Raymond Weil, one of the great innovators of the Swiss watch industry and founder of the watch brand of the same name, has died at 87.
He made his name by putting the luxury watch within reach of the pockets of people with style without fortunes.
Weil, who retired from the company’s board only last September and who remained honorary president, died “peacefully” on Sunday, the company said in a statement, without providing further details.
The company remains a family business, with Weil’s son-in-law Olivier Bernheim and two of his grandsons, Elie and Pierre Bernheim, at the helm.
Born in Geneva in 1926, Weil first made his foray into the watch industry at Camy Watch, of which he soon took the reins.
In 1976, in the midst of an industry-wide crisis, he created his own company focused on putting into practice his vision that timepieces should be high-quality and with superior design, but at affordable prices.
Raymond Weil has become one of the jewels of the Swiss watchmaking industry, counting 200 employees and 4 branches outside of Switzerland.
The brand’s watches, which generally cost between 800 and 4,000 Swiss francs ($900-4,500), are sold in about 3,500 outlets across 95 countries.