In 2017, Raymond Weil introduced Caliber RW1212, the family-owned Swiss brand’s first in-house-developed movement, inside a classical two-handed watch in its flagship Freelancer collection. Just one year later comes the next evolution of that movement in the Raymond Weil Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Skeleton, a new, openworked timepiece unveiled at Baselworld 2018.
Like its predecessor (which I reviewed here), the watch has a 42-mm round case and is equipped with Calibre RW1212, named for the postal code (1212) of Raymond Weil’s headquarters in the Geneva suburb of Grand-Lancy, the fruits of an 18-month collaboration between Raymond Weil’s R&D department and the designers at Swiss movement specialists Sellita. Its most notable and eye-catching feature is its dial-side regulating organ, whose balance-and-spring construction, positioned above the mainplate and held by two bridges, dominates the vista at 6 o’clock. In this version, however, the dial has been openworked and the movement pared down to offer an unobstructed view of not only that telltale front-mounted balance but much of the rest of the mechanism as well.
This latest iteration of Raymond Weil’s exclusive self-winding movement powers a no-frills hour-and-minute time display on two barrel-shaped hands, beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph, and carries a power reserve of 38 hours. The oscillating weight has been skeletonized to add additional interest to the rear side of the movement, which is on display through a sapphire caseback. Raymond Weil is offering three versions of the Freelancer RW1212 Skeleton. One is in stainless steel with black PVD coating, black galvanic dial, and rose-gold PVD on the hands and indices, on a black calf leather strap. Another combines a stainless steel case with a rose-gold-PVD-coated bezel, crown, hands, and indices, on a brown calf leather strap, while a third “all steel” option matches a steel case and bracelet with blued steel hands and indices. All are retail priced at $2,595.