When Raymond Weil introduced the Millesime collection, it was the first totally new product family I recall from the Geneva-based brand in a while. To Raymond Weil’s delight, the Millesime proved a relatively instant hit, and the Millesime range will be built upon from the initial Millesime Men’s Automatic Small Seconds 39.5mm. Even though Raymond Weil has fully committed to making the Millesime a major family, I still think the simple time-only dial will be the most compelling to many people. However, it isn’t clear what dial color people will prefer, and it might be nice to consider also pairing the Millesime with a matching steel bracelet. These two reviewed Millesime Small Seconds 39.5mm watches are the reference 2930-STC-65001 (silver dial) and the reference 2930-STC-60001 (dark gray dial).

With a slick vintage style and slim wearing experience, the Raymond Weil Millesime is quite easy to enjoy. Understanding its popularity is as simple as recognizing that Raymond Weil was fortunate enough to create a particular style of watch that is either much more expensive or simply hard to find in other watches in a high-quality, relatively affordable form. What I mean is that Raymond Weil didn’t invent a new style or category, as much as it beautifully packages an existing theme into a highly wearable and value-priced product. Interestingly enough, this feels very appropriate coming from the Raymond Weil brand, which is another reason that the Millesime Small Seconds has been doing so well.

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The style of design Raymond Weil chose to focus on with the Millesime is what is known as the “sector dial.” It was as early as the 1930s when sector-style dials became popular. Today we see them in various forms on high-end watches such as Patek Philippe, but certainly not always. In essence, a sector dial is any that has visible sections in it. This is often typified by a crosshair style “quadranting” of the dial, various tracks, or other parts of the dial sectioned off graphically or through colors. Our eyes tend to like sector dials for whatever reason. Some claim that they are easier to read and there is probably at least some truth to that. In this instance, Raymond Weil chose a specific type of vintage sector dial design and made it work into its brand aesthetic. The result is very pretty and very practical.

The dials are nicely proportioned and have great contrast, making for good legibility. The hour and minute hands are lumed, and the overall ability to dress a design like this up or down makes it a smart versatile buy. The Millesime case in this form is 39.5mm wide in steel, with both polished and brushed finishing. The case is a beautiful design, being relatively thin at 10.3mm thick (47mm long lug-to-lug distance) and with retro-style curved lugs. These little details make the overall Millesime design so effective, even if they are subtle. The case is water resistant to 50 meters with a “box-style” sapphire crystal over the dial. Around it is a polished bezel. Attached to the case is a supple leather strap that comes in a variety of colors to match the line’s full spectrum of dial tones.

Through the rear of the case, you can see a view of the movement inside. Don’t expect anything too fancy at this price point. Accordingly, the Swiss Made automatic movement inside may be robust, but it bears only the most basic finishing. Raymond Weil calls it the caliber RW4251 and I believe it is Sellita-based. The automatic movement operates at 4Hz with 38 hours of power reserve.

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In some ways, the retro theme of the Millesime might go too far for some buyers, but overall I really respect what Raymond Weil has done. What I meant by going too far are little things like having a snap-on caseback (as opposed to screw-down even though it still has 50 meters of water resistance), and the choice to not use quick-release spring bars on the strap ends. Cleary Raymond Weil wasn’t going for a sports watch, even though there is a high level of causal fashionability to the overall design. These are, however, very minor points and, objectively speaking, the Millesime is a dress watch that does its job quite well.

What I think people will most like about the Raymond Weil Millesime Automatic Small Seconds 39.5mm watch is how it is serious-feeling but more casually priced. Not that it is not per se cheap, but at under $2,000 it feels like a relative bargain for what you are getting, and Raymond Weil does have a reputation for excellent fit and finishing. This collection feels very well-suited to the brand, and it will be interesting to see how Raymond Weil continues to expand the Millesime collection in the years to come. Price for the Raymond Weil Millesome Men’s Automatic Small Seconds 39.5mm watch is $1,895 USD.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Raymond Weil
>Model: Millesime Men’s Automatic Small Seconds 39.5mm (references 2930-STC-65001 and 2930-STC-60001 tested)
>Price: $1,895 USD
>Size: 39.5mm wide, 1o.3mm thick, ~47mm long lug-to-lug distance
>When reviewer would personally wear it: As an elegant casual watch or a slightly sporty dress watch.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: A person who likes sector dials and would be able to wear this watch in casual social settings as well as in some formal settings.
>Best characteristic of watch: Handsome timeless dials and an elegantly comfortable wearing experience typify the Millesime. Good value and thin-feeling case with automatic movement help make it a great choice.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Limited environmental resistance puts it apart from sportier watches like it on the market. Would be great to see a matching, thin bracelet that goes with the watch, though something like that isn’t currently available. Undecorated movement.

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