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. Conventus Ranae is the formal association of past and present members of the Frogman Corps. A fraternal bond is naturally formed between active Frogmen, and Conventus Ranae exists to strengthen that bond between active and retired Frogmen. Conventus Ranae also participates in reinforcing the perception of the Frogman Corps in the outside world and aims to preserve old traditions and values that date back to Danish Special Operations Executive agents from the Second World War, during the German occupation of Denmark.
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 grueling process. 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. Thus Conventus Ranae approached Linde Werdelin. Many Frogmen describe meeting their fellow Frogmen, both present and former members, as a special feeling. 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.
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.
The Oktopus Frogman is similar in design to its commercially-available siblings in the family, but redesigned for the unique requirements of the Frogmen. It eschews the typical Oktopus complications, the Moonphase or Double Date, in favor of a simple date wheel with an aperture at 4 o’clock. Its case construction is a more rugged variant of its siblings, crafted as a one-part construction in titanium. Essential to the Frogmen is better night-time visibility of the dial. For the Oktopus Frogman, Morten Linde designed a unique solution: a Luminova sandwich construction for maximum luminescence. This allows light to hit the numerals from all angles and activate the Luminova to its full potential. The collaboration pieces are marked with each operative’s service number for individual personalization and are available exclusively to those who have served with the Frogman Corps.
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Technical Specifications of the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Frogman
- Titanium; microbillé finish
- Sapphire crystal; anti-reflective on the inside
- Crown: Titanium; rough circular satin and microbillé; engraved with an octopus icon
- Case dimension: 44mm (w) x 46mm (l) x 15mm (h)
- Black ceramic; microbillé in grooves; satin on top surface
- Titanium screws with circular satin on top; black tension discs
- Automatic self-winding movement with date function at 4 o’clock
- Power reserve: 42 hours
- Balance frequency: 28,800vph (4Hz)
- Jewels: 21
- Top dial and réhaut: engraved pattern; circular satin on top surface
- Large numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12, hour and minute indexes, date and LW logo in Luminova
- Hour, minute and second hands: titanium with satin and Luminova
- Titanium with circular satin
- Laser-engraved Frømandskorpset badge with year joined and personnel number
- Water resistant to 300 meters
- Interchangeable black natural strap
- Titanium screws; circular satin on top surface
- Black tension discs
- Titanium ardillon buckle