ReviewUnleashing Raymond Weil’s Movement Freedom With The Freelancer RW1212 Skeleton
Offering a full view of their first in-house calibre, the new Raymond Weil Freelancer RW1212 Skeleton is a big step ahead for the brand that is among the few independently-run Swiss watch manufacturers that enjoy international success
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To understand a deep-rooted Swiss watchmaking ethos, you have to look deep into the legacy of an independent, family-owned watch manufacturer such as the Geneva-based enterprise, Raymond Weil. In this world of super domination by large corporations that own majority of marquee brands, Raymond Weil is still an exception.
Founded in 1976 by Raymond Weil, the company is now headed by Elie Bernheim, grandson of the eponymous founder of the brand. The family has spent nearly half a century creating beautiful timepieces for both men and women, driven by strong, independent family values and avant-garde Swiss watchmaking skills.
Slow and steady, is how one can describe Raymond Weil’s progress over the last 42 years. And today, after consolidating its position as a leading Swiss watch manufacturer, Raymond Weil is charting its own path with its development of in-house movements, using high-tech materials. Raymond Weil came up with their first in-house movement in 2017, progressing on a natural collaboration with Sellita, the well-known Swiss movement manufacturer.
This year, the maison goes a step further by launching a new and exclusive skeleton version of the Freelancer Calibre RW1212 among their 2018 novelties. This is certainly proof of Raymond Weil’s commitment towards pushing for more products with in-house movements.
Show And Tell
The new, stylish Freelancer RW1212 Skeleton is introduced in a bold and distinctive model featuring an open-worked dial, revealing most of the sophisticated movement with an intricate perlage finish. The distinctive characteristic remains the six o’clock positioning of its visible balance wheel on the face of the watch. The dial, however, has been opened further, exposing the manufacturing beauty and highlighting the richness of watchmaking expertise, while infusing it with its distinctive free-spirited attitude. The Freelancer RW1212 Skeleton is a two-hand model providing an undeterred display of the hours and minutes.
While working on the initial design of the calibre RW1212, the research and development team at Raymond Weil redesigned and pared down all the elements closely relating to the exquisite mechanism, so as to endow this exclusive in-house movement with even more depth and character. Framed by a 42mm steel case, the movement’s assembly and open-worked details are key to the final horological aesthetic of this timepiece.
The self-winding mechanical calibre RW1212 beats at a frequency of 28,800vph and provides a 38-hour power reserve. Adding to the see-through beauty, the brand name engraved on the oscillating winding weight has been skeletonised to increase the transparency of the timepiece.
A Handsome Look
The new Calibre RW1212 Skeleton is presented in three different executions, offering three very different personalities for this flagship product in the Freelancer family. The full black PVD-treated version with rose gold indexes and hands offers modernity and urban style, while the brown leather strap brings attitude and elegance to the rose gold and stainless steel two-tone model. Finally, the all-steel look featuring blue indexes and hands offers a more cosmopolitan feel. And with this, we look forward to what else Raymond Weil has up their sleeves with in-house calibres and further technical advancement in the field of watchmaking.