Raymond Weil is soon going to start selling its Freelancer Pink Gold Date Chronograph (ref. 17740-G-20001). Taking into account the expected price of around $12,000, I have a feeling that people at RW significantly overestimate financial means of an average freelancer. Well, perhaps they have in mind a different type of an independent contractor on their mind, if you know what I mean, that is.
Giving guys at Raymond Weil their due, I must admit that the price is well justified. While not sporting fancy “high-tech” materials like Nomex or some kind of scratch-proof ceramic, this watch is made of good old 18-karat rose gold, and gold is only getting more expensive these days.
Just like all (or at least most of) chronographs in their Freelancer line, the new model features the same familiar tri-compax dial layout that is mildly spiced with a curved arc date-window at 3 o’clock and a rectangular day of week window on the left of it.
It also features a distinctive golden ring around the small-seconds indicator at 9 o’clock that, too, came here directly from the other members of the family.
It is also one of the most controversial parts of the design. While looking completely in place on less expensive stainless steel versions, here it looks somewhat cheap, like those Ford control buttons that you can see inside a Jaguar.
However, the standard yellow-painted central second, as well as the hands on the hour and minute counters that are now made of gold (or at least, are gold-plated: Raymond Weil is a bit vague on this one), look really good here (although slightly decreasing the Freelancer’s readability but making it look a lot more expensive.)
And, yes, I love when pink gold is combined with black dial and dark brown leather strap, especially when the strap is a real thing crafted from good full-skin alligator leather.
Oh, and about the movement. Raymond Weil doesn’t state it in its press release, but Freelancer is powered by the ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement, which is famous for its reliability, robustness, and accuracy.
It is somewhat of a disappointment to know that the movement comes without any serious decoration besides a pretty basic circular graining on its stainless steel (!) oscillating weight. I mean, the mechanism is great, it is one of the best mass-produced natural-born chronograph calibers that you can get in this price range, but, when you get a watch as deliberately dressy as this one, cutting corners on movement finish is just not the best way to go.
Photo: Raymond Weil
Raymond Weil Freelancer Pink Gold Date Chronograph specification
Movement: Automatic, caliber ETA Valjoux 7750, Swiss Made
Cadence of balance: 28,800 vph
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, day of the week, chronograph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case: Rose gold
Size: 42.00 mm
Hour markers: Applied, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Dark brown leather, RW folding clasp with double push-piece security, pink gold-colored PVD coating
Crystal: Sapphire, double anti-reflective coating