Raymond Weil’s flagship collection – Freelancer, which made its debut in 2007, was launched as a celebration of the free-spirited man who stays in charge of his own fate. The watches from the Freelancer collection feature a mix of the traditional watchmaking that characterizes Switzerland, blended in the motion of the modern world. The brand has embraced both: quartz and automatic movements; is capable of delivering watches made of quality materials, and is mainly focused on the dress watches category.
The Freelancer Chronograph is the brand’s most completed piece, that manages to offer something more than the usual suspects in this price range.
Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph Technical Specifications:
1- Automatic self-winding movement caliber RW5000 with 46 hours of power reserve.
2- Automatic self-winding movement caliber RW5200 with 46 up to 48 hours of power reserve.
Frequency: 28,800 vph.
Power Reserve: 46 up to 48 hours.
Based on the Sellita SW500 caliber.
Day/Date, Mechanical Chronograph
46 up to 48 hours
100m / 330ft / 10bar
– Front- Sapphire crystal with dual-sided anti-glare treatment
– Back- Sapphire crystal
Design and Craftsmanship
In terms of overall aesthetics, there are several common characteristics that are found on every Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph watch. To begin with, the most visually appealing detail, to me at least, are the sub-dials. You will find them positioned in a V-shape, set from the 9 o’clock position. Another well-accomplished detail that comes into sight is the day and date window. I know you guys have mixed feelings with day/date windows but this time I believe it is well fitted and also complements the overall design of the dial. (setting instructions are mentioned below).
Also found on every Freelancer Chronograph is the R/W monogram on the crown. Such details are seen throughout the entire watch. Mentioning here the sapphire crystal glass with anti-glare treatment on both sides, or the mirror finish of the watch’s hands and markers. It is what you would expect from a watch at this price range, so good job to Raymond Weil for being able to exceed its expectations.
Of course, there are many distinguishing features on the Freelancer Chronograph, and without doubts, the watch has its unique identity. However, when looking at the tachymeter, inevitably the Omega Speedmaster comes to mind. It is by no means a downside. All the contrary. I love having a piece of that Speedmaster’s design on my wrist for a fraction of the price. For a less sporty look, you can always go with the models that feature an internally inscribed tachymeter.
Case Construct, Water Resistance, and PVD Coating
The Freelancer Chronograph comes with a sweet 42mm case diameter. Its robust construction includes the pushers and a screw-down crown in the middle, allowing the watch to reach 100 meters / 330 ft / 10 atm water-resistance rating. The case-back is also screwed down, creating a much tighter seal when compared to a simple snap-on caseback.
So rest assured as you can take your Freelancer Chronograph for a swim or an immersion in a pool every once in a while. However, considering that most of the RW Chronographs come with leather straps, I wouldn’t recommend getting them near water.
Leather straps prevail in the family of the Freelancer Chronograph, however, the manufacturer has decided to go with stainless steel bracelets on a few models. Although I’ll have to admit that a leather strap perfectly complements the sporty design of the watch, steel bracelets can make quite an appealing approach to the ones looking for something that is more substantial and more durable to water.
PVD coating is another feature that “justifies” the price of the Freelancer Chronograph. Having a “titanium-colored” PVD case is always a welcome addition. PVD, or Physical Vapor Deposition, is a vacuum coating process whose stunning results are seen in an amazing aesthetic and functional finish. PVD makes use of titanium nitride, which creates a very durable coating, resistant to corrosion caused by sweat and regular use. It not only adds a matte finish but also helps in preserving the watch from general wear and scratches. This way you can enjoy wearing your Freelancer to the fullest, without having to worry much about preserving it.
Bonus Section: The Limited Edition Jimi Hendrix Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph
Any Jimi Hendrix fan here? Anyone? Nope? I see a hand there! Oh, you were reaching for your hat. Ok…
For the ones who haven’t yet had the pleasure to learn about and listen to Jimi Hendrix, he is arguably the world’s greatest guitarist. And what better brand could pay tribute to his melodies than Raymond Weil. We all know how the relatively young Swiss watchmaker has created a cement reputation about their love for music.
The brand nourishes the quality and passion that Swiss watchmaking is known for, while also setting its tone for watchmaking and horology. Pun intended. In our previous Raymond Weil Freelancer watch review, we were able to take a closer look at some of the Freelancers that celebrated world-renowned music icons. Among them, the Freelancer AC⚡DC, which was inspired by the legendary Rock n’ Roll band, truly caught us by surprise.
This time, the limited-edition Jimi Hendrix Freelancer Chronograph joins the RW “Music Icons” series. It is a limited-edition watch that pays tribute to the guitar melodies of Jimi Hendrix. The watch details dance with the free-spirited attitude of the young musician, including the tachymeter ring carrying the musician’s name and his famous quote, “Music is my religion”. The tribute is reaffirmed in the sapphire crystal case back with the Authentic Hendrix logo. To wrap it up, the Raymond Weil Jimi Hendrix belongs to a limited edition of 500 pieces available worldwide, definitely a collector’s piece.
Gig’s Corner: The movement ticking underneath the Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph is powered by either: the RW5200 movement, or the RW5000 movement. Both calibers come with an automatic self-winding function and are responsible for the accuracy of the day/date function and the mechanical chronograph obviously. Thanks to the sapphire crystal caseback, you can catch a glimpse of the movement and its perlage finishing on the rotor. The caliber is based on the Sellita SW500, has a 28,800 vph frequency, and provides from 46 up to 48 hours of power reserve.
How to set the time, day, and date on the Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph?
- To set the time, simply pull the crown to position 3 (its furthest position). Rotate the crown clockwise and set the current time. When finished, push the crown to its place. The day/date automatically rolls over at midnight.
- To set the day or date, simply pull the crown to position two (middle position). To set the date, rotate the crown clockwise. To set the day, rotate the crown counterclockwise. When finished, push the crown to its place.
- The Freelancer Chronograph comes with a screw-down crown. The day/date automatically rolls over at midnight.
FAQ about Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph
How much does Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph cost?
Depending on the model, expect to pay from $2000 up to $3000 to get your hands on a Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph. For the limited edition Jimi Hendrix Freelancer Chronograph, buyers will have to pay a premium.
What movement does Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph use?
The Freelancer Chronograph collection runs in two movements. Either the RW5000 or the RW5200. The calibers are based on the Sellita SW500 and modified in-house. They provide respectively 46 and 48 hours of power reserve, have a frequency of 28,800 vph, and are responsible for the accuracy of a day-date function, and the mechanical chronograph.
Is Raymond Weil a good watch brand?
The brand manages to deliver exceptional quality watches at reasonable prices. Raymond Weil is an exciting name in the industry of watches, partially because it is relatively young and eager for success. In recent years, Raymond Weil has managed to attract more attention by incorporating high-caliber movements, maintaining a classy line, and occasionally paying tribute to music icons.
What is the resale value of Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph?
Although the Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph is one of those watches I would never flip, its resale value is pretty good. When compared with other entry-level Swiss-made luxury watches, the RW Freelancer Chronograph in particular is holding pretty well in the secondary watch market.
Editor’s Final Thoughts
For the price tag, I will say that the quality and workmanship involved in the Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph models will blow the minds of even the most skeptical watch lovers out there. It is hard to not fall in love with the Freelancer Chronograph, a 42mm mechanical chronograph whose design meets functionality halfway. Although not the most unique or distinguishing aesthetic for a chronograph, the RW Freelancer Chronograph still manages to perfectly add the best of its passion for classic to a sporty watch. Indeed, the Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph is just that. An entry-level luxury Swiss-made watch that deserves all the attention.