In The Wild: Iceland

In the world we live in, you infrequently find yourself driving for hours on end, alone on the road. With nothing but your thoughts and the terrible local radio. And when I say alone, I mean nobody. Not a soul, for hours – unable to see any sign of life as far as the eye can see. And let me tell you. It’s wonderful! It enriches the soul. That, teamed with some of the most outstanding nature scenery known to man, the crisp Nordic air and a beaten up Defender and for me, it’s as good as it gets.

Last week, I found myself in the rugged outdoors of Iceland. And because I knew it was to be an ‘active’ break (in a Nordic country)  I thought it was fitting to have a Nordic inspired, sports watch to accompany me – the Linde Werdelin Spidolite 3DTP Carbon. But before I get onto that, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the wonderful island, that is Iceland, here are a three things you need to know.  Number one: it’s very, very beautiful. Think overly dramatic landscape, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields, national parks and massive glaciers. Number two: it is very, very expensive. Think £15 (or $19.47) for a sandwich at a petrol station.  Number three: most of the population lives in the capital, Reykjavik, which runs on geothermal power. The only downside is that with a population of just over 320K people, one can only imagine the majority are at risk of being related. Which isn’t cool. But if you can get over that, the women are wonderful in every way. Athletic, blond, natural and almost identical to one another.

Onto the watch! The Linde Werdelin Spidolite 3DTP Carbon is the lightest watch the firm have ever made, with the case weighing in at just 3.8 grams. It is a limited edition watch, with just 75 individually numbered pieces worldwide.  Having worn it for a week, I would have to say its weight – despite being 44m in size was the highlight for me. It was a joy to have on the wrist – no digging in or arm ache. They managed to achieve this by pioneering the use of 3DTP (or 3-Dimensional thin ply) which took over two years for the firm to master (initially in their Oktopus cases) and then a further two to create a skeletonised SpidoLite case. 3DTP is different from traditional carbon fibre composites or forged carbon in that 3DTP involves a technique of layering thin sheets of carbon, which results in both a strong and lightweight watch. Iv long been a fan of the Spidolite case for some time. It has this wonderfully intricate structure that begs to be used and thrown around. And even cooler in this skeletonised and stripped-back state.

So where did the trip take me? Well, my first stop is one of the 25 wonders of the world.  The Blue Lagoon. Formed in 1976 during development of the geothermal power plant next door, locals began bathing in the water (as well as applying the silica mud to their skin). Many reported improvements to skin tone etc – although I have to say my looks haven’t improved!  Nonetheless, a great experience. When I looked at the watch, I could help but think, the case shape is great, however the strap was abit much for my taste pales. But on closer inspection I can see why they went for such a bright tone. The black case is accented in the dial by yellow and TiN-treated detailing. Parts of the movement have been darkened with DLC treatments to increase contrast, both in terms of depth and colour, with the yellow and TiN details in the dial. So what’s inside? The LW07 movement, which I enjoyed being able into, with a funky power reserve indicator near 5 and 6 o’clock, (highlighted by a red arrow).

On the trip I was keen to get to grips with the computer or ‘Rock’ that fits onto the watch. Let’s not forget that the brands vison is to create carefully designed sports watches for all occasions which can then be transformed into precision instruments with a dive Instrument or ski Instrument. In doing so connecting Swiss craftsmanship and Danish design. The ‘Rock’ is the brands attachable ski instrument, fully designed and developed in-house to provide guidance to skiers or in my case, climbers. Crafted from solid anodised aluminium with an anti-scratch Sapphire crystal display, it’s lightweight easy to attached and store while on the move. The ‘Rock’ will basically record, display and log environmental and bodily sensor readings to protect the user against the elements. With its 3-axis compass and inclination avalanche sensor, advanced weather trend indicator and frostbite alarm for when temperatures reach below 12 degrees, the ‘Rock’ amplifies the sporting experience when high in the mountains. It’s easy to scroll through the options of the 4-button menu and it automatically records vital data on its logbook for the user to access on their computer which is cool to sit down and asses after completion. I found the ‘Rock’ most useful on the trip when I climbed the Vatnajökull glacier – the largest glacier in Iceland and Europe situated in the southeast of Iceland.

A second highlight would have to be the Gullfoss Falls. Situated on the river Hvítá or white river, its origin in the glacier lake Hvítávatn at Lángjökull glacier about 40km north. It was the sheer power of the water that struck me. I was in ore of what nature could produce when left to its own devices. Glacial water is brownish as it carries sediment that the glacial ice has carved off the earth. Gullfoss is called the “Golden Falls”, because on a sunny days the water plunging down the three step staircase and then tumbeling in two steps down into the 32 m deep crevice is said to look golden.   In the 20th century there was much speculation that Gullfoss would be used to harness electricity. Foreign investors who rented Gullfoss indirectly from the owners wanted to build a hydroelectric powerplant, which would have changed and destroyed Gullfoss forever. Thankfully this didn’t come to fruition.

All said and done, would I back to Iceland? Absolutly. Would I wear the 3DTP Carbon again? Absolutely.

Back to Top