Raymond Weil Freelancer Half Moon Opening Date Window
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Half Moon Opening Date Window features a stylish means of displaying the date and is rich with detail. Angus Davies looks closely at this handsome son of Geneva and reveals that luxury is not solely the preserve of oligarchs and press barons.
When selecting a replacement car, my procurement method is a prolonged process. After reading reviews on the internet, I tour the dealerships in my area, armed with an array of facts and figures.
Once I am stood in the sterile, operating-theatre environment of a prestigious car showroom, I gravitate to my preferred model. The appraisal process commences. I alter the driver’s seat, exploring the range of available adjustments on offer. Thereafter, I endeavour to squeeze my 6′ 3” frame into the rear of the car, keen to establish if there is sufficient room to accommodate my outsized kin.
I have an obsession with load covers on estate cars, feeling a need to ascertain ease of operation and whether they exude post-apocalyptic robustness.The boot has to be cavernous albeit I will seldom use it. I repeatedly press the switches in order to ascertain whether they possess a reassuring dampened action. Lastly, I always feel an urge to lift the bonnet despite having no mechanical expertise whatsoever. Quite simply, there is no substitute for an extensive, in-depth appraisal of a product.
In the world of luxury watches, excellence is often a function of price, albeit this is not always the case. There are some wonderful timepieces offered for £1500 – £2000. I concede this is still a significant sum for most people, however, when contrasted with some of the six-figure haute horlogerie creations I often write about, they are relatively accessible.
There are several brands which offer some incredible watches in the sub-£2K category, including Frederique Constant, Maurice Lacroix, Nomos Glashütte, Oris and Raymond Weil (names in alphabetical order i.e. not ranking). This sector of the market is fiercely competitive. Similar to my aforementioned automotive appraisal method, watches come under the same scrutiny, in fact, even more so.
All of the aforementioned brands make some outstanding watches which resonate with me, both for their aesthetic qualities and technical attributes. Likewise, some references do not appeal to me and therefore I choose to set them aside. Indeed, I am unable to feign excitement about a quartz watch, I only love watches equipped with an escapement.
I have previously worn a couple of Raymond Weil’s Freelancer chronographs and have found they have possessed highly legible dials, impressively executed cases and honest Swiss movements.
Recently, I saw an image on the web of the Raymond Weil Freelancer Half Moon Opening Date Window and, duly armed with an array of facts and figures, ventured to Raymond Weil’s UK HQ to take a closer look.
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Half Moon Opening Date Window is offered in two versions, a blue dial option, with a 5-row stainless steel bracelet, and a black dial model, with a bi-colour case and bracelet. Personally, I prefer the model with the blue dial as it evinces a more youthful appearance, hence, this is the focus of my review.
The hour and minutes are conveyed with luminescent barrel-shaped hands. These converse with applied silver-toned indexes which again feature a tasteful hint of Super-LumiNova and rest upon a track embellished with a sunray-motif.
A minuterie is positioned on the flange. The blunt tip of the minute hand often straddles two markings simultaneously which is not ideal. Nevertheless, this is a minor criticism and does little to diminish my admiration for the watch.
At the centre of the dial is a sea of blue Clous de Paris which provides a gorgeous horological vista. Its pyramidal structures induce wonderful pockets of light and shade. Moreover, the play with different depths further heightens the dial’s appeal.
A small seconds display is located above 6 o’clock, albeit it pales in comparison with the ‘Half Moon Opening Date Window’. This latter indication is the headline act and surpasses the ubiquitous date aperture at 3 o’clock, proclaiming the date with a flourish of flamboyance. Two isosceles triangles take turns to indicate the prevailing date, the values ‘1-16’ are shown on an inner track, while the remaining dates are displayed above. Although the date indication exhibits extraordinary style, it remains eminently legible.
Housed within a 42mm stainless steel case, the Raymond Weil Freelancer Half Moon Opening Date Window accords much wrist presence. The bezel and the upper surface of the lugs are highly polished, while the caseband is presented in a satin finish.
The lugs incorporate sweeping angles adjacent the bracelet, eclipsing the mere functional and demonstrating an impressive attention to detail. The crown is large without being bothersome and features the brand’s logo on its vertical flank.
I especially like the gleaming slither of polished steel gracing the side of the caseback. This small soupçon of brightwork sits in contrast to the muted facade of the caseband. These may sound inconsequential characteristics but they enrich the ownership experience and impart a sense of quality.
The stainless steel bracelet is comprised of five rows. The two outer rows are comparatively broad and presented in a satin finish, while the three inner rows are narrower and exhibit a becoming sheen. Again, Raymond Weil has infused this model with a palpable dose of quality. The bracelet is wonderfully refined, readily flexing around the wrist. A Raymond Weil branded clasp further heightens the overall sense of worth.
To the rear of the watch, a pane of sapphire crystal affords sight of the RW4250 calibre. This Swiss, self-winding movement contains 31 jewels and will run autonomously for 38 hours.
There is a distinct absence of embellishment, however, considering the modest asking price of £1595 (RRP as at 24.8.2019), this is only to be expected.
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Half Moon Opening Date Window is applicable to a broad audience courtesy of its accessible pricing. However, as I hope I have conveyed, it is rich with aesthetic and tactile delights. In particular, I adore the innovative date indication and think the Clous de Paris dial decoration is incredibly refined.
Eager to serve the needs of my readers, I have prodded and stroked every facet of the Raymond Weil Freelancer Half Moon Opening Date Window and scrutinised its dial at close quarters for prolonged periods. Indeed, metaphorically speaking, I have reclined the seats and lifted the bonnet. After completing a thorough assessment, I conclude this is a splendid watch that deserves your attention.
- Model: Raymond Weil Freelancer Half Moon Opening Date Window
- Reference: 2738-ST-50001
- Case: Stainless steel; diameter 42mm; height 10.7mm; sapphire crystal to the front and sapphire caseback
- Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; date
- Movement: Calibre RW4250; automatic movement; 31 jewels; power reserve 38 hours
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with RW folding clasp and double push-security system
- Price: £1595 (RRP as at 24.8.2019)