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Review: Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Moon Phase

'Hello sir, how can I help you today?' 'Hi—I'm looking for something dressy, perhaps with a date, day and month indicator —oh, and a moonphase.' 'Certainly sir. Do you have a budget in mind?' 'Yes I do, around the £2,000 mark.'

Here's a question—will our fictitious consumer find what he wants, or will he be laughed out the store? You may be surprised to learn (although the clever of you will have realised I'm setting you up for a surprising reveal) that it is entirely possible, thanks to the success story that is Raymond Weil. Raymond Weil is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of the quartz revolution, defying the odds whilst other established watchmakers crumbled to dust under the might of the cheap, quartz movement.

 Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Moon Phase front

So what does our eager watch-buying shopper get for his hard-earned money? He gets good value—impressively so. The Maestro Moon Phase is well made, with crisp detailing on the case and dial. Of course, there is only so much you can expect at this price point, so the calendar will need a nudge every now and again with the easy-to-use quickset buttons and the quality of the leather strap is a little disappointing, but there are ways around these foibles that make living with the Maestro a cinch. Alternatively, he could spend thousands more on a different manufacturer, but his wallet says otherwise!

 Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Moon Phase side

Raymond Weil may be a long way off competing for sales with the likes of Patek Philippe, but the law of diminishing returns (something hi-fi fans especially will be well aware of) dictates that the difference in quality isn't as far off as first thought. And it isn't. If our friend in the shop held the unlikely pair close, he'll see differences. If he held them at arms length, he'd struggle. On someone else's wrist, unless he was extremely eagle-eyed, he'd have no idea there were any differences at all.

Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Moon Phase close up

Everything, always, is about compromise; we'd all love a Patek, but for some of us, it's just not going to happen, so in step Raymond Weil. It's hard to feel mopey about the unobtainable when a sensible budget gets something as complete as the Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Moon Phase 2849-STC-00659, and it's a fantastic entry point into the dangerously expensive world of the high complication dress watch. Our credit card-bearing customer may have walked into the shop with a heavy heart after meandering wistfully past the Patek boutique, but he'll return with a Raymond Weil and a smile.

 Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Moon Phase case

Watch Spec | Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Moon Phase 2849-STC-00659

Case: Steel Dimensions: 39.5mm dia, 10.85mm thick Crystal: Antireflective coated synthetic sapphire Water Resistance: 50m Movement: Calibre RW4600 based on Sellita SW200, automatic Frequency: 28,800 vph Power Reserve: 38 hours Strap: Brown leather Functions: Time, date, day, month, moonphase