As anyone following the brand has noticed, Raymond Weil has for the past several years partnered with iconic musicians and their estates to release a slew of special timepieces devoted to trailblazers such as the Beatles, David Bowie, Buddy Holly, and Les Paul. Behind the scenes, however, the company’s R&D department has also pursued another goal: the development of Raymond Weil’s first in-house designed, exclusive movement, which makes its debut in the new Freelancer Calibre RW1212.
Deriving its alphanumeric moniker from the postal code (1212) of Raymond Weil’s headquarters in the Geneva suburb of Grand-Lancy, Caliber RW1212 is the result of an 18-month collaboration between the 40-year-old brand’s R&D department and the designers at Sellita, the large movement manufacturer based in the Swiss Jura Mountains. The movement, which is self-winding and holds a 38-hour power reserve, is distinguished by the dial-side positioning of its regulating organ, whose balance-and-spring construction — positioned above the mainplate and held by two bridges — peeks out from an aperture at 6 o’clock on the watch’s partially openworked dial. The visual effect is akin to that of a tourbillon. All the elements relating to the regulating system, including the diamond-polished balance wheel and skeletonized bridges, were redesigned and pared down to aid in visibility.
The new Freelancer has a round, stainless steel case, 42.5 mm in diameter and 10.6 mm thick, with a sapphire crystal with dual-sided antiglare treatment protecting the dial. The screwed crown is fluted and engraved with a Raymond Weil “RW” monogram. Atop the black galvanic dial with guilloché center, and providing visual balance to the large 6 o’clock aperture, two barrel-shaped hands coated with white Super-LumiNova indicate the time on applied indices. A screw-down caseback features a sapphire window offering a view at the movement’s rear side, including its rotor, adorned with côtes de Genève and a Raymond Weil logo.
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Calibre RW1212 is offered in either a black (pictured) or silver-toned dial, with either a stainless steel bracelet or leather strap; the bracelet has a clasp with double-push-button security system. Two-tone versions are also available on both bracelet and strap. Prices start at $1,850.