If there’s one thing Swiss watchmaking maison Raymond Weil doesn’t do, it’s paint between the lines. While a continued and proven ability to produce beautiful, expertly manufactured timepieces is a constant for the family-owned company, it’s their flair for collaboration and tribute that sets them apart from an industry largely concerned with tradition and old fashioned stylistic cues.
Raymond Weil has a knack for creating quirky timepieces which pay homage to non-traditional themes and icons. While plenty of watchmakers produce pieces for film and television, or as a tribute to past incarnations of their own design, Raymond Weil thinks outside the box, and puts brands that might seem left-of-centre for a Swiss maison to feature on a pedestal, and all without going overboard on bling factor.
Need proof? Take a look at this recent example from their Freelancer collection, which tipped its hat to high voltage rock ‘n rollers AC/DC.
Their latest release stays on the same footpath, but features a music hall of fame icon of a different variety: the world’s most famous guitar amplifiers, Marshall.
We took a shallow dive into this watch a while back, which you can read here, but today we’re taking a closer look at this piece from Raymond Weil, which embodies the brand’s ability to harness their own youthful DNA to create something premium but, in essence, fun.
Marshall started in England in 1960, and quickly became a favourite amongst rock stars the world over for their distinctive tonal “crunch”, which added an element of depth not found in other amps, and which helped to define the sound of a generation of rock music, and usher in a new era of volume.
And speaking of volume, one of their most famous features became a meme of sorts when Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap came out in 1984, featuring a very in-character Christopher Guest as lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel explaining to the director the advantage of having an amp with dials that ran from one to eleven, because it could go “one more.”
Real-life fans of the musical mavens that are Marshall include Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple fame, and Pete Townshend from The Who, both of whom (pun intended) were instrumental (no pun intended) in championing Marshall’s initial success.
Since their salad days, a plethora of artists including Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck, Lemmy, Jimmy Page, Slash, and the greatest guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix, whose middle name was indeed, coincidentally, Marshall, have been drawn to the heroic Marshall amp, many using them exclusively both in the studio and on stage.
The Marshall Amplification Limited Edition Tango is the newest release from Raymond Weil’s Music Icons Series, and features many small and subtle nods to the legendary British manufacturer. Sitting on the wrist at 43mm in diameter, this is larger than others in the series, and instantly espouses a bold and masculine aesthetic, though remains, like all of Raymond Weil’s watches, classic in style.
Designed to emanate a Marshall amplifier, black PVD coats the case, while the dial mimics the external grille of the speaker. Much like all Marshall amplifiers, a white line runs around the circumference of the watch, while the panda sub-dials for the chronograph are in gold and black, (just like Marshall’s distinctive volume knobs).
SuperLuminova adorns the indexes and hands, plus there’s also a handy date indicator sitting between the 5 and 6 o’clock markers. Inside is a quartz movement, and the caseback features Marshall’s logo, as well as a unique number to identify the watch; this model is limited to only 1,000 pieces. The whole unit sits on a handsome and unfussy black leather strap, which brings the attention back to the awesome dial.
Presented in a case reminiscent of an original Marshall amp, and with a certificate of authenticity, this is an authentic and tasteful homage to one of the greatest elements of rock history, and a handsome nod to the artists who used Marshall amplifiers to craft a sound and lay their legacy down, all by breaking the mould and being brave enough to turn it up to eleven.
Being a watch, however, luckily this one goes to twelve.