The Millesime collection by Raymond Weil took us by surprise when it launched last year. Once in a while, a watch comes along that just seems to work. The design and the execution just click. The Millesime is such a watch. So when Raymond Weil announced new models, I was keen to give them a try.

Today, I am testing the 35mm Automatic, the 39.5mm Moon Phase, and a new green-dial Small Seconds model on a bracelet. These models will become available in September.

Raymond Weil Millesime Moon Phase and 35mm Automatic

The Raymond Weil Millesime

In case you aren’t yet familiar with the Raymond Weil Millesime, let me give you some background. Millésime means “vintage” in French, and these watches certainly look the part. However, if you follow my writing, you may know I suffer from a slight vintage-inspired fatigue. I am just about done with all the faux patina and one-to-one copies of historical references. The Millesime, however, takes a different approach, and it happens to be one that I like quite a bit.

Raymond Weil applies a technique called “evolved design.” It takes a historical concept as a starting point and then asks what it would look like if it were drawn today. The result, if done right, tends to be more original and less sentimental than most straight vintage reissues are. The approach takes the gimmicky vibe out of vintage-inspired design.

If you look at the Raymond Weil Millesime, you see a classical watch rather than a vintage one. It is supremely clean and simple yet characterful. Sure, it is similar to sector-dial watches from brands like Longines and Jaeger-LeCoultre, but it is also distinctly different. The fact that RW went with a nicely faceted case, non-blued hands, and crisp white lume provides the old-school concept with contemporary appeal and relevance.

Raymond Weil Millesime 35mm Automatic

The 35mm Raymond Weil Millesime Automatic

Now on to the watches in front of me. The first I wish to cover is the 35mm version with its center-seconds layout. At just under 10mm thick and 42mm from lug to lug, this is a small watch. I like it because the size is in perfect harmony with the design. There is less negative space on the dial, and everything is a little more condensed.

The 39.5mm and the 35mm compared

You can see the caliber RW4200 through the sapphire window on the back. If the movement looks familiar, it is because it is based on the Sellita SW200 family. This is a good thing because those are some of the longest-running and most reliable ébauche calibers in the business. In RW guise, it has a power reserve of 41 hours. Accuracy isn’t specified, so expect something fairly standard.

Raymond Weil Millesime Automatic 35mm

The water resistance is rated at 50 meters, which is plenty for a watch of this style. The hour and minute hands are lumed, and they make their rounds over a beautiful multi-textured sector dial. This 35mm version is my favorite as I feel the dial works best at this scale. The flat vertically brushed bezel is narrower than on the 39.5mm models, which is the only thing I would change. I like the meatier bezel because it gives the larger models a slightly more muscular look. This 35mm version is priced at €1,695.

Raymond Weil Millesime Moon Phase

The 39.5mm Raymond Weil Millesime Moon Phase

The second new model is housed in the 39.5mm case of the original Millesime. This case is just over 10mm thick and 46mm long. While it remains perfectly wearable, it does look significantly larger and more modern as a result.

Adding a moonphase complication to the Millesime makes a ton of sense. For starters, it suits this style like a charm. Additionally, the dial was already perfectly balanced for a sub-dial at 6 o’clock because the original model had a sub-seconds layout. The “Automatic” line remains under a subdued moonphase display with a face drawn on the moon.

Inside, we find another Raymond Weil version of a Sellita 200-family caliber, the RW4280. Except for a custom rotor, it isn’t decorated. I could see why you might lament this, but I feel the bare look of the caliber suits the watch quite well. I would have been fine with an all-steel back too. The moonphase display does add visual interest, even if it is very subtly applied. The face on the moon takes a little bit of the seriousness out of the design, which is nice. This Millesime Moon Phase comes in at €2,295.

A green dial and a bracelet

Finally, we have the Raymond Weil Millesime Automatic Small Seconds with a new green dial and a bracelet. Under the hood, this is the same watch Lex described before. Aesthetically, however, the bracelet and the dial change the nature of the watch drastically.

Starting with the dial, you get the familiar layout but lacquered in a sort of acid or kelp green. Green is a notoriously difficult color to get right on watch dials. On the one hand, Raymond Weil succeeded in finding a very flexible color. You will find this easy to pair with attire, and it is suited to daily wearing. At the same time, I feel the color would have been more appealing if there were a tad less yellow in its makeup. Granted, this is a subjective matter.

Moving on to the bracelet, we find a classic five-row stainless steel example with female end links that maintain the watch’s 46mm overall length. This bracelet is quite thick, and it feels solid. The double-push-button butterfly clasp suits the style of the watch. You have to close it in a specific order, though, which some might find bothersome. The Millesime wears well on the bracelet. Unfortunately, there are no quick-release or micro-adjustment mechanisms, so it is something of a set-and-forget option. At the time of writing, we do not yet have a price for this model.

Good additions to the Millesime lineup

I think these three new models show that Raymond Weil takes the Millesime line seriously. And that is rightfully so as it seems to get people excited about the brand. The new models show the potential for the line in terms of sizes, colors, and complications.

My favorite, as you have gathered, is the 35mm Automatic. I feel it lets the design sing, and I like its under-the-radar, old-school presence on the wrist. The bracelet model is probably my least favorite. This also speaks to the fact that the gray leather straps just look superb on the others. If, however, you want more versatility, the bracelet is a great option.

I, for one, am curious to see what the future brings for the Raymond Weil Millesime line. The potential is certainly there, as these three solid offerings prove.

What do you think of the Raymond Weil Millesime collection and these three new versions? Let us know in the comments below!