Raymond Weil Dies at 87

The “self-made man” founded the Swiss luxury watch brand in 1976.

PARIS — Raymond Weil, founder and honorary president of the Swiss luxury watch brand, has died at age 87, the company said Monday.

This story first appeared in the January 28, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The cause of death was not disclosed. Weil launched the brand in 1976, at a time when the Swiss watch industry was floundering in the face of strong competition from quartz watches made in Asia. The company is one of the few independent family-owned watchmaking companies still in operation, and is now run by Weil’s son-in-law, Olivier Bernheim.

“Raymond Weil was a self-made man. He was my mentor and I learned so much from him,” said Bernheim, president and chief executive officer 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 held several positions of responsibility in the Swiss watch industry during his career. He was president of the Geneva Watchmaker Union, vice president of the Watchmaking Industry Training Centre, and a member of the Watchmaking Federation and other employers’ associations.

Until 1995, he was also president of the exhibitors committee of the Baselworld watch and jewelry trade show. His hobbies included classical and lyrical music, which have inspired the names of Raymond Weil timepieces such as Nabucco, Parsifal and Maestro.