d. freemont watches is to me a new watch brand that represents one man’s passion, David Freemont McCready. Until recently, I didn’t know of this brand, but it has been around for over 20 years. David had been collecting vintage timepieces for 40 years which resulted in a collection of almost 2000 pieces. When he decided to reduce his collection to just a few hundred pieces, his hobby began to turn into a business. Though his first branded watch was quartz, he really wanted to concentrate on producing his own mechanical watches. Over time, he has introduced almost 40 different lines or models of watches under the d. freemont brand.
Most of these watches, including the Voyager model shown and reviewed here, use on the watch face, the intertwined Garamond font logo of “df”, located at the position of the numeral seven (7). This refers to God’s number when on the seventh day God rested. There is also an albatross on this model watch above the 6 o’clock position, which represents a symbol of freedom. The Garamond font numbers, 3, 5 and 9, are also printed on the face with a round circular gold edged window in the face that extends from the top of the dial down to the center of the watch face. Visible on the watch face is the escapement portion of the movement, finished in flash gold with a surprisingly ornate shape and engraving. All printing on this example is black with a parchment face finish. The face branding is discrete and tasteful and work well with the nine circular five minute indices and the 36 hash marks around the outer edge of the dial. Matching Breguet style hour and minute hands as well as a tapered needle second hand finish the face of this watch nicely.
The exhibition case back displays the decorated ETA 2824 Elabore movement as well, primarily in the same flash gold finish. The watch rotor is embossed in a graduated diamond pattern and “TWENTY FIVE 25 JEWELS SWISS MADE”, is visible under certain angles and light conditions. The Elabore grade upgrades this movements adjustments to three positions with accuracy of +/-7 seconds per day, up to +/- 20 seconds a day, a healthy 5 and 10 seconds respectively, better accuracy than the Standard movement. 28’800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hz and a 42 hour power reserve with high reliability and accuracy has made this movement the no. 1 automatic Swiss watch movement.
The case of this watch is in a satin stainless steel that tapers in toward the case back. It uses a flat, almost flush, beveled edge sapphire crystal combined with a mineral crystal exhibition back with 5 ATM water resistance. A screw down, polished, engraved case back works very well with the appropriate looking engine turned, coin edged and downward sloping bezel. A 5mm in diameter, polished onion crown and drilled, turned downed 19mm lugs complete the case design. Added touches include discrete numbering of the watch on the 9 o’clock side of the case, here being number 791 of 900. A Dassari, quick release, dark brown leather strap with white stitching and seven round buckle holes, uses one fixed and one loose strap loop and tapers from 19mm to 16mm. Combined with a narrow, brushed stainless clasp, and the watch’s relatively small overall size (37mm in diameter, 9.5mm thick and only 43mm lug to lug) make this watch particularly suitable and very comfortable on smaller wrists. The voyager utilizes a unique bezel design. The bezel is separate from the case and is screwed down to fit. The finish on the bezel itself is termed, “engine turned”, a design utilized in classic automobiles in the 1930’s. The purpose of this is to isolate the crystal from the bezel. The crystal is secured inside the case therefore eliminating many instances that could chip the sapphire crystal.
The Voyager is the final watch of d. freemont’s Ancyent Marinere Series. It should be noted that of the 900 watches in the series, only 250 pieces are the Voyager design. Currently it is available from the dfreemont.com website for $750. The watch is Swiss Made and comes with a 1 year warranty. MBWW readers can request a discount code from [email protected]
Bert Kanne is a freelance contributor to MBWW with a love for well made dive watches and chronographs. All photos by Bert Kanne unless otherwise noted.