A couple of months ago, I had sat down with Phil Rodenbeck of Visitor Watches to shoot the breeze, enjoy some sushi, and to see the watches that would follow the stunning Calligraph Duneshore. I thought I knew what to expect, but Phil exceeded my expectations. The contents of his sample case blew my mind, and I was sworn to secrecy until he was ready to launch. Let me tell you folks, it wasn't easy. Now, the time has come. This week, Visitor will launch five new products, one per day. They are not yet ready for pre-order (target is 4th quarter 2016), but Phil is assembling interest/wait lists for each.
So without further ado, feast your eyes on the first product released from the press embargo: The Visitor Calligraph Linden.
The Calligraph Linden features the same dial and handset as the Duneshore in a smaller case. Like the Duneshore it has a 3-piece case with multiple chamfers, pierced lugs, and front and rear sapphire crystals, but while it is instantly recognizable as a Visitor, it entirely new. Where the Duneshore was mirror polished, the Linden features a combination of brushed and polished finishing that heightens the effect of its intricately sculpted case. An undulating, polished chamfer runs the lengths of the watch, dipping to open the area above the crown, and carrying through to the clipped ends of the lugs. It slims the case in a fascinating manner, creating a dramatic, stiletto heel taper to the lugs. A delicate beveled edge travels along the bottom. It is also polished, setting off the brushed expanse in between.
Lovely as the Duneshore may be, it is big. The watch carries its 44mm case surprisingly well, but as I mentioned in my review, it is large for such a dressy watch. I know many would-be buyers found it daunting. The Linden addresses this with a case just 39 mm wide, 48.5mm long, and 10.5 mm thick. These tidy dimensions will be a comfortable fit on many more wrists, particularly those of us in the sub-7" range. It is a huge difference and yet, the case carries it off without looking dainty or undersized. Rather, it is now right-sized for a dress watch.
This sexy case houses a Miyota 9015 with a custom rotor and black date disc with lume-printed numerals. The dial is identical to that of the Calligraph Duneshore with its applied markers, perforated index, and fountain pen hands. Look for new colors in the Linden including white, dusty pink, black, and possibly one or two others. All will be printed with a black cross-hair and treated with BGW9 luminant on the hands, markers, and the 3 o'clock Visitor brand name.
I sampled the white and pink versions, finding both to be attractive in their own unique way. The "dusty pink" dial is really more of a mauve, closer to a muted purple than the bright red-white you might find on Hello Kitty merchandise. Fashion forward men won't balk at the color, but Phil might want to call it something else. By any name, it is a lovely shade that showcases both the black crosshairs and the white lume. The white dial, on the other hand hides the brand name until the lights go out.
The Linden will arrive on a leather strap in black, green, or wine. (Hey Phil, "wine" is way more marketable than "dusty pink." I'm just sayin'...) The prototypes have contrasting stitching, but the finals will probably be color-matched.
If you liked the Calligraph Duneshore but couldn't handle the size, check out the Linden. It not identical to the larger model, but uniquely gorgeous and every bit as appealing. I think the smaller case strikes a proper balance between dress watch elegance and healthy wrist presence. The last aspect of the watch is the price, and that too was downsized. Expect it to sell for about $550, $100 less than the Duneshore. For more information, go to www.visitorwatchco.com.