The French word millésime comes from the world of wine, not watches. It denotes a “vintage,” a wine produced from a single year’s grape harvest, especially a great one. So, the Raymond Weil Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph is a 2024 vintage from Geneva. Whether 2024 is going to be a fruitful watch year is yet to be determined, but Geneva is certainly a good environment for producing great timepieces. Let’s find out if the Raymond Weil Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph is any good while sipping a cup of coffee. After all, it’s a bit early for a glass of wine, don’t you think?

Retro without faux patina — yes, it exists. The vintage-inspired Raymond Weil Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph shows how it’s done. And I applaud “RW’s” modus operandi. Beige lume would ruin the Millesime’s strong graphical qualities. It would blur the sharpness of the sector dial, the undisputed star of the show. The relatively young Genevan brand founded in 1976 showed it figured out how to create sector-dial watches with a GPHG-winning reference and several other Millesime variants, including a 35mm time-only model and a 39.5mm Moon Phase. Now it’s time to take a “sip” of the Tri-Compax Chronograph.

Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph

Raymond Weil Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph: the sportiest of the vintage-inspired lot yet

It’s hard to beat a winner. The winner of the GPHG 2023 Challenge Watch Prize, that is. The models that followed ended up on the podium but couldn’t reach the top spot. The Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph, the sportiest of the lot, might just be the watch that does. With its 39.5mm diameter, 46mm lug-to-lug, and 12.9mm thickness, this 50m-water-resistant stainless steel watch is wearable in every way. It sits comfortably on just about any wrist.

The 12.9mm thickness deserves a few extra words of praise. It not only suits the diameter, creating a well-proportioned watch case, but it also serves as an example for the competition. Very often, we come across sub-€5K automatic chronographs with cases measuring at least 15mm thick. RW has kept its newest chronograph nice and (relatively) slim, and this good-looking watch deserved that.

Raymond Weil

Underneath the bubble case back

Even without knowing the exact measurements, the Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph simply looks svelte. That’s because RW decided to use a bubble case back and a slim case band. The presence of a box-shaped sapphire crystal over the dial also helps to achieve the goal of optical slimness and fits the watch’s retro vibe. And inside the slim case beats the Sellita-based caliber RW5030. This is an automatic 27-jewel movement with a 4Hz frequency and 65-hour power reserve. The transparent snap-on case back allows a view of the movement. More than anything else, seeing the movement beat simply confirms this is a mechanical watch, not a battery-powered timepiece. The beauty is on the front of the Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph, not the back.

Raymond Weil Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph

Back to the front

The Raymond Weil Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph features a flat bezel with a vertically brushed finish, polished and classic rounded lugs, pump pushers, and a large, fluted crown to provide some contrast. The new chronograph is available in two colorways. There’s the strong/sober black-dial version we have here (ref. 7765-STC-20001) and a more lively reverse panda dial in very dark blue with silvery white sub-dials (ref. 7765-STC-50651). The tri-register layout doesn’t clash with the sector-style dial, peripheral tracks, and central crosshair. On the contrary, it just adds nicely executed details and functionality. The two tracks on the dial’s periphery are white, with the outermost one for the tachymeter function. Within the third track are matching white stick-style hour markers with a Super-LumiNova treatment.

The three slightly recessed sub-dials have a classic layout, with running seconds at 9, a 30-minute counter at 3, and a 12-hour totalizer at 6 o’clock. It’s easy to read the time in darker circumstances thanks to the Super-LumiNova on the obelisk-shaped hour and minute hands. Reading measured intervals without much light is more challenging, though, because none of the chronograph hands have any luminous material. I can live with that, but can you?

Raymond Weil

Final details and pricing for the Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph

Raymond Weil winning a GPHG award was a surprise. But the fact that the brand did so with the first version of the Millesime wasn’t. Indeed, the vast majority of opinions on the prize-winning watch were very positive. Just like the original three-hander, the Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph is a very pleasing watch to look at and wear. In line with the vintage theme, RW has forgone a clumsy/bulky/faux-luxury folding clasp. Instead, the brand kept things simple and stylish by outfitting the calfskin strap (black for this version and navy for the other) with a stainless steel pin buckle. Both the blue and the black straps have gray top stitching near the drilled lugs for that extra touch of retro.

Raymond Weil

The retail price of the Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph is €3,725, which is neither a steal nor unfair. It buys you a watch with a popular, classic design without a touch of beige lume to create that warm and fuzzy retro feeling. This is what a watch with a sector dial would have looked like when it came out of the manufacture, not when it was rediscovered many decades later. Kudos to Raymond Weil for going that route. But is this the Millesime to have?

Raymond Weil Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph

Coffee or wine?

Well, the Millesime Moon Phase isn’t the one to have, but that’s just my opinion. The one with central seconds doesn’t rock my world either. But the chronograph sure comes close to the original Small Seconds model that impressed me. I find it very difficult to choose between the award-winning version and this Tri-Compax Chronograph. Let me get back to you on that. What I do know is that the watches in the Millesime collection make great daily wearers. In that sense, the Millesime is more coffee than wine, despite Benjamin Franklin having said that “wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” In the meantime, please tell me which millésime is to your taste.

Watch specifications

Millesime Tri-Compax Chronograph
Matte black with sectors, black sub-dials, and Super-LumiNova baton indices
Case Material
Stainless steel with brushed and polished finishes
Case Dimensions
39.5mm (diameter) × 46mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.9mm (thickness)
Box-style sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire crystal, snap-on
Raymond Weil 5030: Sellita-based automatic chronograph with manual winding, 28,800vph frequency, 56-hour power reserve, 27 jewels, cam lever
Water Resistance
5 ATM (50 meters)
Black calfskin (20mm width) with stainless steel pin buckle
Time (hours, minutes, small second), chronograph (12-hour and 30-minute registers, central seconds), and tachymeter