It looks like with the upcoming Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Chronograph (ref. 7737-PC5-00659) the Swiss brand is going to add yet another ETA 7750-powered watch to the thousands of other ETA 7750-powered watches already available on the market.
The new Maestro Automatic Chronograph is going to be officially presented to the general public in March 2011 during the upcoming Baselworld 2011 fair.
As you can see on the photo below, the timepiece will feature a vintage style design, which is emphasized with large Roman numerals, guilloche dial and a pair of Breguet-type hour and minute hands.
The dial layout is more or less standard.
There is a small date aperture at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour chronograph counter at 6 o’clock, a subsidiary seconds display at 9 o’clock and, finally, a 30-minute chronograph totalizer at 12 o’clock.
The day of week window is for some reason omitted.
The chronograph is operated with usual pair of push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock. Nothing to see here, move along.
The timekeeper’s case is remarkable thanks to its unusual bezel that –again, judging by the photos– has its concave profile “flowing” into a convex curvature: a solution highly unusual for the niche were everyone seems to put the same standard issue movements into the same standard issue cases produced in hundreds of thousands and sold in bulk.
Unfortunately, the case is not crafted from solid rose gold, but is made of ordinary stainless steel with 18-karat rose gold PVD-finish.
Well, that’s the maximum that you can expect in this price range. The Swiss watchmaker plans to sell the Maestro Automatic Chronograph at a recommended street price of €2100, which is actually not that bad.
You see, I don’t want to give the wrong impression in this brief review. While I do find this timekeeper visually uninteresting to a point of being generic, I must admit that from the point of view of hardware that this device packs inside its mildly oversized case it actually offers quite good value for money (especially after a fifty percent discount that, as I can see, some online retailers already offer this watch at.) I mean, in this price range, there are dozens of similarly styled timekeepers that are powered by nothing more impressive than a base Swiss Made three-hander with an extra add-on module that turns it into a chronograph. Here, you get yourself a real chronograph movement that is known for its outstanding reliability and good keeping of time. If the uninspiring exterior of this piece is not a problem for you, this ref. 7737-PC5-00659 may actually be a good choice.
Photos: Raymond Weil
Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Chronograph (ref. 7737-PC5-00659) specification
Price: $2900 USD (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber RW500 (base movement ETA Valjoux 7750,) 25 jewels, 28,800 vph, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Stainless steel with 18-karat rose gold PVD finish
Size: 41.50 mm
Case height: 12.80 mm
Dial: Silver Guilloche
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Leather with branded pin buckle in steel or PVD-treated steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective