Green Earth: Introducing the Raymond Weil Freelancer GMT Worldtimer
The Geneva-based brand’s latest timepiece can keep you apprised of 24 time zones at a glance.
Greenwich Mean Time, known more commonly as GMT, is the mean – or average – solar time according to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. Unlike the time zones we are accustomed to here in the United States, GMT is not affected by daylight savings. The concept was introduced back in 1884 when travel and trade were mostly rail or maritime endeavors. The first watch that could keep track of time in two places debuted in 1955 at the dawn of the jet age.
Today, via the world wide web, we can trade and talk with almost anyone in the world at any time. That is why world time watches are so popular right now. But there are plenty of other reasons an enthusiast might want to invest in a GMT timepiece.
If you want a watch which goes beyond a simple time-only display, the extra hand indicating home-time is priced more accessibly than a chronograph or moonphase. Plus, GMTs frequently feature a rotating bezel, giving them a very en trend appearance. However, the GMT’s most alluring aspect in the modern world is that it’s practical: global society has never been more mobile, which means that being able to tell time across different time zones is a necessity.
This handsome example of horology fits very well into the Freelancer family. After all, free agents often have to be adaptable to make ends meet regardless of inflation, job markets, and other employment ups and downs. The Freelancer series is likewise noted for its creative approach to timepieces.
Introduced in 2007, the collection was conceived as a tribute to the hustle of freelance artists. Past models, for example, have paid homage to legendary musicians such as AC/DC, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix. And as one of the newest members of the family, the Freelancer GMT Worldtimer is designed to make the wearer a rock star.
In our global age, you don’t have to be on tour to have to juggle time zones in different parts of the world. Nowadays, even office workers are more prone to having remote meetings with colleagues on the other side of an ocean. So it’s more than a little helpful that the Freelancer GMT Worldtimer can display the prevailing hour in 24 time zones at the same time.
World of Wonder
Here’s how it works. The dial of this model has a rotating track, marked with one major city for each time zone. This disc is placed next to a 24-hour scale, which indicates both the hour in your desired destination and whether it is day or night there.
Meanwhile, barrel-shaped hour and minute hands tell you your local time. To show the local time for the current location, all you need to do is rotate the crown at 4 o’clock and match it to the time of your hometown or the city you are in (your preference – frequent flyers are a nomadic bunch).
In addition to the rotating city disc, a black GMT hand with a triangular red and white tip indicates the prevailing hour at home.
This is as good a place as any to talk about the glow-up on this watch. Listing the names of 24 cities on one dial can be a nightmare. But Raymond Weil has kept the typography clean and almost Wes Anderson-like, allowing the information to become an integral part of the aesthetic. The same simple approach applies to the various hands as well. It’s all very legible without sacrificing style.
Despite its complexity, the case of this GMT is very comfortable. The Freelancer GMT Worldtimer measures 40.5mm and has a relatively slender thickness of 9.7mm thanks to a new, self-winding movement, the calibre RW3230.
True to The Freelancer’s beginnings as a watch for creative types, the GMT Worldtimer also comes in two versions. The first sports a gradient black dial and a stainless steel case coated with black DLC on a black strap made of genuine calf leather and featuring an alligator motif.
The second option features a stainless steel and bronze case paired with a gradient green dial, a bronze bezel, and two bronze crowns. Bronze, of course, is very popular with enthusiasts because it takes on a cool patina unique to its wearer’s experience. Meanwhile, this iteration’s khaki tones and bronze accents also give off a bit of a military vibe, but in an Army Surplus, bohemian chic way.
Like all things Weil, the Freelancer GMT Worldtimer is a little unconventional, but it is still very polished. The dial on both versions has lovely gradient dial tones that also serve to mark the transition from day to night. The hands and indexes are treated with Super-LumiNova, emitting either a blue or green glow depending on their function.
And each timepiece is presented on a color-coordinated calf leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching and a folding clasp featuring a double-push security system.