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The Second Take: Raymond Weil, Corum, and Harry Winston

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July 2018


The Second Take: Raymond Weil, Corum, and Harry Winston

This week in the news, Raymond Weil adds to its Freelancer collection, Corum releases a mini version of the Bubble Watch, and Harry Winston launches a new Ocean Automatic flooded with diamonds.

Raymond Weil’s Freelancer Calibre RW1212 Skeleton Automatic

First launched in 2007, the Freelancer collection was created by Raymond Weil with high aspirations in mind, to “honor the free-spirited man who wishes to remain in control of his own destiny.”

Controlling one’s destiny is a question for philosophers to figure out, so let’s focus on the watch here.

Raymond Weil's Freelancer Skeleton Automatic

In practical terms, the Freelancer is a nice mix of classic and modern styling and it is targeting today’s urban warriors. Framed by a 42mm PVD steel case, the watch is defined by an open-worked dial with a distinctive balance wheel at the 6 o’clock.

As a result, we get to see and appreciate the brand’s new skeleton Calibre RW1212. Named after the postal code 1212 corresponding to the brand’s manufacture near Geneva, Switzerland, this movement is the result of collaboration with Swiss movement manufacturer Sellita.

The mechanical self-winding calibre RW1212 beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a decent power reserve of 38 hours. It also sports an engraved oscillating weight that has been skeletonized to add to the transparency of the timepiece.

The Bubble watch slims down to 17mm

Corum Bubble 17mm

One of the more recognizable watches by Corum is its very popular Bubble watch. A model designed to flaunt all of its curves, the watch was first available in 3 quite large 42mm, 47mm, and 52 mm case sizes.

For those that might find that a bit much for the wrist, Corum has gone in the opposite direction with the latest addition to the Bubble collection: a new 17mm version.

The Second Take: Raymond Weil, Corum, and Harry Winston

It’s no secret that the new version targets the women’s market. That’s clear not just by the smaller size, but also by the bezel set with stones and paired with a matching bracelet: topaz on a turquoise bracelet, ruby on a red bracelet and diamonds on a brown bracelet.

Nevertheless, the piece adopts the same design codes that made its sister watches so popular: a round stainless steel case, a domed sapphire crystal, and a bubble-shaped crown with rubber grip.

The three new 17mm versions of the Bubble watch will only be produced as a series of 18 pieces for each colour. So while this is a clear throwback to the vintage era of small ladies’ watches, the fact that this is a limited edition suggests that Corum is only partially embracing today’s trend towards vintage sized timekeepers.

Harry Winston launches a new Ocean Automatic flooded with diamonds

The Second Take: Raymond Weil, Corum, and Harry Winston

As ever with Harry Winston timepieces, the new Ocean Waterfall Automatic 36mm is defined by an art deco aesthetic. The long, rectangular shape of the baguette-cut diamonds, for example, is a great example of a popular style during that period.

We find no less than 118 baguette-cut diamonds on the 36mm white gold case of the new model, featured on its bezel, lugs, and the sides of the case. Providing a bit of contrast, both in terms of shape and colour, is the emerald shaped pink sapphire at 12 o’clock.

For many other brands, those stones might well suffice. But not so with Harry Winston. The dial is set with a cascade of 165 baguette-cut diamonds, which radiate light in all directions. The so-called “invisible setting” involves positioning the stones such that no metal is visible between them. The goal is to create a smooth surface that magnifies the luster of the diamonds.

Ocean Waterfall Automatic 36mm, with 404 diamonds in all

The feminine counters provide even more luxury thanks to 74 more brilliant-cut diamonds and a further 10 baguette-cut and 32 brilliant-cut pink sapphires.

In case you were wondering, the Ocean Waterfall Automatic 36mm is still a fine timekeeper too. It is equipped with a high-end Swiss mechanical automatic movement with generous 65 hours of autonomy and some of the latest technology, including a flat silicon balance spring.

Of course, the movement also boasts an additional 23 brilliant-cut diamonds on its white gold rotor. In all, the new watch is flooded with 404 diamonds and 43 pink sapphires!