Music is to Raymond Weil, what Edie Sedgwick was to Andy Warhol; a captivating muse and an inexhaustible source of inspiration. This love affair between music and watches has spun nearly half a century, passing from generation to generation. The luxury Swiss company now rests on the shoulders of Elie Bernheim, grandson of the founder who gave his name to the company.
Raymond Weil CEO, Elie Bernhiem describes his deep affinity for music and his admiration for Gibson and the iconic Gibson guitars: “When I was a kid, my mother introduced me to the world of music, firstly piano and then string instruments. I discovered rock ‘n’ roll and the riffs of electric guitars during performances by Slash alongside Lenny Kravitz and Guns N’ Roses.
Music has the ultimate power of making an impression on people. It doesn’t matter what kind of music catches our fancy, nobody can remain unmoved by a virtuoso’s skill. Blues, rock, pop, classical: we all have a striking memory of a concert, a piece of music or an artist that is profoundly linked to a key moment in our lives. The power of music is also about travelling in time. Today, Gibson leads us into the best that rock has to offer and makes our watches hum to this legendary beat.”
Music is so deeply ingrained in the DNA of Raymond Weil, and the Freelancer is no different. The new Freelancer chronograph is inspired by the iconic Gibson Les Paul guitar. The watch pays homage to the guitar's namesake, Les Paul, an incredibly talented American guitarist. Its makers describe it as a “Free-spirited watch that breaks loose from conventional codes.
The body of the 43.5 mm case is made of steel and its tachymeter bezel is enhanced with black PVD inspired by the lacquer on the Black Beauty – a guitar renowned for its electrifying performance. The board features a circular guilloché motif featuring six chords studded by fret-shaped hour markers. At twelve o’clock, the names of the famous guitar manufacturer and the legendary Les Paul signature appear, while the split-diamond inlay – a distinctive feature of the Les Paul Custom shines in golden tones next to the date window. Its ebony perforated calf leather strap brings to mind the sound holes that are part of the body of a guitar.”
Similarly, the new Buddy Holly design also pays homage to one of the music greats. Buddy Holly is recognised as the pioneer of rock ‘n' roll and this special addition stainless steel maestro has the same distinctive character as its namesake. Its designers say “The silver galvanic dial has subtle highlights of pale blue (Buddy’s favourite colour) encircling the rim, and on the secondary second sub dial, which also wears a pair of signature glasses on the sweep of the second hand.
The oversized number nine, featured as a reference to Buddy’s lucky number, is balanced by the date dial at the three o’clock position with the emblem of Buddy Holly’s signature centered on the face of the dial.”
In a generation where everyone looks at their phones to tell the time, Raymond Weil adds a touch of class. As convenient as a phone is, a wrist can feel a little light without a watch. Besides, there is something so effortlessly stylish about a good watch, and the new Freelancer and Buddy Holly designs are definitively that.
Words by Elle Magill