“We have signed The Beatles,” proclaimed Raymond Weil CEO Elie Bernheim when I spoke to him on the phone a couple of weeks before Baselworld. “But keep it to yourself – if it gets out too soon, we’ll be in trouble.”
Initially I assumed the usually mild-mannered Bernheim had taken leave of his senses, claiming to have ‘signed’ a band that dis-banded more than 35 years ago, of which two members were long dead.
But all became clear when Bernheim explained that the brand had actually sealed a deal with Apple Corps. the multi-media business set-up by the Fab Four in 1968 to manage its fast-growing range of business interests.
The partnership allows Raymond Weil to use images of John, Paul, George and Ringo in advertising campaigns for at least the next two years and to produce Beatles-themed replica watches – the first of which was launched at Baselworld as a 3,000 – piece ‘limited edition.’
Based on the existing Maestro design, the 39.5mm steel replica watch has a white dial inscribed between the hour markers with the titles of all 13 Beatles albums. At the four-o’clock position there’s an image of the silhouette of the band used on the cover of the celebrated 1965 album ‘Help!’, with the Beatles logo being printed in the dial’s lower half and repeated on the smoked sapphire crystal case back.
39.5mm steel Raymond Weil x The Beatles
Each replica watch is supplied in a special case, the lid of which is decorated with a drum skin design.
The partnership coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Raymond Weil brand which, since its inception, has linked itself with both classical and popular music – but, by strange coincidence, it was announced at almost the same time as the launch of another replica watch made in collaboration with Apple Corps.
This one comes from George Bamford’s London-based Bamford Replica Watch Department which, in case you didn’t know, successfully ruffles feathers by ‘bespeaking’ various makes and models of new replica watch and selling them with its own guarantee. And BWD’s latest effort happens to be a psychedelic, £13,500 Rolex themed on the celebrated Beatles song ‘Yellow Submarine’.
Bamford’s £13,500 Rolex themed on the celebrated Beatles song ‘Yellow Submarine’
Rather brilliantly packaged in a yellow submarine-shaped inner box, the replica watch also features a tiny yellow sub on the tip of the seconds hand. Based on a Datejust model, the replica watch has customised date wheel with coloured numerals and can be had in black or light grey hues of the Military Grade Titanium Coating (MGTC) that is – replica watch-wise, at least – a Bamford exclusive.
George Bamford’s yellow submarine-shaped inner box
Personally, I like the ‘auto suggestion’ that the Datejust’s familiar magnifying date window unquestionably takes on the appearance of a submarine porthole. George, you’re a genius!
As with the Raymond Weil partnership, the BWD collaboration is part of an official deal. But, one wonders, did each know the other had signed on the dotted line?