In partnership with Raymond Weil.\r\nRaymond Weil is a company unshackled. For over 40 years, the family-owned household name in horology has remained independent, and as such, maintained a unique ability to foster left-of-centre ideas and designs that another maison might be inclined to pass over. Their affinity with loud music and celebrating those who\u2019ve both rocked and rolled is already undisputed, with thanks to their Music Icons special edition pieces of late, which have seen designs honouring David Bowie, Les Paul and Marshall Amplifiers (though, while a Marshall may go to 11, these ones go to 12).\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIn one of our favourite mash-ups between delicate Swiss mechanical watchmaking and High Voltage Rock \u2018n\u2019 Roll (an already flourishing market, we\u2019ll have you know), Raymond Weil\u2019s latest automatic timepiece is an elegant nod to one of the highest selling bands of all-time: Australia\u2019s own hall-of-famers AC\/DC.\r\n\r\nWith a design pulled directly from the Freelancer playbook (read: a 42mm case, two-hands and a balance wheel handsomely exposed at 6 o\u2019clock), it\u2019s already an attractive and practical watch. We covered the recent addition of a skeleton timepiece to the Freelancer range not long back and discussed in detail Raymond Weil\u2019s ability to maintain finesse, class and independence in an ever-changing marketplace. Once again, they\u2019ve proved that no matter their muse, theirs is a tireless and distinct pedigree.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTake, for example, the studded indexes surrounding the dial. At a distance, striking, but up-close a very clever detail. Subtle and understated, it would be so easy to go overboard with a design brief like this, but each element has been tied to the last, and what results is a linear feel to a unique piece of Rock \u2018n\u2019 Roll memorabilia.\r\n\r\nAC\/DC first graced radios in 1974, and despite several line up changes, has continued to fill stadiums and sell records consistently for over 40 years. Guitarist Angus Young and his brother Malcolm steered a collection of the world\u2019s best rock musicians through decades of sold-out tours, record-breaking album sales and hit after hit. Malcolm sadly passed away earlier this year, his spot in the lineup, as rhythm guitarist, has been filled by his nephew Stevie. Their 1980 album, Back in Black, is the highest selling album by a rock group in the world; the second highest selling album of all time in the US, in fact. All up, the band has sold over 200 million records globally since they first struck the strings.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nRaymond Weil\u2019s Music Icons series has been a refreshing departure from the norm. When other watchmakers, especially Swiss ones, produce a special edition range, there\u2019s a tendency to play it safe and keep within the lines. Raymond Weil eschews all of the pomp and tradition that\u2019s so often conflated with high-street horology, and proves that you can be an independently owned maison producing movements in-house, and still have fun, without losing your audience. This, actually, is the most appealing feature of the entire Freelancer range. Each one is different, from conservative styles to suit corporate conformity, to examples like this, which celebrate personal expression and individuality, without sacrificing the fact that you\u2019re still wearing a Swiss masterpiece.\r\n\r\nAnd on that note, it\u2019s time to talk (again) about Raymond Weil\u2019s in-house automatic movement, the RW1212. This is Raymond Weil\u2019s first foray into producing their own movements, and given it comes off the back of a long-term relationship with Swiss powerhouse Sellita (who helped to co-develop it), the expectation for this to deliver is high, but effortlessly met.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nA glimpse through the glass case back shows that they\u2019ve made it look the part (the logo engraving on the oscillating weight is bold and masculine), and the no-nonsense aesthetics match the sui generis nature of this design: enough grit and grunge that you could wear it on stage, but also a much classier way to let everybody know that it\u2019s a long way to the top than your hole-riddled 1986 tour shirt.\r\n\r\nAnd then back to the dial, and the more we look at this watch, the more we\u2019re dumbfounded by Raymond Weil\u2019s ability to take something as hardcore Rock \u2018n\u2019 Roll as AC\/DC, and turn it into something elegant enough to sport the \u201cFreelancer\u201d moniker. The balance wheel at the 6 o\u2019clock position acts almost as a stage; a peek into the inner workings, where you can see the rock and the roll of the delicate components coming together, much like the band to which it pays homage.\r\n\r\nThe zig-zag pattern incorporated into the black dial emulates the lightning-bolt of the band\u2019s original logo, which is also embossed on the black leather strap. The font size isn\u2019t subtle, but the overall effect is (one might perhaps be inclined to assume that a watch named after a metal band would hardly comprise a leather strap, but that\u2019s the genius of this entire collection: it just works, even when it logically shouldn\u2019t).\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLimited to 3,000 pieces, far fewer than the number of fans who would certainly make the investment, this is set to be one of the most sought-after examples from the Swiss manufacturer. Each watch is sold in a special edition case and has a certificate of authenticity provided.\r\n\r\nMusic and art have long been salient inspirations for Raymond Weil. The founder who forged the eponymous company during the quartz crisis saw these mediums as \u201can inexhaustible source of inspiration and creativity\u201d. This is just another piece of proof that the company, which plays David to the Goliath of enormous luxury multinationals, is running its own race, and making some outstanding timepieces in the meantime.\r\n\r\nCurrent CEO of Raymond Weil, Elie Bernheim, opined: \u201cAs AC\/DC perfectly quoted \u201clet there be light, sound, drums and guitar - let there be rock\u201d.\r\n\r\nWe couldn\u2019t agree more.\r\nCheck it out\r\nHave you subscribed to\u00a0Man of Many? You can also follow us on\u00a0Facebook,\u00a0Twitter, and\u00a0Instagram.