Review: A delightfully peculiar Visitor
Since the launch of the brand in 2014, Visitor Watch Co. has not been bashful about promoting a bold and unexpected vision for their timepieces. While I was heavily into vintage American watches at the time, I remember stumbling across the bizarre and exciting Duneshore. It was really my introduction to the world of microbrands – (as evident from the website you find yourself currently browsing, this had quite an impact on me). One important lesson I took away from the Duneshore: If you see a microbrand release you like, you’d better be quick. Alas, it seemed every time I made up my mind to make the purchase, the watch was out of stock.
Visitor’s Calligraph Linden is the third release from the U.S.-based company, carrying over the interesting design elements from its Duneshore and Vale Park Officer releases with a smaller 39mm case. The Linden has some of the same other-worldly design elements.
The Linden case is one of the stand-out features in a timepiece packed with stand-out elements. There’s not a straight line to be found, as the case elegantly swoops into the thin and long lugs. A steep polished chamfer separates the dressy bezel from the satin brushed midcase. Contrasting finishing seems to be an element that some of the more thoughtful brands have focused on in recent years, and the Linden is certainly a thinking person’s design. It’s a fluid case shape that almost looks as if it could have been poured onto your arm.
At just 10.5 mm thick, the Linden easily slides under a shirt cuff and could be classified as a casual dress watch. The caseback is simply designed, with a display back to exhibit the MIyota 9015 with custom rotor bearing the curious-but-apt alien-esque Visitor logo.
If the case shape is unconventional, the dial design is downright revolutionary. The high gloss blue finish of this model is meant to invoke wet ink to tie-in with the pen nib style hands. Large and unusually shaped polished applied markers stand out from sandwich style cut indices. From a design standpoint, there’s simply nothing comparable on the market. I honestly can’t think of a single familiar shape or style found here. It is an absolute original.
Originality is not necessarily better when it comes to watches. There are some tried and true design features that simply work from watch to watch. And some watch enthusiasts may be quite turned off by such an unconventional design. Everything on the Linden is tastefully done but wildly unique – and that’s an amazing feat.
• Diameter: 39mm
• Thickness: 10.5mm
• Lug-to-lug: 48.5mm
• Lug width: 20mm
• Case material: 316L stainless steel
• Crystal: Sapphire with underside AR
• Movement: Miyota 9015
• Water resistance: 50M
• Dial: “Sandwich” with applied markers
• Lume: BGW9 hours, minutes, date
At the risk of penning an overly flowery review, I have to admit I’m smitten with this watch and it confirms my initial yearning for the Duneshore. I try to find a weakness when I review watches, looking for some detail maybe I’d like better. I’m hard-pressed to find something here even though some of the design choices fall outside of my normal preferences. It is a delightfully bizarre viewing experience that somehow reminds me of alien science fiction. Maybe that’s the suggestion of the word “visitor” working on my active imagination, but this certainly feels like a watch that was designed by a more advanced lifeform. I will say that not everyone will love a watch with this sort of unconventional design.
But if you do take a liking to this design, my advice would be to act quickly. I certainly wish I would have followed my instincts back when the Duneshore was released. I know I won’t be making that mistake by ignoring this particular visitor.
Learn more about Visitor Watch Co. at the website.