Raw Power

Swiss watch­mak­ers pay trib­ute to an iconic Amer­i­can guitar.

Classic Rock - - Contents - Paul Hen­der­son

Gib­son gui­tars and watch­maker Ray­mond Weil team up for a time­piece that pays trib­ute to an icon: the Gib­son Les Paul.

When leg­endary guitar mak­ers Gib­son and ac­claimed Swiss watch­mak­ers Ray­mond Weil get to­gether to cel­e­brate ar­guably the most iconic guitar that has ever been pro­duced, you know in­stinc­tively that the re­sult is not go­ing to be some­thing akin to what you might get when Gene Sim­mons comes up with yet another ‘mem­o­ra­bilia’ idea, or a wrist­watch with a cute pic­ture of Mickey Mouse that you might find in a Dis­ney shop.

With the Free­lancer, Ra­mond Weil pay their re­spects to a leg­end with a wrist­watch that is “el­e­gant, with a touch of re­bel­lion, and em­bod­ies its free spirit”. That’s what they say. What we say is that they’ve come up with a stun­ning time­piece that we agree is el­e­gant, and is also strik­ing, beau­ti­ful and, to use a phrase that this col­umn is quite fond of, re­as­sur­ingly ex­pen­sive.

The body of the 43.5 mm case is made of steel and its tachymeter bezel is en­hanced with black PVD in­spired by the lac­quer on the Gib­son Black Beauty guitar. The board has a cir­cu­lar guil­loché mo­tif fea­tur­ing six chords stud­ded by fret-shaped hour mark­ers. At 12 o’clock are the names of the fa­mous guitar man­u­fac­turer and the leg­endary Les Paul sig­na­ture, and a split­di­a­mond in­lay – a dis­tinc­tive fea­ture of the Les Paul Cus­tom guitar – sits next to the date win­dow. All of which is at­tached to your wrist by an ebony calf leather strap.

Men­tion the word ‘bat­tery’ in such es­teemed com­pany and you’ll get raised eye­brows and a sharp in­take of breath. This watch has a self-wind­ing move­ment that en­sures an ap­prox­i­mately 46-hour power re­serve for all but the most sloth-like wearer.

This col­lec­tor’s model is is­sued in a 300piece lim­ited num­bered edi­tion, and comes in an ex­clu­sive pre­sen­ta­tion box in­spired by the fa­mous Gib­son guitar cases.

If we could af­ford it, we’d have one – on each hand!

£2,895, from Ray­mond-weil.com

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