Published in Vervemagazine.in April 3, 2015
The grandson of the late Raymond Weil, Elie Bernheim joined the company in 2004 and was appointed CEO last year. Here’s a Q&A with the dashing CEO:
1. The brand has a strong link with the world of music. How did this come to be?
It is true, you are absolutely right, my late grandfather Mr. Raymond Weil had a infinite passion for music, so has my father Olivier Bernheim. My mother is a professional pianist, and I have been playing the cello and piano from a very early age. You can then easily understand how much music is part of our family story, and naturally splits into our Brand DNA. Since three years now, we have developed the concept of music marketing; hence trying every year to establish qualitative musical collaborations such as the examples you have seen this year in our novelties: the Nabucco timepiece inspired by Gibson, Sinatra’s 100 years of birth commemorative maestro timepiece or even our brand new complication: the Nabucco Cello tourbillon.
2. What is your opinion on ‘smart’ watches?
It is always wise to remain informed, updated and sensitive to new developments and innovations – but the tendency this year for Raymond Weil is to point on our watchmaking know-how and propose creative yet audacious timepieces that bear musical features.
3. Which current trend in horology is the most path-breaking?
It is very hard to say, but the sure thing is, if a watch brand remains faithful to its values and provides clients with an authentic, honest and a reasonably-priced collection it will definitely lead to a deserved recognition. I try every day to improve on the quality of the timepieces we propose to our clients. Taking care of the materials, the durability and the long-term readability of the timepiece: these are for me challenging objectives you can always improve on.
4. What do you think of the relevance of chronographs and tourbillon movements today for women?
My challenge this year in Basel was to present a watch that represents the best our actual inspiration — that is why I have encouraged my R&D staff to work on a very special project, this has lead to a superbly designed tourbillon timepiece, totally in line with our musical DNA. It is a gents’ watch, and I am convinced ladies will be sensitive to the approach as well. 45 to 50% of our collection is dedicated to women — we may integrate complications for ladies if it is of relevance for our product strategy — as we have already done in the past.