The driving force behind Raymond’s Weil’s passion for music is the brand’s chief executive Elie Bernheim, who grew up in a house that was constantly alive with the latest sounds.
“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,” recalls Mr Bernheim.
“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,” he adds.
This passion has led to a number of partnerships and collaborations including sponsorship of the Brit Awards for the past decade; the creation of tribute watches to The Beatles and Buddy Holly among others; and, today, the launch of a timepiece inspired by the Gibson electric guitar and Les Paul, who is credited with pioneering the solid body electric guitar sound that sparked a generation of guitar legends including Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Gibson Les Paul is a 43.5mm steel case model with a tachymeter bezel enhanced with black PVD. The lacquer effect is a nod to the “Black Beauty”, a guitar renowned for its electrifying performance that continues to astound musicians all over the world.
The face has a circular guilloché motif featuring six chords studded by fret-shaped hour markers.
At 12 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, appears in gold next to the date window.
The ebony perforated calf leather strap brings to mind the sound holes that are part of the body of a guitar.
The watch, limited to just 300 pieces, uses an RW5010 mechanical self-winding movement with 46-hour power reserve.
Each is sold in a presentation box inspired by the famous Gibson guitar cases.