Earlier today, we published our interview with Elie Bernheim, the third-generation CEO of Raymond Weil. In our conversation with Mr. Bernheim, we discussed the development of the RW1212 caliber, a joint project Raymond Weil undertook with their manufacturing partner and movement giant, Sellita. The RW1212 was unveiled earlier this year and placed within the brand’s Freelancer range.
As Mr. Bernheim readily admitted during our conversation, the RW1212—with its two bridges anchoring the forward-facing balance—is designed to visually mimic a tourbillon, an expensive, haute complication. For some, this will surely be a non-starter. There are simply too many no-name watches being pumped out of China attempting a similar aesthetic, and that can leave a bad taste in one’s mouth. For others, they’ll see it for what it is—a new take on the open-heart concept because all marketing hype aside, that’s what we have here.
Now, I’m not typically one for open-heart dials. It’s an aesthetic that has never really pulled me in and, to be perfectly frank, most brands are lazy in their execution (why would I want to see plainly finished 2824 components through the dial of my watch?) But I’ll give it to Raymond Weil—the result here is far more visually impacting, as you really get a front-and-center view of the escapement and the components are nicely finished.