It is with great sorrow and regret that we announce the passing of Mr. Raymond Weil, founder and Honorary President of RAYMOND WEIL Genève, maker of Swiss luxury timepieces. He passed away peacefully at age 87, on January 26, 2014.
Raymond Weil was a pioneer and entrepreneur in the watchmaking industry. In 1976, in the middle of the most severe watch industry crisis, Mr. Weil was courageous enough to found his own company and turned his idea of what Swiss watchmaking should be into actual timepieces that would bring a new dimension to the industry. He was the first person to look at watches as a luxurious accessory. His vision was to create high quality watches with superior design at affordable prices.
Mr. Weil’s creations were immediately praised by watch enthusiasts, amateurs and connoisseurs alike and he gradually put together an international network based on very strong and personal human connections and friendly relationships. Mr. Weil was an extraordinary man who was kind, affable and above all sincerely generous. He was a precursor in the international development of the Swiss watchmaking industry during a key period when this industry needed to be renewed. He traveled the world and became an exceptional ambassador for the city of Geneva and for Switzerland. He knew how to create a personal, professional and most importantly a friendly connection that even today following generations continue to immortalize and to pursue his approach of the business.
RAYMOND WEIL Genève is known to be one of the few watch brands to bear the name of the founder and still operate as a family business. His son-in-law Olivier Bernheim is at the helm and two grandsons Elie and Pierre Bernheim are the chief officers of the company today.
“Raymond Weil was a self-made man. He was my mentor and I learned so much from him,”says Olivier Bernheim, President & CEO of RAYMOND WEIL.“His legacy and enthusiasm will live on through our family, his Brand, its team over the world and all of those who wear the watch that bears his name.”
Weil occupied several high positions in various professional organizations throughout his career: 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.
Other than watchmaking, Weil’s great loves of life were his family, painting, aviation and music. He was passionate about classical and lyrical music as well as about contemporary art.