Raymond Weil continued its mission to celebrate the lives and careers of musical icons with limited-edition watches at Baselworld this year. After celebrating the Beatles and the Les Paul Gibson guitar, the brand resumes its horological tour through the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame with new special editions devoted to David Bowie, Buddy Holly, and the Fab Four’s groundbreaking “Abbey Road” album.
The first — and timeliest — new watch is from Raymond Weil’s Freelancer collection and pays tribute to British rock icon David Bowie, who passed away in 2016. The Limited Edition Freelancer David Bowie commemorates what would have been the visionary artist’s 70th birthday. Its round, 42-mm stainless steel case and galvanic, circular satin-brushed dial host several design cues specifically inspired by Bowie and his work. The stylized red lightning bolt at 12 o’clock comes from the cover of Bowie’s 1973 album Aladdin Sane, and the pop-art “Bowie” logo above the 6 o’clock position is the same one designed by Andy Warhol for the cover of the artist’s 1974 album Diamond Dogs. Printed on the caseback’s sapphire crystal is a rendering of a famous 1974 portrait of Bowie by legendary photographer Terry O’Neill. Inside the case is a mechanical, self-winding movement, Caliber RW4200, with 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve. The watch, which comes on a black calfskin leather strap with red stitching and folding clasp with push-button security system, is limited to 3,000 numbered pieces, priced at $1,595.
The other two new timepieces hail from Raymond Weil’s Maestro family. The Buddy Holly Maestro watch, which has a 39.5-mm polished stainless steel case and polished steel bracelet, pays tribute to what would have been the bespectacled rock ‘n’ roll pioneer’s 80th birthday in 2016. Designed in collaboration with Buddy’s widow, Maria Elena Holly, the watch has a silver galvanic dial with highlights — including the small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock — in pale blue, Buddy Holly’s favorite color. The counterweight of the sweep seconds hand is formed in the shape of a pair of eyeglasses, and the oversized numeral “9” at 9 o’clock is a reference to Holly’s lucky number. The date appears in a window at 3 o’clock and a Buddy Holly signature appears below the Raymond Weil logo just above the dial’s center. The watch is powered by Raymond Weil’s automatic Caliber RW4520, with a 38-hour power reserve, which can be glimpsed through a smoked sapphire caseback adorned with the logo of the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation. A contribution from each watch sold will be donated to this charity, which provides musical education and opportunities to young people worldwide. The price: $1,395.
The other new Maestro model is Raymond Weil’s second homage piece to the Beatles, the Maestro Beatles “Abbey Road” Limited Edition, featuring visual tributes to the final album recorded by the iconic band — an album also regarded by many as their most influential composition. Framed by the 39.5 mm polished steel case, the black dial is engraved with microgrooves inspired by those on classic vinyl LPs. At the “Fab” four o’clock position, you’ll find the silhouetted figures of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, striding across the eponymous road as they do on the legendary album cover. As it did on last year’s Beatles watch, the band’s classic logo appears on the sapphire crystal caseback, through which the wearer can observe the mechanical, self-winding RW200 movement, which drives the hour, minute, and central seconds hands and the date indication at 3 o’clock. The polished steel bracelet attached to the wrist means of a folding clasp with double-push security system. The watch, which retails for $1,395, is limited to 3,000 pieces worldwide.