The history Raymond Weil and our longstanding relationship
Raymond Weil is an independent watch maker from Genève Switzerland. Renowned throughout the industry as one of the top luxury brands in the world they are a driving force in the watch and jewellery world in 2019 with innovative designs and a close tie to the music industry and this is our story of a relationship between two independent companies.
When you think of an independent business, you think of family, passion and desire to succeed. Independent means freedom from outside control, private ownership and that the roots of the company and brand can be personally traced back to its foundation and to personal thoughts and feelings. This passionate mentality can often be seen throughout an independent business, as you can put a face to all the names involved, people who know they can make a genuine contribution to a company who welcomes them in to the family. It is no surprise, therefore that Peter Jackson the Jeweller is just as passionate about the independent watchmaker Raymond Weil as they were some twenty-five years ago.
Twenty-five years is a long time in anybody’s lifetime, let alone in business, as relationships form and change and even end. “It’s not personal, it’s strictly business.” as the saying goes. However, one relationship within the independent sector that has stood through this time, with economic highs and lows, and an ever-changing industry is the relationship with Raymond Weil. With like-minded values and the belief that luxury products and luxury service go hand in hand, these two businesses work seamlessly with each other.
Raymond Weil founded his company in 1976 in what was a tumultuous time for the Swiss watch market due to the development of quartz technology. It was not going to be easy from the start, however, it was passion which was the key ingredient to the success of his self-named brand. Music has also always been cited as a source of inspiration for Raymond Weil ever since the companies’ foundation. Fast forward all the way to 2018 after another successful year at Baselworld, the most prestigious watch and jewellery trade show in the world, and it is evident that music is still a key passion from the family owned watchmaker.
Although music may seem like an unlikely muse for the craft of watchmaking, both watchmaking and music are true art forms that require outstanding skill, dedication and hours of love and labour to achieve perfection. When you have mastered your craft, your creations will resonate with people for a lifetime, and evoke feelings of emotion and passion in themselves. With music, it is clear to see how this pure artform inspired Raymond Weil and continues to motivate the company to this day as they openly state themselves “Music has always been an essential part of Raymond Weil’s DNA. With over 35 years of involvement in the music industry across all genres, the Swiss watchmaker composes its timepieces the way musicians compose their chef d’oeuvres.”
At Peter Jackson the Jeweller we believe it is important to give the same level of luxury service to every customer and to enthuse about the products which we sell and this is why Raymond Weil has been a part of our company for so long. We see a family business much like ours, who themselves want to provide luxury at an affordable price. They want to provide a product with history and quality that has true integrity and a genuine story behind each and every piece. It is this kind of dedication and belief that makes us adore their product. It is with this ethos that we can passionately sell their product. Raymond Weil gives us talking points, unique selling attributes and products that are hard to beat on price for the love and workmanship that has gone into each and every piece. Perhaps above all we share mutual respect and appreciation. The people who work for Raymond Weil are much like our team, they are enthusiastic, loyal and work for the same common goal as we do. We feel their family business is bonded to our family business and with this it is no surprise that twenty-five years has passed and we still have strong personal ties to this day.
On 27 January 2014, Raymond Weil Genève announced that Raymond, much loved and admired by so many had died. Leaving behind a strong legacy throughout the watch industry. It all started when he got a diploma in commerce, he then entered Camy Watch S.A. – a Swiss watchmaker in 1949 where he became manager and spent 26 years of his life. As part of his legacy, Mr Weil had ties to several high positions in various professional organisations: he was President of the Geneva Watchmaker Union, Vice-President of the Watchmaking Industry Training Centre (CFH), and member of the Watchmaking Federation (FH) and other employers’ associations. Until 1995, he was also President of the Exhibitors Committee of the Basel International Watch and Jewellery Fair. You can see a short interview with Mr Raymond Weil by clicking this link here.
With the loss of Raymond Weil, his business was left in very safe hands. In 1982, at the request of Mr Weil, his son in-law Olivier Bernheim joined the company cementing the ethos of a family run business.
Olivier helped the Raymond Weil brand grow into a worldwide respected name in the Swiss watch industry, he wanted to strive to develop the image of his father in-law’s brand. Olivier would restructure many aspects of the brand as he drove them into the international market, but always keen to preserve the company’s family identity. In 1996 Olivier would be become President and CEO of Raymond Weil Genève. His strategy has never changed to this day. He is insistent that Raymond Weil will continue with the introduction of new, increasingly sophisticated mechanical timepieces, along with the development of entry-level collections, and a wider-reaching communication strategy.
In 2018 Olivier Bernheim continues to push the boundaries for Raymond Weil based in Geneva Switzerland with ambitions to reinforce the Brand’s presence in key markets such as China, India and Russia, which represent huge potential. Much like Mr Weil, he cites Music and family as two key passions in his life, and states that he always tries to find the time to listen to Opera music. At this time, he is now joined in the company by his sons Elie Bernheim, the current CEO and Pierre Bernheim (Director). Olivier’s sons joined the company in 2006 to establish the third generation into the independent family run business and their passion for watches and music is evident to see much like their father and Grandfather.
Elie as well as being proficient in watchmaking, marketing and business management, also has a professional diploma in cello. Whilst being in charge of the global branding, Elie has brought a youthful modern edge to the brand, which can be seen over the last few years as Raymond Weil continue to develop and increase their portfolio of the Icon’s of Music collections, so far working with names such as The Beatles, David Bowie, Les Paul Gibson Guitars, Bob Marley, Marshall Amps and AC/DC to name a few, along with their many sponsorships of music related events such as The Brit Awards.
At Peter Jackson the Jeweller, we are proud to showcase not only a product that we love, but also a brand that we love. A brand much like ours, independent, family owned, family run, passionate and inspirational. If you would like to learn more about Raymond Weil and the stunning products on offer click the link below to see our very own hand selected range from one of the top independent authorised dealerships in the UK, or call into any of our four stores to speak to our passionate people about the fascinating, independent family watch brand Raymond Weil.
Danny Bond P.J Dip