The Swiss watchmaking brand Rama Swiss Watch will soon start selling its new RSW La Neuveville collection of automatic timekeepers. Although powered by a relatively simple self-winding movement, the watch -even the version in PVD gold (a treatment that I usually don’t normally like, to put it mildly)- doesn’t really look cheap. In fact, if you are not burdened with prejudices, you can easily wear one with a good business suit.
According to the officially disseminated info, its polished case is currently available both in stainless steel and in a trifle dressier PVD-coated “yellow gold” finish.
The body has a certain sporty quality about it, mainly thanks to its bigger size (the watch measures 42 millimeters in diameter and is just over 9 millimeters thick) and a patented “crank crown” winding machine, which is placed at 4 o’clock. The “crank crown” is, by the way, one of those signature components that RSW seems to be particularly proud of: to wind the mechanism, you first have to unscrew the crown and then use it the same way as you would use a crank starter on a 1930s car. I am not sure how much strain it puts on the ETA 2824-2’s winding system, but it surely looks unusual, if not cool.
The solution is also highly comfortable, since the part won’t bite you into the back of your hand in the time when you least expect it.
Although the watch is not terribly expensive (RSW plans to retail it for some CHF 895 / EUR 740 / USD 990,) it features a very nicely executed silver-toned or black dial that features a classy sunburst pattern, as well as 11 applied hour markers and a “12” Roman numeral that somehow resembles timekeepers from Jaeger-LeCoultre (or, taking into consideration its price range, something closer to current Tissot Tradition model line-up.)
Only the small date aperture at 3 o’clock gives you the idea of how small is the movement that powers the La Neuveville. As you have probably already guessed, the timepiece is animated by a standard-issue ETA 2824-2 automatic caliber (it also powers the new Tissot Le Locle Automatic Chronometer Edition in PVD Rose Gold) that measures around 34 millimeters in diameter.
While certain snobs may turn the caliber down as a dirt-cheap mass-produced job, I must say that the movement is not only cheap, but is also quite reliable and easy to maintain in working order, since just about any experienced repairman can take this movement apart and then reassemble it even with his eyes closed.
The watch, which marks the 700th anniversary of a small town of La Neuveville where RSW keeps its production facilities, will be officially presented this month during the Baselworld 2012 trade fair.
RSW La Neuveville Automatic (Ref. 7345) watch specification
Price: $990 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber ETA 2824-2, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25 jewels
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Stainless steel / PVD yellow gold-plated steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 42.00 mm
Case height: 9.15 mm
Lug width: No data
Dial: Sunburst grey, black or white
Numerals: Arabic, applied, silver- or gold-toned
Hour markers: Applied, silver- or gold-toned
Hands: Dauphine-shaped, silver- or gold-toned
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black or brown leather strap with matching buckle matching case
Case back: Sapphire