Interview with Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin

Many years ago, somewhere in Denmark, two six-year-old boys became best friends. In 2002, Morten Linde and Jorn Werdelin, who worked in design and finance respectively, decided to start a watch company together naming it Linde Werdelin. Enamoured by the same passion for watches and sports, Morten and Jorn wanted to create the ultimate sports watch for men who, like them, are always on the move. As a result, Linde Werdelin is best known for developing mechanical watches with clip-on electronic computers to optimise skiing and diving experiences.

Considered at the forefront of design and functionality, Linde Werdelin has expanded internationally and is still driven onwards and upwards by its two founders and their team.

In an interview with Tharawat, the two childhood friends and business partners discussed their passion, their company, and their friendship.

How did your separate professional paths come together?

Morten: I am originally a furniture architect. I was employed in a design firm for a couple of years and then opened my own office in 1992. I already knew then that I wanted to design watches.

Jorn: I went to business school and then worked in investment and finance in London for 9 years. I grew up with a love for watches because both my father and my grandfather were jewellers and retailed high end watches and jewellery. I used to work at my father’s shops in Denmark.

Morten: In 2002, Jorn and I started talking about setting up a company together. I had previously designed watches for other brands, but was never in a position to build an entire universe around the products I crafted. I love creating watches because if you buy a fine watch, it stays with you forever. Watches speak to us about the most important thing in life – time.

 What was your start-up strategy?

Morten: When we started Linde Werdelin, we tried to do it like others before us. We soon realised that being ourselves was the real ticket. We found that every time we stuck to our own story, were true to our own philosophy, we had the biggest success. Looking back, I believe we could have been more self-confident from the start.

Jorn: Continuity, innovation, and personality are the most important characteristics of a luxury good. Our ultimate goal, our moving target, is to create the ultimate sports watch. At the same time, we try to give our customers an experience that allows them to see continuity in our timepieces. Making watches is a constant quest. It is also very rewarding.