April 17, 2010
by Ariel Adams
The major men’s watch release from Raymond Weil this year was a new Nabucco (the name sounds too much like Nabisco to me and I think of snacks) Va, Pensiero. The odd, “comma containing” name comes apparently from a famous Verdi chorus. Does this watch remind you of anything Verdi or Opera related? Cause it doesn’t for me. Get this, Raymond Weil actually writes this in their press information, the Nabucco Va, Pensiero “exudes the same power and nobility as the great Italian composer’s Opera.” Wow, I’ve only seen greater BS while staring at a cow’s ass.
I hope someone who writes for Raymond Weil got a bonus for that gem of a quote. There is nothing wrong with the sand-blasted titanium watch, but lets not get all operatic here. This is no watch to sing about. Though you could buy one and play some Verdi music during a video recorded “un-boxing” session. That would be dramatic enough.
The gray tones all over the watch add to the titanium feel, as well as function as Raymond Weil’s hat thrown into the gray watch trend. The 46mm case is made from a few titanium pieces and has some interesting intended sides. Style is pretty much standard Nabucco with a few little changes here and there. The dial features three colors of gray. The hour indicators are SuperLumiNova anthracite, while the chronograph frame is a more cement colored gray, contrasting with the dustier toned dial. Raymond Weil gives the dial an interesting “step” texture that I like. The dial is OK, a bit busy, but still attractive. My main concern are the hands. They blend in with the dial too much. You can’t tell in the marketing images, but they don’t fare to well in all lighting situations. Raymond Weil should have done the hands in a much lighter tone to contrast with the gray. I bet yellow hands for the time and chronograph subdials would have been cool.
The case is 200 meters watch resistant that Raymond Weil is apparently very proud of. This is ultra standard for more timepieces of this type, but they feel as though the watch is “exceptionally resilient and water-resistant.” I am starting to think that if the person who wrote this was a woman and was on a date, it would go really well for the guy. Really, no matter what he was like, she would flatter him and bolster what attributes he had. There would be a lot of “you are exceptionally handsome, and I am not at all resilient to your charms,” being thrown around by her.
As a design element, Raymond Weil pumps up the tachymeter around the bezel. I mean look how large it is. These are one of the least used features on watches around, and yet the Nabucco watches are designed to make it seem like you’d use a tachymeter (tachometric scale) on a daily basis. It does add aesthetic and character to the design, but I feel as though its placement just reaffirms the fact that many Raymond Weil watches are not made for serious watch lovers. And that is OK, we aren’t a giant demographic. But satisfy us, and you’ve pretty much satisfied everyone else as well. Though interestingly enough, Raymond Weil watches are very popular in the US. Probably because of their distribution and comparatively reasonable prices for well-made watches.
The Nabucco Va. Pensiero houses a Swiss ETA 7753 automatic chronograph movement. This is basically a modified 7750 with the chronograph subdials in a tri-compax layout and the day of the week indicator removed. The date is still there though. A solid movement that is nothing to be ashamed of. The chronograph pushers are screw down, and there looks to be a helium escape valve on the watch (though I am not really sure why). I like the deeply-engraved Raymond Weil “RW” logo in the crown. The large watch is matched to a black crocodile strap. Price is probably in the $4,000 – $5,500 range when it will be released soon. Last, let me give you one final gem from the press release. “Let the Nabucco Va, Pensiero spirit you away on the wings of freedom.” I have decided that these press releases are more or less like Mad Libs when it comes comes down to it. “add brand name here, add adjective here, add animal part here.”