Raymond Weil, the founder of the luxury Swiss watch brand bearing his name, has died at the age of 87.
Widely regarded as a pioneer in the watchmaking industry, Weil passed away “peacefully” on Sunday January 26.
Weil founded his watch company in 1976 when the Swiss watchmaking industry was “in the middle of a major crisis” due to the influx of cheap mass-produced quartz watches from Asia.
According to an official statement from Raymond Weil Geneve announcing his passing, Raymond Weil 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,” the company said.
“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 travelled the world and became an exceptional ambassador for the city of Geneva and for Switzerland.”
Today Raymond Weil Genève is one of only a few Swiss watch brands to still operate as a family business.
Raymond Weil’s son-in-law Olivier Bernheim is the president and CEO of the company while his two grandsons, Elie and Pierre Bernheim, are the chief officers.
“Raymond Weil was a self-made man, said Olivier Bernheim.
“He was my mentor and I learned so much from him.
“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.”
Launched into Australia around 30 years ago, Raymond Weil watches (currently distributed by Avstev Group) and now available in 110 stores in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.