Exclusive: First timepiece by new Swiss-Made brand Raphael Frémont
I was recently lucky enough to get my hands on Raphael Frémont’s Legacy Automatic. First impressions are everything – whether we’re talking watches or watch brands. Luckily for newcomer Raphael Frémont, it looks like their automatic timepiece will make for a sophisticated and elegant entrance into the market.
Before we get to the guts of the watch, we’ve got to talk about the looks. Indeed, the word “Legacy” is a good place to start – the watch looks like the dictionary definition of a classically elegant, stylish, and functional timepiece. Instead of relying on flashy colors and questionable, hit-or-miss flourishes, Raphael Frémont decided that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This is the watch that your grandfather might’ve oggled in store windows many years ago, and it is this traditional stylistic continuity that gives this watch its timeless charm and sophistication.
With that being said, there are delightful accents on the case and dial that set the Legacy Automatic apart. The tiny hatch marks give the watch a faint scent of nautical adventure and sea breeze without making you look like Popeye.
The detailed etching of a ship on the back of the case is beautiful to behold when handling the watch but is tucked out of sight when worn, which is appropriate, as it would ruin the watch’s tasteful design on the dial. With a polished steel bezel and flat sapphire glass, it’s reasonable to expect this watch to last a long time, especially if you take good care of it.
The straps also speak to Raphael Frémont’s focus on producing a solid quality timepiece as one of their first offerings. Brown Italian calf leather straps with an alligator pattern are a simple and classical way to contrast the cold tones of the ceramic white and polished steel watch dial. Italian leather has a well-earned reputation and develops an attractive patina with use.
In a great decision to make their watch even more universal, Raphael Frémont also made the straps easily removeable. This gives your watch much more mileage in terms of both style and wear-and-tear – old or damaged straps can be replaced, and when you change outfits from the boardroom to cocktail hour, your watch can follow suite. The monochrome dial makes it match almost any straps you choose – within reason.
But so what if the watch looks good? If you can’t depend on it to work right, you’ve just wasted money on a rather silly bracelet. For the Legacy Automatic, Raphael Frémont went with quality, industry-standard Swiss-Made certification. That means that most, if not all, of the watch was manufactured and assembled in Switzerland – a country with a rich and proud tradition of quality watch and watch movement craftsmanship. The Swiss government maintains stringent standards. If they are not met, the watch cannot be certified Swiss-Made. As such, you can trust that the movement of this watch will work for a long time – Raphael Frémont left it to the experts at Ronda on this one, which was definitely a good move. The other aforementioned details, like the sapphire glass and the Italian calf leather straps, all point to a watch that was made to last.
In general, Raphael Frémont’s Legacy Automatic is an excellent timepiece for someone who wants to make a safe purchase. With the solid craftsmanship and the traditional and sophisticated design, it looks like you just can’t miss with this one. What’s more, it’s rare to see such a confident and solid first offering from a new brand like Raphael Frémont. If their first venture is such a well-made and beautifully designed watch, I’m definitely excited to see what else they’ve got planned.