Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M
Raymond Weil has always demonstrated an egalitarian approach to watch ownership. Indeed, the brand has repeatedly shown that luxury watches don’t have to be prohibitively expensive. In this instance, the Genevan firm upholds this reputation, offering an affordable diver’s watch imbued with an array of qualities.
This detailed review of the Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M includes live images, specification details and pricing.
I often gravitate to luxury goods. The notion of no-compromise construction, exalted levels of craftsmanship and peerless design provides an intoxicating cocktail I find hard to resist. However, luxury by its definition is aloof, often conversing only with those individuals bearing a platinum card and attired in designer clothes.
Raymond Weil, the Genevan luxury marque, exhibits a friendlier face. It has always demonstrated inclusive, egalitarian traits. While its products are infused with quality, they remain affordable and accessible to those lacking an oligarch’s bank balance. The Swiss firm does not purport to be an exemplar of haute horlogerie, however, it repeatedly delivers a competitive blend of value and virtue.
Recently, I had the opportunity to appraise the Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M at close quarters and assume the role of a would-be buyer.
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M is offered in three dial variants, black, silver and blue. In addition, the watch can be specified with a rubber strap or a robust, stainless steel bracelet. My press loan came supplied with a blue dial and a 5-rows bracelet.
The dial surface features a very subtle sunray motif. The indexes are applied and incorporate a liberal application of Super-Luminova.
Raymond Weil has endowed this watch with prominent barrel-shaped hands, suffused with luminescent fill. The curvaceously styled hands sit harmoniously against the indexes and share a similar design. More pertinently, the hands articulate the prevailing time with extraordinary clarity. There is no risk of misreading the indications, everything is crystal clear.
Crisp white strokes are positioned between each index. The markings denote ¼ second and one-second intervals. Owing to the lack of a chronograph function, I don’t think the ¼ second integers add much to the specification and the chapter ring would probably look much cleaner with just one-second markings. Nevertheless, I did find the one-second markings useful.
The central sweep seconds hand is fitted with a lollipop, augmenting ease of read-off. A large aperture at 4 o’clock frames a 3-date display and proves an eye-catching feature.
Measuring 42.5mm, the Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M does not overwhelm the wrist. Indeed, I found the scale of the watch accorded a comfortable fit and the dial was sufficiently large to be decipherable.
The case is made of stainless steel, while the unidirectional bezel is blue ceramic. Consistent with the diver’s watch genre, the watch incorporates a count-up bezel with a 0-60 scale. The purpose of the scale is to provide an indication of the time spent underwater. The markings for the first 15 minutes show one-minute intervals, allowing the wearer to time decompression stops when ascending to the surface. Should the unidirectional bezel be disturbed, the indicated dive time shown will be less than the actual time spent underwater.
Raymond Weil has upheld diver’s watch tradition, equipping the Freelancer Diver 300M with a solid caseback. The watch is fitted with a screw-down crown, incorporating a fluted grip and the brand’s monogram on its vertical flank.
Despite its utilitarian remit, the Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M is very attractive. Moreover, it incorporates some very stylish design elements. Highly polished surfaces abound and the lugs feature inclined facets adjacent the bracelet.
The bracelet exhibits a hewn from granite solidity. Furthermore, whilst appraising each element of the bracelet I noted that everything was supremely smooth and observed that each link articulates with impressive ergonomic efficiency. The folding clasp is beautifully engineered and the double push-security system provides peace of mind.
Raymond Weil has equipped this model with the self-winding Calibre RW4000. The movement has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and contains 25 jewels while the power reserve is capable of delivering 38 hours of autonomous operation.
No assessment was made of the movement finishing owing to the solid caseback.
Like many horophiles, I seldom explore the ocean bed with a watch affixed to my wrist. Nevertheless, I remain drawn to divers’ watches as they are incredibly practical. Invariably they deliver peerless readability and robustness, two traits which are equally applicable on terra firma. The Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M fulfils these requirements with aplomb.
The Genevan company has shown that practicality does not necessitate unattractive, utilitarianism. In my opinion, this timepiece possesses a handsome mien. However, the pièce de résistance of the Freelancer Diver 300M is the value for money it provides. While I concede there is unlikely to be any black polishing on the movement, hand-drawn bevels or a variable-inertia balance, this timepiece still delivers an impressive array of qualities.
I frequently look at watches with four, five and even six figure price tags and have now become attuned to assessing the virtue of a watch with due consideration to financial outlay. The Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M is a gem, upholding the Maison’s reputation for delivering impressive value. Go on, dive in, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
- Model: Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver 300M
- Reference: 2760-ST3-50001
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42.5mm; height 11.8mm; water resistance 30 ATM (300 metres)
- Functions: Hours; minutes, central sweep seconds; 3-day date
- Movement: Calibre RW4000; automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve = 38 hours
- Strap: 5-rows stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp and double push-security system
- Price – £1695 (RRP until 6.6.2019)