As a brand, Raymond Weil has strong ties to the world of music, and as its latest new release of 2023, the Geneva-based watch manufacturer has created a new limited edition Freelancer chronograph that is inspired by the energy and creativity of live musical performances. Rather than featuring obvious music-themed design details, which can often run the risk of being a bit too on-the-nose, the new Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph simply embraces a more lighthearted and funky aesthetic compared to the various other chronograph models from its greater Freelancer collection. With that in mind, despite its somewhat colorful and playful appearance, this new music-themed chronograph also has a utilitarian side, and it features a case and bracelet that are made entirely out of lightweight brushed titanium.
The Raymond Weil Freelancer collection is home to a number of different chronographs, including models with either two or three registers, and even a Flyback version that was announced earlier this year. With that in mind, the new Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph (ref. 7780-TI-20425) is essentially a limited edition variation of the brand’s existing two-register model, similar to the duo of watches we reviewed last year that incorporated bronze into their case components. However, rather than embracing the warm tones of bronze and being fitted with a leather strap, the case of the new Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph is crafted entirely from titanium, and it comes fitted with a matching full-titanium bracelet. Additionally, rather than having brushed and polished surfaces like the various stainless steel models, this new limited edition version receives an entirely brushed finish, which further leans into its more laid back and casual appearance.
Aside from its updated materials, finishing, and colorway, the actual case design of the Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph is very much in-line with the existing models, and it measures 43.5mm in diameter by 13.7mm thick, with a signed screw-down crown at 3 o’clock and a pair of titanium pump-style chronograph pushers. The top of the case gets fitted with a sapphire crystal that has anti-reflective treatment on both surfaces, while the reverse side of the watch receives a screw-down caseback that offers a view of its internal movement and helps guarantee the model’s 100 meters of water resistance. Surrounding the crystal is a fixed tachymeter bezel that is fitted with a black ceramic insert, and while the majority of the bezel’s markings appear in white, the “tachymeter” text itself is bright turquoise to compliment the various other accents that are present throughout the rest of the watch.
The dial and hands fitted to the new Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph largely follow the same design and layout as what can be found on the various other two-register chronographs from the brand’s Freelancer collection, although they now embrace the same black, silver, and turquoise colorway that defines this particular model. The dial itself is black with a dramatic gradient effect that darkens towards the outer edge, and surrounding this is an angled turquoise chapter ring, which contains a pulsations scale printed in black and aqua blue. The two registers positioned at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock are also colored turquoise to further lean into the model’s colorway, while a date window is positioned at 6 o’clock and reveals a calendar disc that showcases a slightly retro and funky font for the numerals. Luminous baton-shaped hands indicate the time against the nickel-plated hour markers, while the centrally-mounted chronograph seconds hand is also finished in the same bright turquoise color that can be seen throughout the dial.
Powering the new Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph is the brand’s RW5030 automatic movement, which uses the same caliber number that can be found attached to both two and three-register chronograph models from the brand’s catalog (a result of them using the same base movement design). Built upon the core architecture of the Sellita SW510, the Raymond Weil Cal. RW5030 features 27 jewels, and it runs at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) while offering users a power reserve of approximately 56 hours. Although the movement inside this new limited edition model is mechanically identical to what can be found inside other Freelancer chronographs that follow this same core layout, this particular version is fitted with a skeletonized rotor that features turquoise text to match the colorway present throughout the rest of the watch. Lastly, completing the Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph is a matching five-link titanium bracelet that features a clasp with a double push-button release.
Despite being crafted entirely from titanium and being produced as a limited edition of just 400 examples, the new Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph costs roughly the same as its siblings from the Freelancer collection, and it is accompanied by an official retail price of $3,995 USD. Compared to the various three-register Freelancer chronographs in stainless steel, this new limited edition titanium model only costs a premium of a few hundred dollars, and it is slightly less expensive than either of the other Bi-Compax models that feature bronze case components. Considering that many watch brands seem to make it a standard practice of charging significantly higher prices for their titanium and limited edition pieces, it’s slightly surprising that the new Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph on its matching titanium bracelet only costs a few hundred dollars more than a normal stainless steel Freelancer chronograph fitted with a leather strap, and this makes it quite a compelling offering for those who enjoy its funky and colorful aesthetic. For more information on the Raymond Weil Freelancer Pop Bi-Compax Chronograph, please visit the brand’s website.