This week our Menswear Dialogue Series takes us back to Geneva with family owned and operated luxury watch maker Raymond Weil. We had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Elie Bernheim, Director of Raymond Weil. The Weil family takes extreme pride of ownership in running their business based on family values. Get to know Raymond Weil.
Image Granted ~What is your title, job, craft? What are your passionate about? How did you get into this business? What gets you out of bed every morning?
Mr. Elie Bernheim ~ My passion is being able to work together with my family and share common interests. My brother and I have two restaurants in Geneva together and share similar passions for food, flying and the arts. Pierre and I worked together on the launch of 88 rue du Rhone and also work together on the branding of Raymond Weil and the future growth of the company. Being able to work together with my father Olivier Bernheim and my brother is extremely important to me and motivates me to get out of bed every morning.
IG ~With so many high quality watch brands to choose from, why would a discerning enthusiast choose Raymond Weil? Why would a novice do so?
EB ~ What makes Raymond Weil different from other brands is that it is the last family owned business in the watch industry and is still owned by the founding family. There is a heritage of good quality and craftsmanship. Also, because Raymond Weil is a family owned business we have personal relationships with our retailers and see them as partners. As the family is such an integral part of Raymond Weil we are able to make sure we are true to the values of the brand and also ensure the highest quality in our products.
What makes Raymond Weil unique compared to other watch brands is the Maestro Collection which has watches for both men and women. The watches in this collection are of the highest quality and at an affordable price. We pay great attention to detail and strive to provide the best automatic watch on the market that is priced at a great value.
IG ~Raymond Weil is a family owned and operated business. This is rare in today's marketplace. How has this translated into the product?
EB ~It comes down to a question of quality. Because Raymond Weil is a family owned business, every dividend and share goes back into the company and the products. All of our profits are reinvested back into the company to maximize the quality of our products. We are also extremely loyal to our customer because the structure of our company allows us to be very selective with our distribution and allows us to work best the best partners for the brand. Additionally, this has allowed us to develop personal relationships with our retailers and thus gives our consumers the feeling that they can have access to the owners of the company. We hope that when people think of Raymond Weil they will have a face behind the name.
IG ~With so many luxury names on the market what niche as Raymond Weil carved for itself? What plans does the brand have to elevate and enhance its reputation in the watch industry?
EB ~ We plan to continue with new marketing initiatives and reinforce our music collaboration. We will be announcing some new and exciting partnerships and alliances shortly and will be expanding in 2014. We continue to partner with singers and different artists in unique ways to reinforce our music marketing strategy. In the past, we have worked with Vh1 Save the Music and been aligned to such artists as Robin Thicke, Ellie Goulding, Vampire Weekend, LeAnn Rimes, Jordin Sparks and Colbie Callait.
Additionally, we always try to engage and connect all of the Raymond Weil consumers throughout the world and are big in social media. In April, a few days before the opening of Basel, we launched our brand film “Precision is my Inspiration” and a dedicated microsite. The film evokes the creation of two masterpieces, the one watchmaking and the other musical – in two universes intimately bound together. The music of one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time, Mozart, provides the inspiration behind the film. This film confirms Raymond Weil’s deep attachment to music and illustrates its expertise and know-how: the care that goes into the conceptions, the design and the construction of each watch, is melodiously translated into images. In this way, the brand portrays the emotional journey intertwined in the process of the creation of a watch or a musical masterpiece.
IG ~What are the future plans for Raymond Weil? What can customers new and old expect from the brand?
EB ~ We plan to develop the US distribution and offer full satisfaction to our retailers. We constantly have our Raymond Weil respresentatives in the store so they are in contact with both the retailer and the end consumer to best understand what their needs are.
In the future whenever you buy a Raymond Weil, no matter what continent you are on, we will always remain a family owned company. We will continue to have high quality products and never sacrifice the price for the quality. Additionally, we will continue to reinforce ourselves and the identity of the brand. Raymond Weil will continue to develop and create products that are not based on trends but are timeless. Our designers travel the world for inspiration and to give the consumer the best design and watches.