The ‘Ragnarok’ by Tidemann Watches might be the first ever haute horlogerie release with its own heavy metal theme song…Thor Svaboe
What does ‘Ragnarok’ mean? In a word: Armageddon. A dramatic name for one of Nordic origins (me), and a dramatic set of preconceptions for a debut in Nordic Haute Horlogerie via Glashütte. Elbow nudging greetings are exchanged with Tom André Tidemann, and we go for a walk in the crisp air of Scandinavian autumn. The Oslo-based international watch dealer, with a strong portfolio of aces from Cyrus, Czapek Geneve and Parmigiani Fleurier, is clearly excited to be on the brink of a major release. A long personal voyage is culminating in the first watch from Tidemann Luxury Watches, the Ragnarok by Tidemann, an intriguing mix of Heavy Metal and Haute Horlogerie.
You wouldn’t think so, but the dapper Tidemann — short navy trench coat and the haircut of a financial consultant — is deeply into the darker side of rock, playing guitar from a young age and forming close friendships with luminaries on the scene like Matt Heafy, lead singer and guitarist from popular Orlando-based metal band Trivium. As for his wristgame, he’s double-wristing of course. How does this mix with business meetings at Baselworld and SIHH, a personal relationship with Walter Lange, and translate into an intricate Glashütte caliber within a fierce black DLC design evoking Armageddon?
The Ragnarok is the start of Tidemann as a producer of own-brand watches, with a fiery spirit and infused with the delicacy of German craftsmanship and a love for large balances. The project is as secretive as it is brash, with a 41mm black DLC case (well, what else?), a dramatic openworked dial and precious metals on show. This will be a series of nine pieces – two of which might already have been spoken for, and intrinsically linked with the dark melodic music of Trivium, Scandinavian Mythology and pure vision that has been many years in the making. What immediately strikes you is the inverted movement, based on the Grossmann caliber 107.0, heavily modified through a network of confidential partners in Glashütte.
The eye is drawn to the classical beauty of the engraved balance bridge at 10, with its large balance wheel. The 18k gold bevelled and hand-engraved bridge is inspired by the Midgard Serpent, one of the most prominent creatures in Mythology, and is intriguingly juxtaposed with the dark case and flashes of red details. During our conversation, we discover a mutual love for the hypnotic movement of a large balance wheel, which in the Ragnarok almost takes a magnificent quarter of the dial space, underlining the depth of the openworked caliber.
There is a wide black chapter ring with Tidemann’s ominous crown logo at 12, and once again we see what contrasting materiality does to catch the eye. The full working day involved in crafting and heat treating the slender feuille hands echoes the traditional influence of the balance cock, in charming contrast to the devilish red of the seconds hand and the numerals of the small seconds register.
Yes, the only fitting strap for the watch is a black crocodile with a sharp red stitch, seemingly tracing a mythological hellfire. Yes, the mind does wander when you enter the mindset of the creator. But while the imagination might be dark, the clash of the gods – perhaps envisioned in the heavenly gold vs the red-tinged black — is refreshing. Refreshing as a very different perspective on what in essence is classic beauty from what usually is a sincere lack of drama within the maison walls of Glashütte. But no one knows what the old master craftsmen listen to on their headphones while assembling a Tourbillon …
Pricing and availability
The Ragnarok by Tidemann will be available from Tidemann Luxury Watches for $31,999 ex. taxes.