Top Of The Pops: Raymond Weil Unveils Its Fourth Limited Edition Beatles Watch
The Maestro Skeleton The Beatles Let it Be skeletonized collectors timepiece is a tribute to the band’s final album.
When it was released in 1970, Let It Be, The Beatles’ twelfth and final studio album, already had a lot of history. It was recorded before Abbey Road, but the record’s release was delayed to coincide with the release of a documentary film about the making of the LP. Instead of long-time producer George Martin, the group went with controversial producer Phil Spector. And the band broke up acrimoniously a month before “Let It Be” hit the record stores.
Like most of the band’s previous releases, the album topped record charts in many countries, including the US and the UK. However, the critical response was generally unfavorable, and Let It Be came to be regarded as one of the most controversial rock albums in history.
At the time, it felt like the curtain had closed on the legacy of the lads from Liverpool. But as we now know, the Beatles continue to inspire artists from across many disciplines, including watchmakers Raymond Weil, who recently released the Let It Be Limited Edition – an ode to both the legendary group and the maison’s musical roots.
I’ve Got A Feeling
The Beatles released their first long player, Please Please Me, in March 1963. A year later, the mop tops were a full-fledged international phenomenon. And by Christmas of 1964, they even had their watch – a 25.5mm timepiece manufactured by Bradley Time and offered exclusively to members of the band’s fan club. The front of the watch features the faces of the Fab Four on the dial. George’s face appears at noon, Paul at 3, John at 6, and Ringo at 9 o’clock.
Music has played a prominent part in Raymond Weil’s legacy since it was founded in 1976. The brand has a long history of working with musicians and music organizations, including the Brit Awards and Nordoff Robbins, the UK’s largest music therapy charity. In 2010, the house introduced the Maestro, a sporty, mid-range watch inspired by musicians in search of a mechanical watch that would not get in the way of conducting their business.
Raymond Weil has also collaborated with a lineup of rock and roll legends such as AC/DC, David Bowie, and Bob Marley to create timepieces that capture the impact of these timeless artists.
But the brand is particularly partial to The Beatles. For instance, previous limited editions have included dials inspired by the albums Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. Unlike the character watch of 1964, these tributes are much subtler.
For the Maestro Skeleton The Beatles Let It Be Limited Edition, four rose gold-plated baton indices represent the bandmates. The center of the dial, where the hands meet, symbolizes the city of Liverpool where The Beatles’ story began. The official Beatles logo is printed on an anthracite dial at 9 o’clock, balancing the Raymond Weil insignia at 3 o’clock. The Beatles’ signature is also engraved on the caseback.
The 40mm Let It Be Limited Edition also embodies Raymond Weil’s virtuosity. For the first time, a Maestro Limited Edition sports a skeleton movement, revealed by a subtle cut-out shaped like the United Kingdom. This 2215-STC-BEAT4 self-winding skeleton movement has a power reserve of 38 hours and is water-resistant 5 ATM. If you get tired of admiring this caliber from the front, you can always admire its inner working through the smoked sapphire crystal on the caseback.
The watch is presented on an understated, light brown vegan leather strap (perhaps a nod to famous animal rights activist Paul McCartney) with an RW folding clasp and double-push security system.
Overall, it’s an elegant homage to the band – one that could be worn by Beatle maniacs and people who simply admire the looks of a skeletonized watch at an accessible price.
Raymond Weil CEO Elie Bernheim sums up the crossover appeal of the Let It Be Limited Edition: “I’m a Beatles fan, like probably most other people, but it is true that I have become even more so through meeting the passionate collectors and fans of the band. I have come to grasp the respect and fascination they arouse in people and the impressive heritage that the group left to music. The Beatles have transcended time.”
Available now, the Maestro Skeleton The Beatles Let it Be Limited Edition is limited to 3,000 pieces and priced at $1,995.
For more information, please visit the Raymond Weil website.
(Images © Raymond Weil)