Raymond Weil, being such a mainstream entry-level luxury watch brand in the US, has for some reason remained outside of my scope of attention for the most part. It isn’t that there is anything wrong with Raymond Weil. Quite the opposite – they have a very well established marquee and popularity among certain demographics in the US. So I look to rarer breeds much of the time. Last I spoke about Raymond Weil, I spoke more about their press release writer as opposed to the watches. Here I lampooned their literary fluff that was meant to announce the Nabucco Va, Pensiero watch.
No I have had a chance to check out the Va, Pensiero and other Nabucco watches. Raymond Weil and I had an opportunity to laugh over my previous article, and I can share with you my thoughts on the actual timepieces themselves – in my words, not those of a half-wit copy writer. The Nabucco comes in a few types, but here I focus on the chronograph models. They are each large and thick, with the cases being 46mm wide and over 15mm thick. I check them out here in steel and titanium. One of them has a bracelet with carbon fiber middle links, and the all black (with a bit of blue) model has carbon fiber in the lugs.
One thing you’ll notice about the cases design is that it is relatively complex. The recessed sides, lots of little details, and the complex integration of the pieces makes for a high-end look no matter what the material. The Nabucco case honestly looks better in steel where Raymond Weil applies various polishes. For some reason the matte look is really in today. I don’t know why. I for one am not sick of polish. Any of you out there sick of polish? No hands? I mean, it is not like I want to wear Breitling level’s of glossy goodness all the time, but too much of the same finish can get boring, and leave a watch looking ‘flat.’ Really depends on the piece though.
Further, my favorite Nabucco watches are those with nicely contrasting hands. The hands themselves (hour and minute) aren’t really big. Not at all. So you need to have contrast to see them properly. The two lowest images in this article have the Nabucco model with the best level of dial contrast. See what I mean? Each of the watches has good looking dials from a design standpoint. Textures and layered, with lots going on. Enough to make you feel as though you don’t quite understand your watch dial enough, but that is OK, because someone else might. Sometimes, good design is about adding the perception of technical excellence that doesn’t really exist. Sort of like fake air scoops on a car, or screws that aren’t really screws. Not that this is precisely the same concept, but a good design can play with the aura of functionality.
On that note, the watches have a rather substantial looking tachymeter bezel – pretty much only for show, but you can use it if you have need. Inside each of the watches is a Swiss Valjoux 7753 automatic chronograph movement that serves the pieces nicely. The Nabucco isn’t the most exciting sports watch on the planet, but it doesn’t disappoint either. You could easily wear it full time with out fuss. The variety of models offer a nice range of colors, materials, and straps. Also, it is important to note that the Nabucco is a very original model for the brand. While Raymond Weil watches aren’t exactly copies of other brands. They do have the “Raymond Weil version” of a few Rolex pieces for example. But they are good versions. The Nabucco models range in prices, but are mostly between about $4,000 – $5,000. And you can get them all over with relative ease!
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