Editors Pick Reviews Watches

Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition Watch Review 

Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition

Good things always seem to come in pairs. Last issue it was funky- dialled cushion-cased watches, this time, while slightly less particular,  it’s handsome, icy-blue dials. Not only do we have the latest pale take on Ball’s Marvelight, but one of the most handsome takes on what’s becoming Raymond Weil’s flagship: the Freelancer with the Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition.

As we’ve discussed in the past, Raymond Weil may have plenty of different collections, but in recent years the Freelancer has come out on top as the signature watch from the accessible brand. It’s modern, versatile, and a solid platform on which to build what’s becoming an incredibly extensive collection.

Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition

What we have here isn’t exactly striking out into uncharted waters either. In fact, the Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition swims in the famous waters of Lake Geneva in a slight twist on a very familiar diving formula.

There are a couple of things new about the Geneva Limited Edition compared to previous Freelancer Diver models. The first is the dial, which is the focal point of the entire watch. There are plenty of gradient dials out there, whether that’s from top to bottom like the Sea-Dweller or the more classical radial gradient.

The Freelancer lands somewhere in the middle, with a gradient that’s darkest in a circle around six o’clock and lightens up around towards 12, three and nine o’clock. It gives the impression of depth, kind of like the old posters for Jaws. It’s centred around a round date window, which unlike the rest of the dial that uses chunky, lumed indexes, is written in a funky script, adding a needed dash of personality to the dial.

The subtly gradiated blue isn’t the only nod to Lake Geneva either. Where other diving watches make do with 300m – the usual standard for professional-level underwater timepieces – Raymond Weil have added on an extra 10. That’s because the deepest part of Lac Léman is indeed 310m down. It’s a very deep lake. It’s a cool touch, a sly nod rather than anything that’ll actually affect how or when you use the watch.

Because this is a limited edition, it also has an engraved caseback, which, being a tribute to Geneva, is of the Jet d’Eau. Nothing particularly groundbreaking there, though it’s nicely done. I’d have preferred an exhibition back personally, even if it is only a Sellita SW200 (dressed up as the RW4200), complete with a not-too-respectable 38-hour power reserve. It’s still a reliable workhorse, but as you edge up this close to the 2K water mark it starts losing out in comparison to other movements at his level.

Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition

That’s not to say the Geneva Limited Edition is overpriced. Movement aside, it’s solidly constructed, a (these-days) relatively large 42.5mm weight of stainless steel. It sits on the wrist nicely, the kind of casual all-day watch we’ve come to expect from the Freelancer collection. That’s doubly true of the five-link bracelet which is comfortable and serviceable, if not particularly exciting. The clasp though is one of the better made I’ve come across recently (that’s not Patek’s insanely lovely patented version).

Overall, the Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it is a great distillation of Raymond Weil’s current approach to watchmaking. It takes the core elements of a standard diver, and, without messing them about, builds an interesting yet aesthetically comfortable watch with an appreciable twist.

Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition

As is always the case with Raymond Weil, it’s also respectably accessible at £1,795. Given there are only 310 of them (see what they did there?) you might struggle to get hold of one. Otherwise, you can be sure something equally appealing with a different theme is just around the corner. Raymond Weil are on it these days. £1,795, limited to 310 pieces.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva Limited Edition
  • Ref: 2760-ST1-GVA01
  • Case/dial: 42.5mm diameter x 11.8mm thickness, stainless steel case, gradient blue dial
  • Water resistance: 310m (31 bar)
  • Movement: Raymond Weil calibre RW4200, automatic, 26 jewels
  • Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
  • Power reserve: 38h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
  • Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp, double push-security system and extension system
  • Price/availability: £1,795, limited to 310 pieces

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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