Raymond Weil Freelancer RW1212 Green Hands-on Review

by Chamath Gamage
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Earlier in February this year, Raymond Weil unveiled the latest edition in their Freelancer collection. The Freelancer Calibre RW1212 is now available in a green version. Raymond Weil has previously released the Freelancer Calibre RW1212 in different colour variants, which include; blue dial, black dial, rose-gold edition and a black dial with rose gold indices and hands. 

So what makes the Freelancer Calibre RW1212 model unique to Raymond Weil? It all comes down to the movement used to create this timepiece. Before the Freelancer Calibre RW1212 came along, Raymond Weil used all outsourced movements in their watches. That was until back in 2017, when Raymond Weil created an exclusive in-house movement in collaboration with Sellita. Sellita, as many may know, is the Swiss movement manufacturer that makes movements for brands around the world. 

The development team at Raymond Weil worked together with the designers at Sellita for a period of roughly 18-months, to come up with Raymond Weil’s first in-house movement. Although not entirely in-house, it is still quite a feat for one of the few remaining watch companies that are still family-owned since their establishment. 

To mark this momentous occasion for the brand, with the movement being a testament to over 40 years of beautiful Swiss watch-making traditions and expertise, Raymond Weil decided to name the calibre after the brand’s Swiss origins. The 1212 in the movement’s name refers back to the postal code of Raymond Weil’s global headquarters, Grand-Lancy. 

Reference : 2780 STC 52001

The Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Green (ref. 2780 STC 52001) comes in a polished and satin stainless steel 42mm case. It has a simple display only showing the hours and minutes, with no constant second hand or date window. The screw-down polished stainless steel crown is fluted and features the RW monogram. The hands and barrel-shaped hour indexes are made from steel-type, which works well as they match the polished casing. 

Crown : Screwed-down, with RW logo
Polished and satinated stainless steel

The main feature of this watch is of-course the green dial and the open-heart at 6 o’clock. The green used for the dial is a dark tone galvanic green. The dial has two different textures as well. Firstly we have the “outer ring” which encapsulates the hour indexes. This ring feels like it has a sunburst effect, showcasing different tones of the galvanic green on different lighting conditions. The “inner ring” is designed to have a ‘Clous de Paris’ feature, which certainly helps to add to the aesthetic value of the timepiece. 

Reference : 2780 STC 52001

While the galvanic green dial is beautiful to look at, what your eye will always be drawn to is the open balance wheel shown at 6 o’clock position. When looking from a distance, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was a tourbillon that is shown instead. Other brands have gone down the open heart route as well, such as; Frederique Constant’s Automatic Heart Beat and Zenith’s Chronomaster El Primero timepiece to new a few. 

‘Clous de Paris’
visible balance wheel

The Raymond Weil – Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Green differs from these models slightly; however, as the balance wheel is more easily visible without too many intrusions. The balance wheel and pulsating hairspring are held together by two bridges, which have been screwed down onto the dial. 

Reference : 2780 STC 52001

The self-winding Calibre RW1212 movement beats at 28,800 vph and produces a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. An interesting note is that when the Calibre RW1212 was designed, Raymond Weil had to place it into a watch that would give it the best value. The popular Freelancer model was deemed the best fit, and rightly so as the lack of chronograph or other features let the dial and the open aperture take centre stage. 

Caseback

The Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Green comes with an open case back as well, although much of the movement is covered up. What is shown, however, has been beautifully enhanced by detail. The rotor has been decorated with Geneva stripes and features the “Raymond Weil Geneve” logo. The plates under the rotor along with the bridges have a Perlée finishing. 

Caseback RW1212 movement

How does it wear?

So how does the Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Green sit on the wrist? On a 6.5inch wrist, the 42mm case sits comfortably, The lugs does stick-out slightly and for a wrist size bigger than 6.5inches, would be a perfect fit. The Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Green also has a thickness of 10.6mm which is quite thin, ideally making this timepiece great for office-wear, as it can quite easily sit under a long sleeve shirt.

6.5 inch wrist

The watch comes available with two strap options; a stainless steel bracelet or a green synthetic fabric with RW folding clasp.

Green textile strap
RW stainless steel folding clasp with double push-security system

The Stainless steel bracelet is excellent for everyday wear, from the office to social events. It does allow a lot of versatility and dress options, being able to match nicely with formal wear down to more casual outfits. 

6.5inch wrist

The green synthetic fabric, however, is what makes the watch truly stand out. The synthetic fabric is not as versatile as the steel bracelet option, as you would want to avoid getting the strap wet, along with weather conditions playing a factor on the wear and tear of the strap. All of this aside, however, the green synthetic makes the Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Green more aesthetically pleasing. The synthetic textiles on the fabric quite neatly match the ‘Clous de Paris’ pattern in the centre of the dial too. While probably not suited for everyday wear, the use of the green synthetic strap does allow the wearer a more comfortable fit. Like the steel bracelet option, the green synthetic fibre can be matched quite nicely with formal jackets or dress shirts as shown in the photos, along with wearing it for more casual wear. 

6.5inch wrist

The Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Green is Raymond Weil’s first in-house movement watch, which will hopefully inspire the brand to produce more simple yet beautiful timepieces with the brand’s own movements. It’s understandable that it took them so long to produce an in-house movement. The price of the watch has to be reasonable so as to not price themselves out of the market. With R&D and other associated costs, it has to be worthwhile producing an in-house movement that is competitive in pricing. With the Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Green being priced at $3,150.00 AUD, I think they have done well, especially all the while showcasing just the right amount of the movement alongside the beautiful galvanic green dial. 

6.5inch wrist

Raymond Weil Freelancer RW1212 Green Specification:

Model Reference:2780 STC 52001
Case Diameter: 42mm
Dial: Galvanic green and large opening at 6 o’clock
Case: Stainless Steel
Functions:  Hour and minutes
Movement: RW1212
Power Reserve: Min. 38 hours
Water Resistance: 10 ATM / 100 meters

Australian Retail Pricing: $3,150.00

Availability: Available now

Local Authorised dealers :

  • Brisbane – Wallace Bishop
  • Melbourne – Salera, Swiss Emporium and Monards,
  • Sydney – Gregory Jewellers and Wamada Jewellery
  • Perth – Mazzucchelli’s
Reference : 2780 STC 52001
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