Visitor Calligraph Linden

I first laid eyes on the Visitor Watches Calligraph Linden way back in 2015. At that time, it was one of several prototypes that Visitor's founder, Phil Rodenbeck, let me preview over a long lunch. I thought it was an excellent watch to follow the Duneshore Calligraph because while it shared a similar dial, it also had smaller, all-new, and quite elegant case design. Five years later, the Linden has become a staple of the Visitor line, and Phil thought it might be fun to lend Mike and me two variants for a “Dueling Bums” review. “Why not?” we thought. After all, two Bums are clearly better than one. 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Amaranth

There are four Lindens: Midnight (black), Larkspur (blue), Snowfall (white), and Amaranth (mauve), with a choice of eight straps. I chose the Snowfall, Mike got the Amaranth. Each of us got three straps to play with too. Naturally, we immediately made it a competition, pitting #teamamaranth against #teamsnowfall for no apparent reason and with literally nothing at stake. 


Visitor Calligraph Linden Snowfall

Dial 

Mike: I’m a huge fan of the indices, which carry over from the Duneshore (which has the most amazing mesh bracelet with beads that match those markers—mind blown). The elegant pen nib hands are also carry over and continue the unique flair that defines the watch. Obviously, Amaranth is THE dial to go with. Apparently, this is what mauve looks like, but Amaranth is an objectively more seductive name. Not sure what he meant by sandwich dial – no, wait. It’s the minute markers on the dial’s edge. Got it. 

I’m quite torn on both the crosshair on the red dial and the black date window. If this watch had the 9039 without the date, I’d already own at least one. As it is, it is the only thing holding me back. The saving grace is that the crosshairs allow the black date to have SOME anchor to the rest of the watch as if it simply extends from the eastern crosshair (happy to start a band called Eastern Crosshair, if you’d like). I also love the placement of the Visitor name and the lack of any other dial text – though wouldn’t it be cool if under the western crosshair the model name was featured? (Is Western Crosshair a better band name?). 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Amaranth

Loren: Ok, so the dial really is a scaled-down Duneshore – not that there is anything wrong with that. I dig the Duneshore! Perforated index? Love it. Applied teardrop markers? Love ‘em. Insane pen-nib handset on willowy polished stems? I love them too, although I will say that I sometimes find I lose the top-heavy hands and have to scan for a nanosecond to read the time. Such is the price of fashion. Of course, of all the colors offered, Snowfall white is quite clearly the best. I like the way the black reticle seamlessly ties in the black date window in a way the Amnesia dial does not. And the white-lume-on-white phantom brand name that only comes out at night? So sexy. I’m not saying it’s superior to your Absinthe it just that... oh ok, that is exactly what I’m saying. 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Snowfall lume

While we’re on it, the BGW9 lume is crazy on this thing. Hands, markers, index, name, date, the works. I mean seriously, the man lumes his date disks. Who does that? You just can’t beat it. 

“Hello, Cleveland! We’re Western Crosshair, and we are ready to ROCK!” Nope. Not doing it for me. I think “Eastern Crosshair” is a concept album by that famed prog-rock band, Reticle.

Visitor Calligraph Linden Snowfall

Mike: Go build your fort, Captain Snowball. The Amaranth is a year-round classic that will always look good. But I'll be the bigger Time Bum here and concede the cool Snowfall has more versatility with straps and would make a cool winter day even cooler. And over at Amaranth HQ, we've long been jealous of the covert branding that Team Snowfall gets to enjoy. At least we know we're ahead of Team Larkspur and Team Midnight. I'm also noticing that the seconds' counterbalance is, in fact, a micro-iteration of the Visitor logo!

I have to agree on the hands: the lume is fantastic, but the minute hand extends well over the hour markers, like a GMT indicator, and as such, can get lost in a sea of white blobs. I'm still stuck on the date window, despite your praises. I feel having the reticle actually trace around the aperture (I can use fancy words, too) may have improved its integration. 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Amaranth lume

Case 

Mike: The case is every bit as elegant as the hands and fittingly echoes the rest of the Calligraph collection. I know Phil shies away from saying the watches are wholly inspired by pens—but there’s undeniable likeness to fountain pens and their nibs. While a far cry from the bulkiness of the Duneshore, the general shape remains, proposing a dressy alternative. As such, the Calligraph collection can be seen as a spectrum from Duneshore to Vale Park Officer to Linden, with this watch as the dressiest. 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Amaranth

Loren: Phil is innovative in all aspects of his watch designs, but his cases really stand out. The Linden is no exception. You can definitely see elements of the Duneshore and Vale Park Officer in the Linden, but it is a simpler, more streamlined shape than either. It is also sleeker (39 mm wide, 48.5mm long, and 10.5 mm thick). I love the multi-piece construction, the pronounced pinch in the lugs, and the wide polished chamfer that almost vanishes as it reaches the scallop at the broad, flat crown. 

Have I mentioned my crusade against oversized crowns? This one does it right: broad, easy to grip, but not particularly tall, so it doesn’t ruin the flow of the case. 

Mike: Pinch! That's just the word to describe these lugs. Pinched. But in a high society way. Aristocratic Pinching. 

Loren: “Aristocratic Pinching” is the first track on “Eastern Crosshair.” 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Snowfall

Movement 

Loren: It’s Miyota 9015 with a custom rotor. 28.8k bph, 24 jewels, smooth, reliable. 

Mike: We don't need to say much on the 9015; it's a workhorse we know well here at Time Bum HQ. 

Loren: True, but it is worth mentioning the custom rotor. It’s not unusual to etch a brand’s logo on there, but Visitor has done a particularly nice job on this one. Which, I suppose, brings us to the… 

Visitor Calligraph Linden case back

Case Back 

Mike: I'm a believer in "Less Is More" on case backs, so I want to applaud the lack of unnecessary specs on the Linden's screw-down, sapphire back. Just brand, model, and serial. And while I love the Visitor doorknocker logo (it's one of my favorites), I wish the Linden featured the heavy rotor of the Vale Park Officer, which has elicited my lust each time I've seen it. That said, the etched, gilt logo is still nice here, and the cutouts to match the dial markers are a great touch. 

Loren: I can’t hate on the rotor. The Vale Park sets a high bar, but this one is more than sufficiently pretty. 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Snowfall wrist

Straps 

Mike: The straps are the very best I have ever handled, possibly on any watch and certainly on a micro. They are undeniably high quality and balance suppleness with firmness, without sacrificing either. It’s rare that I don’t want to swap straps—you know this from my reviews—but the two included straps are simply perfect for the watch. So much so that attaching other straps seems a wasteful shame, like not starting your best seeker in the quidditch cup, or something less nerdy. The Fieldstone strap is what won my heart when I first saw the Amaranth at the District Time DC watch show, and it ranks among the most perfect pairings for a watch that I can think of, truly embodying Strap Nirvana. I’ve found that the use of curved spring bars wasn’t entirely necessary, though otherwise, it’s a tight fit, and it looks only serves to add continuity and fluidity to the entire package. 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Amaranth

Loren: Agreed. While I hesitate to say “best” for anything, I will say that they are mighty damn fine. I appreciate that the leather is not over-processed. There is no break-in required, and the surface has a natural, laid-back finish that can roll with most bumps and scratches and absorb them as character. It bodes well for the long run. The 20-16mm taper is a dressy, vintage touch. Of course, Phil leaves nothing under-designed, so a buckle sculpted to complement the case was given. The bazillion adjustment holes are also a nice touch for small-wristed fellows like me. 


Visitor Calligraph Linden Snowfall

I’m not generally crazy about curved spring bars, but they work here. They look more finished, and as you mentioned, they add one more interesting curve that complements the case. Like you, I haven’t tried it on any straps besides the ones Phil supplied. Three is more than enough: Black is suitably dressy, Caramel offers a warm, casual look, and the Marina Blue is bold and sporty. Fitting a non-Visitor strap to the Linden would be like Harry using Draco Malfoy’s wand. I mean, it would work just fine, but they might not share the same bond. (I see your nerdiness and raise you one Harry Potter reference.) 

Visitor Calligraph Linden Snowfall

Mike: I forgot to mention the sizing extravaganza that is all the different strap holes. I'd be fine wearing this on a summer day where the heat soars, and so does my wrist circumference – easy, precise adjustments. 

Packaging

Loren: To me, the least interesting part of any watch purchase is the box it comes in, but that does not stop me from being annoyed at thoughtless or wasteful packaging. Visitor gets it right, by shipping the watch in that clever, zippered nylon case that holds three watches on foam pillows. This is something I could actually see myself using when traveling. I'll award bonus points for the embossed leather logo inside the lid. 

Mike: I agree. It's quite a nice case and the outer box is customized too, which is not important but a pleasant touch.


Visitor Calligraph Linden Snowfall travel case kit

Conclusion 

Suffice to say, we dig this watch. With the Linden, Phil cooked up all the style of the Duneshore in a smaller, less ornate, yet irresistible package. If you are similarly smitten, you’re in luck! Unlike some of Visitor’s other models, the Linden is in stock and ready to ship for $580, including your strap of choice. Extra straps are $40-50 each. For more information, go to www.visitorwatchco.com. ⬩

Photos by Mike Razak and Loren Sciurba


Visitor Calligraph Linden Amaranth

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