmen. It exists to strengthen the relationship between former and current operatives in the “outside world.”
Selection to become a member of this exclusive club is no easy task. Every year, hundreds apply. Only a handful will pass, and this is a source of pride for the men who have gone before and were able to survive this gruelling process.
As Butler (his Frogman codename for anonymity) attested, “It is a special feeling meeting with former colleagues knowing that each and every one has accomplished a long tough education that breaks the vast majority of the applicants.”
Active duty – a minimum of three years, but an average of five or six – is no easier. Missions require the utmost skill and precision to succeed. The shared experience of these demanding conditions creates an incredibly strong bond between the active servicemen, forming a natural brotherhood. Conventus Ranae exists to reinforce this bond, particularly once the Frogmen leave the service.
Thus Conventus Ranae approached Linde Werdelin. Many Frogmen describe meeting their fellow Frogmen, both present and former members, as a special feeling – to know that they share the same values and experiences. Conventus Ranae wanted to capture that sentiment in a timepiece; a shared timepiece representing a shared history. Wearing the Oktopus Frogman on the wrist is akin to carrying the entire Frogman Corps with them everywhere.
“We were aware of Linde Werdelin’s expertise as a dive watch maker and contacted them with the intention of partnering on a piece to tie us together as a unit,” explains Christian Nielsen (“CK”), chairman of Conventus Ranae and former patrol leader in the Frogman Corps. “This special edition Oktopus acts as a symbol for a life committed to being a combat diver.”