A Tune For A New Generation
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A Tune For A New Generation

As a new generation, weary of their over-reliance on most things digital, reclaims the joy, fascination, style, and rituals of the analog, a fine mechanical timepiece represents a rite of passage into serious adulthood as well as a shared connection with the family that came before you.

By Mike Espindle
Contributor

There is no argument: the sheer convenience of burgeoning digital technology has inexorably burrowed its way into everyone’s lives. But we all deserve a break, now and then, yes?

Especially deserving are those coming of age who have grown up without the tangible, hold-it-in-your-hands experiences of past generations. Activities like the intentional act of pulling out a vinyl LP, admiring the cover art, plunking it down on a turntable, and listening to the unmistakable sonic warmth and dynamics only a record album delivers. Or practices like the morning ritual of picking up a wristwatch, giving it a few uniquely satisfying palm-pumps to feel the rotor work its magic, checking on the time and date, and strapping it on to start your day.
 

These are engaging, sensual, and tactile moments that, while they may be only for you, also define a certain boldness that separates you from the rest of the pack.

You can only imagine the delight a parent feels when a son or daughter makes those discoveries. And in the case of watchmaker Raymond Weil, those multigenerational connections are particularly important and apt.
 

The Sound of Time

The heritage of independent Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil is hallmarked not only by fine (yet accessible) wrist instruments of nearly every stripe but also by a profound connection with music. Founded by the namesake watchmaker in 1976, smack in the middle of the quartz crisis, the traditional watchmaking-flavored-with-creativity approach of the brand is now in the hands of grandson Elie Bernheim.

With popular collections like the dramatic, rectangular Don Giovanni; the classic Maestro with models that are partially skeletonized; the boldly technical Tango; and the perennially popular Freelancer Chronograph, Raymond Weil’s melodically-inspired horological DNA has also been kicked up an octave or two with several compelling collaborations that draw a direct line to the world of music.
 

Limited-edition partnerships, what the brand call its Music Icons, include a new artful homage to the Beatles “Let it Be” via a special edition Maestro timepiece (as well as three other Beatles-honoring Maestros).

And while the Maestro Skeleton The Beatles Let It Be Limited Edition might be the most recent collaboration, let us not forget previous limited edition timepieces. Including a Freelancer ode to the iconic Jimi Hendrix; a colorful, limited edition nod to Reggae legend Bob Marley in the Tango collection; a celebration of hard-rock gods AC/DC with a special balance-wheel-visible version of the Freelancer; an “Aladdin Sane” lightning-bolt edition of the Freelancer to honor David Bowie, and more.
 

Beyond performing artists, Raymond Weil has created artful collaborative timepieces with Gibson Guitars and Marshall Amps – hardware as iconic and seminal to rock-and-roll as any single rock star or band. For Raymond Weil, the beat goes on and on.
 

The Next Generation of Freelancers

With the growth of the so-called “gig economy,” and as businesses embrace a new world of remote work and contract labor, the very concept of a freelancer takes on new meaning and relevance.

Etymologically, the word “freelancer” comes from the idea of a medieval gun-for-hire (literally a free lance), and today, that independent spirit is still universally appealing, even a bit romantic, and definitely rock-and-roll. And it is this vibe that is perfectly captured in the new Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronographs.
 

Re-envisioned with a modern take on color, materials, and legibility, the new 42mm Freelancer Chronographs share an automatic SW500 movement and SW5200 chronograph component, and both deliver 48 hours of power reserve. Super-LumiNova-coated hands and indices on both also provide sharp 24-hour legibility.

A tachymetric gauge on the inner bezel, classic sub-dial geography (a 30-minute reader at 12 o’clock, 12-hour indicator at 6 o’clock, and seconds counter at 9 o’clock), framed day and date apertures at 3 o’clock, plus 100 meters (330 feet) of water resistance define the new Freelancers as serious tool watches.
 

On the wrist, the grey PVD-coated stainless steel Freelancer Chronograph ref. 7732-TIC-50421 presents a bold, shimmering blue dial with circular edge-etching that intersects and unifies the eye-popping white chronograph sub-dials and day and date windows.

Moreover, its matte grey finish lends a subtle feel of understated elegance to the case, finely tapered lugs, crown, and chronograph pushers. On a rich brown calf leather strap with a folding deployant stainless steel clasp, this version oozes a kind of stylish evening-ready elegance for the new Freelancer line.
 

Chronograph classicism is more strongly represented in the polished, titanium-colored stainless steel and silver-dialed Freelancer Chronograph ref. 7732-STC-65201. In this watch, sub-dials are rendered in vintage-inspired black that pop off a silver, satin-brushed dial with the same circular unifying etching of its sibling.
 

But in this version, the outer dial design adds an element of dimensionality to the gleaming package. That gleam permeates through to the shining case, lugs, RW-logo screw-down crown, and prominent chronograph pushers. Finally, with a darker brown grained calfskin strap and deployant clasp, this version of the Freelancer, while brand-new, is firmly aligned with the heritage cues of a rock-solid chronograph.
 

Pricing & Availability

Both the blue-on-steel 7732-TIC-50421 and silver-on-steel 7732STC-65201 Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronographs retail for $2,695 and are available as you read this at Raymond Weil retailers and via the brand's website.

To learn more about Raymond Weil and the Freelancer line, visit the brand’s website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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