The chronograph, which is one of the most popular complications, has seen multiple iterations — ranging from a monopusher to a rattrapante to a flyback. All three are part of the chronograph family, but they are completely different from each other. And all major luxury watch brands have nurtured the chronograph family in some way or the other. Now, Raymond Weil has stepped into the pilot watch game with the new 400-piece Freelancer Pilot Flyback Chronograph Limited Edition (Ref. 7783-TIC-05520).
So, how does a chronograph function? Let's discuss the basics. In a classic chronograph, the chronograph hand is typically at the centre of the dial, taking the place of the traditional seconds hands. A standard chronograph watch normally has two pushers on the case. One pusher (usually at 2 o’clock) serves to both start and stop the chronograph hand. The other pusher (normally located at 4 o’clock) resets the chronograph hand back to the zero position when pushed inward.
On the new Raymond Weil Freelancer Pilot Flyback Chronograph watch, the complication removes the process of restarting the chronograph, thus bringing it down to only one step. In other words, the wearer activates the flyback complication by pushing the 2 o’clock pusher, and in order to time the next event, he will push the 4 o’clock pusher. After this, the chronograph hand will instantly reset itself to zero and start again.
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Pilot Flyback Chronograph watch comes in a 42 mm stainless steel case with grey PVD coating, which can also be found on the two chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock, the large onion crown at 3 o’clock, and the integrated lugs. The deep green dial has Arabic numerals and arrow-shaped markers for 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. The texture of the dial replicates the tarmac; there are baton-style hour, minute hands with Super-LumiNova® while the central chronograph seconds hand is in yellow colour. There is a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock with a yellow hand and a 60-second counter at 9 o’clock with a grey hand. There’s a white minute track on the outer periphery of the dial as well.
Powering the timepiece is the automatic, self-winding Calibre RW5530 with 56 hours of power reserve. Turning the watch over showcases the sapphire exhibition caseback with a W-shaped oscillating weight, displaying the engraving of the individual watch number out of 400 and a blue column wheel. The movement gets a perlage and Côtes de Genève motif, and a distinctive propeller motif engraved on the sapphire caseback. The watch is finished on a brown calf leather strap with four rivets and a double push security folding clasp.