FREELANCER GMT: RHAPSODY IN BLUE.
RAYMOND WEIL is pleased to unveil the new freelancer GMT. Capable of displaying the ‘local time’ and ‘home time’ simultaneously, this new model proves an ideal travel companion. Beyond displaying the time, it is housed in a beautifully proportioned 40.5mm case and endowed with a slender profile that confers a superb ergonomic wrist-fit. Lastly, the use of progressive shades of blue makes this watch a bewitching composition.
As the day grows tired and sleepy nights beckon, there is a fleeting period defined as the ‘blue hour’. It’s a time when the sun begins to sink below the horizon and the remaining sunlight bathes the landscape in various shades of blue. Meanwhile, the sun assumes a richer shade of red, bestowing a ubiquitous sense of tranquillity. When designing its latest timepiece, RAYMOND WEIL was inspired by the blue hour and the numerous tranquil tones produced when the sun is between 4° and 8° below the horizon. Indeed, the dial of the new freelancer GMT encompasses a variety of blue shades that emulate the natural spectacle of the hour and provide a handsome backdrop to the portrayal of time.
Barrel shaped hour and minute hands collaborate with applied indexes, denoting the ‘local time’. A darkly attired GMT hand, endowed with a prominent triangular red and white tip, succinctly displays the hour at home. A slender silver-toned central sweep seconds hand, fitted with a highly legible lollipop, completes the suite of hands displayed. Both the hands and indexes are treated with Super-LumiNova®, ensuring readability even in dim light. At the base of the dial, just above 6 o’clock, a rectangular aperture reveals the date. Presented in white numerals sat atop a blue disc, the colour of the date disc matches the dial, upholding horological etiquette. Beyond the indications on show, RAYMOND WEIL has cleverly used colour gradients to impart meaning and enrich the appearance of the blue-toned vista. A 24-hour track is presented on the dial flange and is used in conjunction with the GMT hand to indicate whether the ‘home time’ is day or night. Nocturnal hours are expressed using white numerals set against a blue background, while daytime hours are shown in blue against a white backdrop. A crescent shaped moon denotes the midnight hour. The colours employed on the track smoothly transition from light to dark. This masterful play of shades also extends to the central area of the dial where mid blue tones positioned above the date aperture assume a richer appearance near the top of the dial.
The freelancer GMT encompasses numerous subtle details intended to enrich the ownership experience. For example, the hour track is snailed, bestowing pockets of brilliance and shade, a characteristic which is repeated throughout the composition. The 40.5mm stainless steel case also plays with the reciprocity of light, sometimes casting shadows on the intricately shaped lugs or accentuating the gleaming finish of the highly polished bezel. RAYMOND WEIL’s design team has spent much effort optimising the appearance of the watch. However, its focus has gone beyond mere aesthetics. The case is slender, measuring 9.7mm, which, together with the intelligently designed case back and lugs contributes to the model’s impressive ergonomics. The case features two angled crowns: the upper crown at 2 o’clock serves to wind the barrel and adjust the various time indications, while the crown at 4 o’clock, sporting the Swiss flag on its flank, adjusts the GMT hand. Located at the heart of the freelancer GMT is the new Calibre RW3230, a Swiss automatic movement with a power reserve of 50 hours. Measuring just 4.1mm in height, its slender profile contributes to the model’s elegant appearance. Consistent with RAYMOND WEIL’s esteemed reputation for quality, the movement’s main plate is adorned with perlage, the barrel cover is snailed and the automatic device bridge and oscillating mass are embellished with Côtes de Genève motif. Purists will be pleased to learn that the movement can be admired courtesy of an exhibition case back.
RAYMOND WEIL has always respected traditional artisanal techniques, hence the Brand recently chose to work with a Tuscan tannery, employing centuries-old methods to treat the leather which will ultimately be used to make straps for RAYMOND WEIL watches. The tanning process involves using natural tannins extracted from trees and vegetables to endow the leather with unique, rich colours. This method of imparting colour to leather does not employ any harmful substances which could adversely affect the environment. Moreover, no animal is killed for its skin; the raw hides are discarded as a result of food processing. In this instance, the freelancer is presented on a blue calf leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching and is paired with a stainless steel folding clasp with a double push-security system. As the freelancer GMT clearly demonstrates, RAYMOND WEIL has produced a watch that fulfils its functional role admirably but also delivers much more. With numerous textures and finishes employed throughout, as well as a plethora of progressive shades of blue enlivening the ensemble, this latest composition is a Genevan take on ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.
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