By TLex A severe looking watch for a severe job. The new S.T Dupont RAID with its 300m water resistant, 44mm PVD coated stainless steel case and scratch resistant AR-coated sapphire crystal isn't the most attractive looking watch, granted; but it certainly looks up to the job of serving the anti-terrorist unit of the French National police, RAID (Research, Assistance, Intervention, Deterrence) as denoted by their emblem (6 o'clock).
Its mean looking case houses a Swiss made ETA 2893-2 Cal. with 21 jewels beating at 28'800vph, 42hr power reserve and GMT complication. MSRP is 3'980euro.
SERVICE WITHOUT FAIL RAID is an elite special operations unit of the French National Police that was established in 1985 to fight all types of illegal activity and serious crime. Its name refers to the word RAID which is an acronym for: 'Search (Recherche in French),Assistance, Intervention and Dissuasion'.
Its motto is:'Service without fail'. Since 1872, the French luxury manufacturer S.T.Dupont has been outfitting the elite and the influential people of our world. In its workshops in France,S.T.Dupont designs and produces exceptional products for exceptional individuals.Different spheres of activity but a shared commitment to excellence and perfection. So it was natural that RAID turned to S.T.Dupont for a unique creation of high quality to mark its 25-year anniversary. Out of this collaboration, an exceptional collector's item was born, with production limited to just 500:
Powerful lines, resilient case,innovative architecture Clearly, this is a timepiece of exceptional character.This impression is reinforced by the watch’s mechanical construction:a hexagonal case,44 mm in diameter,on a raised shoulder and extended by the brushed matt bezel. A subtle balance between power and refinement,the Raid watch benefits from a double shoulder,satin and matt,that protects the Diamond Head crown from potential impacts.
The bezel that adds depth to the case plays on contrasts: with a soft satin finish on the outside, it shows a more radical aspect approaching the dial. A free fall of 90 degrees towards the dial ends in a groove cut with 120 notches. A subtle detail that alludes to the watch-making gears and to the Manufacture spirit of this new masculine watch.
The dial, with its over-sized numerals, is a virile reinterpretation of S.T.Dupont's customary horological features. The 9 and the 3, slightly in relief, dominate the dial in a very bold statement.
The 2893-2 movement, a perfect marriage of technical and aesthetic refinement, satisfies the ultimate demands made of S.T.Dupont’s creations. This movement is certified to ensure perfect chronometric stability, whatever the watch’s level of winding, whether it has been worn for an hour or a whole day. To achieve this, tests and a certificate from the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) attest to and guarantee an excellent level of constancy in the control and the stability of the chronometric precision.
More than just a watch, this chronometer with a 44 mm case contains a COSC-certified ETA self-winding movement that is the incarnation of all the know-how and the excellence of Swiss watchmaking.
Its functions and unique design meet the exacting criteria of this special unit. Black from the case to the strap, like the uniforms of this team of 170 men, black like the panther, the powerful symbol that sums up the spirit of RAID: to act silently, with patience, determination and force, to face the most extreme situations on a daily basis.
The 'RAID' insignia applied in bright polished relief on the dial at 6 o’clock were designed using S.T.Dupont’s unique know-how so that they are hidden from all but the wearer, who can see them when reading the time. This industrial prowess is a response to the wishes of RAID personnel, who cultivate discretion. A reminder of the motto 'Servir sans faillir' (Service without fail) is deeply engraved on the back of the case.
Each of these watches has been produced and assembled with minute attention to detail.
The dial, with its sunk markers, designed for maximum legibility even under poor light conditions (during operations).
Oversized numerals at 9 and 3
The sapphire crystal that is scratch-resistant and has an antireflective treatment.
The winding mechanism, with the Diamond Head pattern for a better grip, is lodged in the middle of solid protective shoulders. A gauge of the watch’s reliability and water-resistance.
Clasp with a double pin buckle to ensure reliable closure of the strap in “soft touch” treated leather. This treatment provides the comfort and the appearance of materials that have been developed using silicone plastic technology, but it is real leather, with all the advantages of this natural material.
Screwed down crown, a diving timer, the precision is increased by a 120-click mechanism, a reference pointer that is doubled by a photo-luminescent rider, a gauge of security that enables instantaneous reading of the time.
GMT reading hand, intentionally smaller than the hours and minutes hands but highlighted by a photo-luminescent pointer to indicate the reference time zone.
'Soft Touch' treated leather strap for maximum comfort, over-stitched in grey for an ultra-trendy look.