24 Hours Later: RAYMOND WEIL Honors Geneva with an Unexpected Freelancer Diver Limited Edition
Switzerland may be land-locked, but with more than 1,500 lakes accounting for 6% of Europe’s freshwater stock, it ain’t exactly the Sahara. Is it? So, in a tip of the hat to its hometown since 1976, RAYMOND WEIL commemorates Geneva and its scenic lake with a stylish dive watch that takes its popular Freelancer on a deep dive. Very deep, indeed.
Watchmaker RAYMOND WEIL has relied on its rock-solid, stalwart Freelancer line, with its flexible design that befits its jack-of-all-trades’ moniker, to tell a good proportion of its brand story throughout the years. Moreover, the Freelancer has served as the backdrop for many of the brand’s music-icon-aligned models, odes to intergenerational music, and chronographs that focus on the timepiece’s classic, universally appealing, and handsome DNA.
And now, the Freelancer pays tribute to the watchmaker’s headquarters and hometown with a splash.
Geneva, on the Wet Side
The just-announced RAYMOND WEIL Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition draws it design and performance specification references directly from Lake Geneva (or, more popularly, Lake Léman). Additionally, it was inspired by the lake’s perennially popular landmark, the famous Jet d’Eau fountain, which serves as an ever-present reminder that the city is something special.
First, only 310 pieces of this 42.5mm stainless steel dive watch will be made. Why? Because Lake Léman is 310 meters (about 1,017 feet) deep, plus the water resistance figure on the Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition is also rated to, you guessed it, 310 meters.
Into the Blue
Of course, a blue dial is a natural choice for a dive watch of any stripe, but the eye-catching gradient approach on this timepiece is particularly compelling.
For instance, subtle transitions between mid-tone blues (toward the outside of the dial) slowly move into deep, dark hue references that forms a V-like shape, converging around 6 o’clock. It’s a picture-perfect color expression of how deep mountain lake water changes its nature as you descend towards the bottom.
Aquatic design cues turn up in unexpected places on the dial design beyond the color, with a unique date aperture at 6 o’clock shaped like a drop of water that surely demanded some exacting TLC to present numerals with a wide-top horizontal stroke to them, like 5, 7, and so on.
Of course, as it is a dive watch, the use of lume is expected. But the Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition’s coats its barrel-shaped hands and bar hour indices in a shade of Super-LumiNova that reads light grey and metallic in the sun, morphing into a subtle-but-effective blue light after dark or at depth.
Checking All the Boxes
To round out the Geneva references, the back of the secure, screw-down case offers an etched representation of Geneva’s Jet d’Eau landmark fountain (Fun Fact: the fountain shoots the lake water 140 meters (about 460 feet) in the air).
As you can see, many of the dive watch specs receive a creative and deft touch to reference the city, lake and mountains of Geneva. However, it’s the combination of its workhorse RW4200 automatic movement with 38 hours of power reserve, mid-hand circular marker on the seconds hand, scratch-resistant unidirectional black ceramic dive bezel, and tough five-row steel bracelet with secure double-push clasp that make this limited edition a legitimate diver’s timepiece.