As a freelancer myself I’ve always appreciated Raymond Weil’s signature collection – and not just because we share a title. They’ve always been great value-for-money and, while not often the kind of designs that will set the world on fire, they tend to be handsome. Again, like me. With the Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph 7741 though, the family-run watchmaker has built something that I don’t just appreciate – I actively want.
The Freelancer Chronograph as a collection is a significant upgrade from the rest of Raymond Weil’s affordable stable. Everything from the lumed indexes and applied logo to the ceramic bezel makes it feel like a much pricier timepiece than it is. There’s a good reason it’s been a hit, and now the independent watchmaker’s hammering home its charms with a new green overhaul – and a 90 degree rotated layout.
Green isn’t ground-breaking of course, every watchmaker has a couple verdantly dialled pieces these days, but Raymond Weil really hit the zeitgeist on the head here. The contrast between the Freelancer Chronograph 7741’s slightly smoked green dial with its peripheral grooves and the silver ringed tri-compax chronograph counters is lovely, while the ceramic inlaid bezel is a slightly more solid shade, fit for reading the tachymeter from.
In short, it’s gorgeous. I love a bit of colour, and this has more than a bit, especially when paired on the dial-matched strap. Sure, I’d like to see a few more versions in perhaps more outlandish colours but I’d only end up returning to the green anyway.
Inside is Raymond Weil’s new RW5030 calibre automatic movement. It’s a solid movement, nicely decorated and boasting a 56-hour power reserve, a chunk better than the usual Sellita or ETA numbers you’ll usually find at this price point. It’s an upgrade from the previous RW500 and it largely to thank for the counters being at 3, 6 and 9 instead of 12, 3 and 6.
My only real issue is the size. At 43.5mm, it’s a large piece and while that gives the tri-compax layout room to breathe, it means that slimmer wrists might not appreciate the heft. That said, the lugs are relatively short so it’s not too egregious, but still, as watches are shrinking to retro proportions it’s an odd choice to go this large.
All in all, the Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph 7741 is a damn fine piece. It’s not going to make huge waves, but if you’re looking for an accessible, incredibly good-looking chronograph with a decent specs sheet, look no further than this.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph 7741
- Reference: 7741-SC7-52021
- Case/dial: 43.5mm diameter x 13.7mm height, stainless steel case with green ceramic tachometer bezel, green satin-brushed dial
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Mechanical chronograph Tri-compax calibre RW5030, automatic, 27 jewels
- Power reserve: 56h
- Functions: Central hours and minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock, central chronograph hand, 30 minutes counter at 3 o’clock, 12 hours counter at 6 o’clock
- Strap: Green leather
- Price/availability: £2,595
More details at Raymond Weil.