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Striking the Right Note, A History of Raymond Weil and Music

May 25, 2017

At Ben Bridge, we work with not only some of the most desirable watch brands on the planet, but we also offer timepieces from some of the most storied and intriguing watchmakers. An inside look at some of our favorites. Raymond Weil: Striking the Right Note The year 1976 was a bleak time for the […]

Ben Bridge Jeweler

At Ben Bridge, we work with not only some of the most desirable watch brands on the planet, but we also offer timepieces from some of the most storied and intriguing watchmakers. An inside look at some of our favorites.

Raymond Weil: Striking the Right Note

The year 1976 was a bleak time for the Swiss watch industry. The so-called Quartz Crisis, which saw the spread of inexpensive battery-powered watches, brought traditional watch companies to their knees. Yet that was the year Raymond Weil decided to start his eponymous brand. Weil was a watch-industry veteran, a pilot, and music lover. He knew that to succeed in a difficult market, he had to have a unique focus. And while plenty of brands focused on sports, complicated timepieces, or aviation, Weil decided to make watches inspired by his lover for music.

In 1983, RAYMOND WEIL released a watch called the Amadeus to commemorate the Hollywood movie of the same name that told the story of Mozart. Since then, other watches inspired by classical music were introduced — Fidelio, Traviata, and Othello — with flowing lines and design elements that conjured a musical instrument or a night at the opera. The year 2015 saw perhaps the most literal translation of music to a wristwatch with the Nabucco Cello Tourbillon. The brand’s first tourbillon made a spectacular debut in this skeletonized masterpiece, which has four strings pulled taut across the dial and whose bridges are shaped like the F-holes on a cello. The watch was the brainchild of RAYMOND WEIL CEO Elie Bernheim, grandson of the company’s founder, who is a classically trained cellist.

black raymond weil watch on black background

In recent years, RAYMOND WEIL has drawn inspiration from and made tribute to the music beyond classical. The year 2015 was the 100th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birthday, and the company created a timepiece to commemorate it: the Maestro Frank Sinatra Limited Edition. A slim automatic in the style Sinatra might have worn during a 1960s Vegas show circuit, the watch has subtle cues that tie it to its namesake — hands and markers as blue as Sinatra’s trademark eyes and a single Roman numeral XII in reference to his birthdate, December 12.

In 2016, RAYMOND WEIL focused its attention on another musical legend, The Beatles, with another limited-edition tribute piece. The Maestro Beatles has a silver dial with the 13 Beatles album names printed around the perimeter and the Fab Four’s silhouette from theĀ Help! album cover at four o’clock. The official band logo is at the bottom of the dial as well as superimposed on the clear case back. The watch is a fitting tribute to perhaps the most iconic rock band of all time.

Transcending watches, RAYMOND WEIL has also formed a new partnership with Universal Music Group, a collaboration that provides curated music channels on the brand’s website, as well as exclusive access to music downloads for RAYMOND WEIL watch owners. This latest collaboration is one that comes at the right time — the 40th anniversary of the company’s founding — and is a fitting tribute to the company’s visionary founder, who would have undoubtedly approved of his namesake brand’s celebration of music.

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