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Raymond Weil Freelancer 7730

Presently Richemont, LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy) and the Swatch Group, dominate the watch industry. These large organisations have a vast portfolio of brands at all price points. They also have significant marketing resources beyond the realms of any of the small independent watchmakers. For that reason they can attract celebrity ambassadors and advertise in the most prominent publications. Nevertheless there are still quite a few watch labels that have gained a solid reputation and fan base over the years. Raymond Weil perfectly illustrates this point.

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The story of the Raymond Weil dates back nearly 40 years and was established by Mr Raymond Weil. In 1982 his son in law Olivier Bernheim joined the company and expanded it vastly over the years. Subsequently Olivier’s son Elie Bernheim (current CEO) and grandson Pierre Bernheim have joined the business. With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland they now have a substantial presence worldwide. They also have become synonymous with the production of high quality and affordable timepieces. On a recent visit to Sydney I was kindly offered the opportunity (by the Avstev Group) to try on their marvelous new Freelancer 7730.

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Considering Raymond Weil is a family owned company they have a pretty impressive collection of watches. My first impression of the Freelancer 7730 was how stylish and attractive it actually appeared. Dimensionally it is smaller than I normally prefer measuring only 42mm x 13.7mm (excluding the crown and pushers). However these proportions should attract a large variety of masculine buyers. Generally I found the watch sat comfortably on my wrist and I didn’t experience any friction from the lugs. Primarily this is down to the elegant case design and choice of 316L stainless steel in production. In the future I would love to see a version of this timepiece constructed out of ceramic or titanium.

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Currently there are four different variations of the Freelancer 7730 all displaying distinctive characteristics. The model I tried on was the steel version with a black dial. What makes this watch stand out is the bold and sporty façade. I love the three sub counters displaying all the chronograph timers. Other high quality features include the raised steel indexes, anti-reflective sapphire crystal and a large day/date window (positioned at 3 o’clock). Overall the composition has been well considered and superbly executed.

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To power the watch Raymond Weil has sourced a caliber Valjoux 7750 from Swiss company ETA. This self-winding movement comprises 25 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz). The mechanism is perfectly showcased through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the Freelancer 7730 features, hours, minutes, seconds, day/date and chronograph facility. The watch also has a power reserve of 46 hours and is water resistant to a depth of 100 metres.

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The Freelancer 7730 that I tried on has a durable steel bracelet with double folding clasp. Priced at: $2,995.

For more information visit the company’s website: http://www.raymond-weil.com

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