The Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph in titanium and turquoise
An all-titanium sports watch in a cool palette.
A brand that is well-known within the entry-level luxury watch segment, Raymond Weil is also one of the largest Swiss watchmakers, producing an estimated 200,000 pieces per year. Founded in 1976 – amid the quartz crisis – by its eponymous founder, the brand managed to thrive, and today it remains under the stewardship of the original family, now in its third generation.
The brand has always had a penchant for adding a bit of spice from the music industry, working with musicians as collaborators, and producing watches with a distinct musical touch. Now, it has just unveiled another music-related timepiece: the Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph.
As the watchmaker welcomes its latest partnership with saxophonist Sandy Sax and pianist Victor Le Douarec, Raymond Weil seeks to create a special edition wristwatch with colours that convey the excitement of life’s musical performances. And the result doesn’t disappoint – the Freelancer Pop features a delightful interplay of turquoise and grey, complemented by an abundance of thoughtful details on the dial, adding to the overall excitement.
“This limited edition is an ode to live music. With hints of vibrant colour on the dial, the design offers an added creative energy within our collection of freelancer chronographs,” says Elie Bernheim, the brand’s chief. “The full titanium case and bracelet provide lightweight comfortability both on stage and in the audience. I hope this timepiece will inspire you to live your life with passion, creativity, and joy.”
Indeed, the Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph measures 43.5 mm in width, yet it is entirely made from lightweight titanium, including the five-link bracelet. This makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a strong presence while prioritising comfort. Additionally, the bezel insert, made of ceramic, features an unusual matte finish and circular brushing, deviating from the typical high polish.
Moving on to the dial, which is where the watch stands out. The latest iteration appears to be an improvement over earlier Freelancer chronographs in terms of dial layout and design – the earlier models felt somewhat simplistic, and some even resembled fashion accessories. However, the latest version manages to be a bit more professional-looking, thanks to its array of elegant details.
Starting from the centre of the dial, which features a grained piece finished with a gradient effect darkening towards the edge. Surrounding it is a ring adorned with circular guilloche (also known as azurage), followed by a minute track in grey, before reaching a raised, sloped flange in turquoise, printed with the pulsation scale. Similarly, the twin registers at three and nine o’clock are also in turquoise, creating a strong and contemporary contrast against the grey background.
Notably, the time-telling hands, including the small seconds at nine o’clock, are all in plain silver, while the chronograph hands, such as the elapsed minutes at three o’clock and the center elapsed seconds, are painted in colours. This pays homage to historical chronographs, where the hands and colours differ for various functions. Another interesting detail is the date wheel, featuring an unusual and lively font that adds a spontaneous touch to the watch, reminiscent of a live jazz music performance.
Inside the watch is the RW5030, which is essentially a Sellita SW510. It is originally a three-counter chronograph, but here the elapsed hour at six o’clock has been omitted for a cleaner look. The watch has a running time of 56 hours.
Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph
Movement: RW5030 (SW 510); automatic; 56 hours power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph
Case: 43.5 x 13.7 mm; titanium; water resistant to 100 m
Strap: Titanium bracelet folding clasp
Availability: 400 pieces
FROM THE SHOP
|Movement||Self-winding caliber BR.CAL-301; 42-hour power reserve|
|Functions||Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and date|
|Case||41mm; CuAI7Si2 bronze; water resistant to 100m|
|Dial||Sunray brushed with applied, gold-plated indices|
|Strap||Black calfskin; satin polished bronze folding clasp|
|Limited Edition||Limited edition of 50 pieces|