Independently-owned Raymond Weil has gotten a bit square. Or rather, a bit cushiony. With a catalog that is made up entirely of round watches, the brand has just announced the addition of two new cushion case models, each with two dial options. You may think this is a bit out of left field, but Raymond Weil has been making serious strides towards shedding its “Entry-Level Swiss” reputation of late, mostly in the Freelancer collection, including rugged GMTs and playful chronographs. The new women’s Raymond Weil Freelancer Automatic (model 2490) and men’s Raymond Weil Freelancer Calibre RW1212 (model 2790) continue this push and show that there’s plenty of verve in the Swiss brand.

At this point, the Freelancer collection is Raymond Weil’s flagship. While the collection seems in a state of never-ending growth, the watches all shared a round case and long faceted lugs — until now. Building on six years of Freelancer models that sport the brand’s RW1212 manufacture caliber — introduced in 2017 — these new cushion case models really do offer something different within the collection and for the brand as a whole. While the women’s model here features a more generic RW4200, both models bring a little vintage flair to the modern Freelancer collection.

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The new Freelancers take the hallmark lugs of the collection — and its signed crown, for what it’s worth — and squash the round case right into a little tiny cushion, with a blend of brushed and polished facets. The men’s 2790 measures 40mm on both sides and 10.5mm thick, while the women’s 2490 is 34.5mm and 9.3mm. That’s a negligible .1mm savings on the round men’s Freelancer with the RW1212, but any reduction is welcome. In any case, these dimensions are likely to wear quite well, especially with the sloped lugs. Of course, squared watches have a larger appearance on the wrist as there’s nothing to visually taper them, but 40mm shouldn’t be too bad (and 34.5mm should be ideal for most who wish to wear it).

The cases all feature 100m of water resistance, screw-down crowns, and sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating. Of course, the smaller women’s versions are distinguished by bezels set with 60 lab-grown diamonds, which begets a $400 USD premium over the larger men’s watches. Watches come with the buyer’s choice of a 5-link steel bracelet or a matching leather strap. The bracelets feature folding deployant clasps, while I’m assuming the leather are simple pin buckles, though the brand doesn’t specify. The smaller models have RW’s signature “W” stitching on their leather straps, though I’m calling it Charlie Brown stitching (if you know, you know).

Two models, both available in a green or blue gradient. The dials all feature a handful of similarities. The nickel-plated, barrel-shaped applied indices and hands are all filled with Super-LumiNova, the dials all have sloped chapter rings with minute and hour markers, and the dials are all segmented into three concentric circles. While all the watches feature the same outer rings shifting from light to dark, the central circle on the women’s features a “W” guilloche pattern while the men’s has a pebbled texture. Unlike the women’s models, the men’s lacks a date display, but it features a much more exciting feature with its open-worked bridge that allows the movement’s balance to put on a show.

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The new men’s Raymond Weil Freelancer is equipped with the brand’s manufacture RW1212 caliber. This movement was developed with Sellita as the brand sought to position itself with a unique movement that you can’t get anywhere else. While open heart movements aren’t anything new, the full bridge gives this a higher-end look than a simple dial aperture does. In addition to the open heart design, the caliber features a custom rotor and offers a 38-hour power reserve at 28,800 vph. On the other hand, the women’s Freelancer in the cushion case features the RW4200, a branded automatic Sellita SW200-1, which has the same specs and trades the visual treat of the open heart for a date function.

These are another great step for Raymond Weil as it continues to add intriguing models that push it beyond its more generic offerings that have held it back. With a new case shape and dials that are striking even without the dramatic bridge, these new pieces are likely going to find a lot of eager customers. The women’s Raymond Weil Freelancer Automatic is priced at $2,850 USD on the strap and $2,895 USD on the bracelet, while the Raymond Weil Freelancer Calibre RW1212 is priced at $2,450 USD on the strap and $2,495 on bracelet. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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