Hands-On With The Visitor Linden Snowfall Who said that snow isn't appropriate in spring by Jorg Weppelink May 26, 2020 MIN READHands-On With The Visitor Linden Snowfall
Just a couple of months ago when the world looked completely different, Robert-Jan and I attended a little watch get-together. At the event, we got to see the Vale Park Officer model from Visitor Watch Co. up close. I must say the thing that stuck most with me was its remarkable design. Fast forward a couple of months and we have the Visitor Linden Snowfall here for review. It has the same instantly recognizable design details but it’s a completely different watch.
On the way back from the get-together, Robert-Jan and I discussed the design of the Vale Park Officer. He remembered his review of the first Visitor Watch Co. model, the Calligraph Duneshore, back in 2014. Back then, Robert-Jan also mentioned that the case design of the Calligraph Duneshore stood out from the crowd. And I have to say that for this Visitor Linden Snowfall, the first thing that stood out was again, the case design. But a second thing attracted my attention. The watch simply feels good quality.
The value of microbrands
The Visitor Linden Snowfall sparked a good discussion we had with a couple of the Fratello members about microbrands. The central question? What do you look for personally in a watch from a microbrand? Is it an innovative design? Is it an affordable watch? The thing that always comes back in those discussions is quality. Before you even think about unique design or beautiful stories, it’s all about quality. Can you come up with a good quality product that people can spend their money on without any worries?
What do you look for personally in a watch from a microbrand?
Often enough, good intentions do not a good product guarantee. And that’s where the Visitor Watch Co. has proven over the last couple of years that it is possible to create a quality watch for an affordable price. Add the unique looks and a great eye for detail and it’s understandable the brand has made quite a name for itself.
The Calligraph Linden is one of the three models released until now by the American brand run by Indiana resident Phil Rodenbeck. The Calligraph Duneshore was released as the first model in 2014. In 2016 the Vale Park Officer and Linden were both revealed. Rodenbeck added the Linden as the second model to the Calligraph series. And the Linden shares some of the instantly recognizable design tropes with the Duneshore despite being a completely different watch.
The Linden Snowfall design
The Linden and the Duneshore share the sandwich dial, the classical looking pen nib hands, and the very recognizable applied indices. It’s an aesthetic that stands out and has won over quite a few watch enthusiasts. In all honesty, at first, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the classical looks of the hands. It just seemed a bit too extravagant for me. Once I read more about the references behind the design and wore the Linden for some time, the whole aesthetic slowly grew on me.
The thing I love about the Linden Snowfall is the layered feel of elements and the subtle details that stand out like the crosshair on the white dial and the black date window. It spices things up to keep the dial from becoming dull. The interaction of different elements is subtle yet very clear in its function. It’s clearly a clever design made by a true watch lover.
The interaction of different elements is subtle yet very clear in its function.
The Linden is available in four different dials colors. Next to the Snowfall (white), there is the Amaranth (red/pink), the Midnight (black), and the Larkspur (blue). In just seeing them on the website, my first pick would be the Amaranth version. But the white Snowfall version is the most popular of the Linden models. And the one I would choose if given the choice now. Combined with the tapered and textured brown calfskin strap we received for review, it’s probably also the one that intrigues me the most in the long term. The overall aesthetic just looks very clean and nice and also brings out the best of the Linden case.
A more conventional case
As with the other Visitor Watch Co. timepieces, the case of the Linden is a stand-out feature. Compared to the Duneshore and the Vale Park Officer, the Linden is a lot less prominent and captures a more classical spirit in case design. Therefore it might be less spectacular at first sight but Rodenbeck made sure there is plenty to discover. The 39mm round case is a three-piece construction with a screw-down cashback. The case is 10.5mm thick and measures 48.5mm lug-to-lug with a 20mm lug width.
The watch features a sapphire crystal in the front with an anti-reflective coating applied to the underside and a sapphire crystal on the case back. The crown is push-pull and is used to set the time and date and also gives you the opportunity to wind the watch. The Linden is also water-resistant to a depth of 50 meters.
The Linden is defined by small intricate design details.
What’s special about the case is not necessarily its basic shape. It’s a lot more conventional than the cases of the Duneshore and the Vale Park Officer. Those two watches stand out because of their overall shape. Instead, the Linden is defined by small intricate design details in combination with clever finishing of the case. Something that is not seen too often for a watch at a price point of just over €500.
The finishing of the Visitor Linden Snowfall
Looking at the face of the watch you will see the polished bezel has quite a steep chamfer that meets a thin brushed ring that is recessed in the mid-case. The lugs have a polished upper that meets another steep polished chamfer that reaches up to the bezel chamfer. A little sidestep, I must say that I like the lugs because they give the round case the extra character that prevents it from feeling predictable. They show character and play a big part in its charm.
The sides of the watch are brushed and meet a very thin polished chamfer that meets the brushed undersides of the lugs. The case back has a circular brushed pattern and another polished chamfer. As you can see it’s a mixture of shapes and finishes that define the watch without defining the overall presence. It’s the little details you have to look for and compared to the Duneshore it’s a different approach that does come from the same design beliefs. And I have to compliment Rodenbeck that he has thought out all the details meticulously.
The Miyota 9015 movement
The Linden Snowfall is powered by the Miyota caliber 9015 movement. It’s a movement that we see a lot in watches today created by a large number of microbrands. The movement has a power reserve of 42 hours and ticks at 28,800vph. The movement is visible through the sapphire crystal cashback. It features a custom Visitor Watch Co. branded rotor that has cut-outs that are the same “teardrop” shape as the hour indices on the dial. It’s this attention to detail that is present in so many elements of the watch that makes it a joy to discover.
It’s this attention to detail that is present in so many elements of the watch.
As also mentioned in the Beaubleu review there is only one thing about the Miyota 9015 movement I dislike. It’s reliable, performs well but it is pretty loud when you give it a spin. Although it doesn’t take anything away from its performance, I prefer my movements to be silent. And the good thing is that when you wear the Linden you will not hear the same sounds as when you give it a spin. Then the watch ticks as any other watch. I know it’s a detail, but the love of watches and their movements is often in the finest of details and that’s why they are important to me.
Wearing the Visitor Linden Snowfall
The Visitor Linden Snowfall is once again proof that my changing preference for smaller watches is here to stay. The 39mm case with its stand-out lugs wears very comfortably. And I have to also mention the qualitative leather strap. When you buy one of the Linden models, you can choose from a variety of seven leather straps. Next to the Fieldstone brown leather strap I also tried the Marina blue and Caramel strap. My favorite is the Fieldstone strap as it gives the watch a little more adventurous and less ‘dressy’ look. The strap comes with a brushed steel buckle following the large brushed parts of the case.
Next to the fact that the Linden Snowfall is very comfortable to wear, there are a lot of details that expose itself when you have the watch on your wrist. First off, the different shapes and angles really come to life when wearing the watch. Next to that, the oversized hour indices and pen nib hands make reading the time very easy.
Another one of the great features of the white Snowfall is the use of lume. In the dark, you witness how the white dial in combination with the lume is very lively. The BGW9 lume is used on the hour and minute hands, the applied hour indices, the lower layer of the sandwich dial that creates the minute marks, the printed date numerals on the black date disc, and the Visitor logo on the dial. It results in a very clear to read watch even in the dark.
Overall I think Rodenbeck did a very good job of creating another great watch that will attract a lot of people. My biggest personal issue with the watch is the aesthetic. Although the design certainly grew on me, I haven’t really come to terms with the shape of the hands and hour indices. But then again, there will be plenty of people who do like the design of the watch. As with all watches, it’s a matter of personal taste and certainly not a disqualification.
The Linden is made with a lot of eye for detail by someone who loves watches.
But I can only credit Rodenbeck in finding a certain design aesthetic and be consistent in using it. Next to that, you can see that the Linden is made with a lot of eye for detail by someone who loves watches. The fact that it shows, says a lot. And the last thing to mention is that for the $590 price tag you will buy a quality watch from one of the many microbrands out there. The combination of quality, design, and eye for detail is what makes Visitor Watch Co. a brand to keep an eye on in the future. Learn more here.
Brand Visitor Watch Co. ModelLinden SnowfallDialWhite Sandwich dial with applied markersCase MaterialStainless steelCase DimensionsDiameter – 39mm, Thickness – 10.5mm, Lug-to-lug – 48.5mm, Lug width – 20mmCrystalSapphire crystal with underside anti-reflective coatingCase BackSapphire crystal casebackMovementMiyota caliber 9015 automatic movement, Power reserve: 42 hours, Ticking speed: 28,800vph, Hacking Seconds, Hand and Automatic WindingWater Resistance50 metersStrapchoice of 7 different leather straps with steel brushed buckleFunctionsHours, minutes, seconds, datePrice$590 (€550 excluding taxes) Watch of the Week
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About the author
Jorg has been working in marketing & communications for 15 years. He is specialised in developing brand strategy, brand portfolio, brand design and brand communications. Besides, he loves watches and the stories that make them worthwhile. He can be spotted… read more
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