Raymond Weil’s Freelancer collection has been this Geneva watchmaker’s home for its classically styled watches for several years. Stocked with moderately sized automatic three-hand and chronographs models, Freelancer lately has been updated with Raymond Weil’s many homages to musical legends, including its limited-edition odes to David Bowie, Gibson and AC-DC. The firm’s Maestro collection now also includes a selection of musical homages.
But more recently Raymond Weil has also placed its Caliber RW1212 within the Freelancer collection. As the company’s first in-house automatic movement collaboration (with movement maker Sellita), Caliber RW1212 debuted in 2017 alongside much fanfare from the brand.
This year Raymond Weil skeletonizes Caliber RW1212. With a perlage finish, the new open-work 42mm Freelancer RW1212 Skeleton, a Baselworld 2018 debut, exposes its balance wheel at 6 o'clock once again, but opens much more of the dial to expose most of the caliber below.
For the first RW1212, which opened just a view of the movement’s balance, Raymond Weil and Sellita spent eighteen months finalizing their design. The elements surrounding the balance assembly were redesigned, pared down and effectively inverted and brought closer to the plane of the dial. This means the balance isn’t simply visible at its usual location deep within the caliber, but closer to the dial where it can be more openly admired.
As with the original model, the new 42mm Raymond Weil Caliber RW 1212 Skeleton (the 1212 refers to the postal code for RW’s HQ in Switzerland) offers a power reserve of 38 hours, rated to a respectable 100 meters of water resistance. Three different executions will be made: A full black PVD-plated version with rose gold indexes and hands, a rose gold and stainless steel two-tone model with brown leather strap, and an all-steel model with blue indexes and hands. Prices start at $2,350.
Another entry to the Raymond Weil Freelancer collection is a new chronograph range. Recognizing the trend for more moderated sizes, the 42.5 mm case is comfortable to wear and exceptionally well finished for such an affordable watch.
Where previous Freelancer chronographs place the tachymeter directly on the bezel, this new model moves it inside a slightly dressier engine-turned bezel.
Powered by an ETA Valjoux 7750-based automatic RW 5200 caliber with a 46-hour power reserve, this Freelancer is available in several style variations featuring a silver-toned or black dial teamed with a steel case and bracelet or a leather strap.
Each variation—with either black or silver dial– features the previously mentioned machined bezel. Price: $2,495 and $2,595 (steel bracelet).