March 26, 2011

Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph Review

Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph Watch Review

  Raymond Weil has flown under W&R radar for a while, but the Freelancer Chronograph (ref. 7730-STC-20101) has put Raymond Weil back on the map! The Freelancer does not have a new ground breaking design, however, it is very well executed. It manages to separate it’s self from the pack with small subtleties and attention to detail. 
  The Freelancer Chronograph has a day/date complication. The day window in a standard layout, with the date window opened up revealing the date previous and after. The shape of the date window adds a nice balance to the 9 o’clock subdial. Hard not to like a nice visual contrast, the yellow gives the Freelancer the “wow” factor it needed. Raymond Weil managed to use the yellow with out being “in your face”, but just enough that it will not be missed. In yellow is the seconds hand, 12 o’clock subdial hand, 6 o’clock subdial hand, “automatic” in the 6 o’clock subdial, and a small triangle pointer all done in a vibrant mustard like yellow. All this is viewable through the double AR coated sapphire crystal. The watch is powered by an automatic Valjoux 7750 and is visible through the exhibition case back. W&R are big fans of an exhibition case back! It is worth mentioning the crown on the Freelancer is proportioned almost perfectly and has “RW” logo boldly done in relief. The watch is supported by a brown leather strap, with a push button deployant clasp. 
  The watch is 42mm, perfect for business or sporting a pair jeans. You certainly are not likely to see the Freelancer Chronograph everyday, that is good thing in W&R book. 

Pros - Solid movement, good proportions, exhibition case back

Consideration - Not overly unique in overall design

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42mm
Lug Width: N/A
Bezel: Fixed 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Brown Leather 
Movement: Valjoux 7750
Power Reserve: 46 Hrs 
Water Resistance: 100m

March 19, 2011

Tissot Sea Touch Review

Tissot Sea Touch Watch Review

  Tissot breaks new ground with the See Touch (ref. To26.420.11.031.00), a T-Touch with a new twist. As the name suggest this a geared towards divers, though many non-divers will still benefit from the innovative and useful features. I will say this feels more substantial and robust than the standard T-Touch. Before “diving” into the many features of this watch, there is the initial impression of the Sea Touch visually. The contrast of the black & white bezel is striking, also available in black & orange. Compared to the T-Touch Expert, the Sea Touch is a little over one millimeter thicker at 15.8mm in height. The Sea Touch is offered on a decent bracelet or a deployant rubber strap.
  Enter the cool factor, all functions dive and non-dive related. The watch is “toolish” in nature with a thermometer and compass. Dive mode can be activated manually or automatically and has a 10 second backlight to assist while submerged. The “wow” factor on the Sea Touch is the depth gauge function. The bezel is fixed unlike traditional unidirectional dive bezels. The bezel reflects 1-60 shown in meters. While in dive mode the minute hand moves to reflect the depth in meters via the fixed bezel. While in dive mode it shows elapsed time in the digital display. There is also a dive log function that will hold up to 220 recorded dives. Sea Touch has three pushers at 2, 3, and 4 o’clock. It should be noted these pushers are needed while under water as the touch functions do not operate while submerged. 

Pros - Cool factor, innovative, good value 

Consideration - If you are not a diver, you will get more functions in the T-Touch

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm
Lug Width: 20mm 
Bezel: Fixed 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Silver or Black
Bracelet: Stainless Steel 
Movement: ETA E48.301
Water Resistance: 200m