The luxury watch world is one I’ve generally admired from afar for a couple reasons. First, there’s a slight barrier to entry – you’ve got to make the commitment to seriously invest in a luxury timepiece – but also because there are so many bona fide watch geeks out there that for a relative novice, it’s somewhat intimidating.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that even if something is overwhelming or intimidating, if you’re thirsty enough for knowledge, you’ve just got to jump in and start learning. Which is why when I recently had a chance to get my hands on the new Raymond Weil Freelancer Piper Automatic Chronograph, I jumped at the chance to check it out. Here’s what I thought.
Despite the fact that this watch is a collaboration between Raymond Weil and Piper Aircraft, there’s very little cross-branding going on. In other words, you don’t see Piper logos on the watch, which aesthetically speaking isn’t necessarily such a bad thing. They do include a model of a Piper Aircraft with each watch.
The airline-inspired details are subtle and stylish. Take the sub-seconds dial at 9 o.clock, which has horizontal lines to allude to an airplane’s altitude indicator. Also, the handset and chronograph second hand has some detailing at the tip that resembles the propeller blades on the front of a plane.
There are also some nods to a classic pilot’s watch, including GMT time along the outer edge of the watch face. One of the nicest touches on the watch, in my opinion, is that the GMT hand is only red at the very end, which reduces potential distraction from the rest of the face. You’ve also got a chronograph with minutes at 12 o’clock and hours at 6 o’clock as well as a tachometer on the bezel.
The case is large at 45mm, but not as big as some pilot’s watches. In fact, I tend to stay away from this style of watch because of size – I’ve got a small wrist – but I have to say that this one fits quite well.
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style