If there is one thing that has been clear over the past few years it is that watch prices are creeping upwards. A number of brands are pushing their prices skywards in an attempt to move more towards the luxury watch market. Whether this is through case materials, complications or simple economics, prices are creeping up. Fortunately there are still many options for those of us with more reasonable pocketbooks, and the grandsons of Raymond Weil have recently introduced a new brand in that more obtainable realm. Enter 88 Rue du Rhone.
The Swiss brand is the vision of Elie and Pierre Bernheim who, as mentioned, are the grandsons of Raymond Weil. They have established the brand in La Chaux-de-Fonds and aim to make affordable Swiss watches from their headquarters. The name was chosen from Geneva’s most celebrated street, Ru du Rhone and the Rhone river that flows through the city. The 88 comes from the fact that the number is missing from the street; in its place is a view of the Rhone leaving Lake Geneva.
The name has a nice background, but what about the watches? 88 Rue du Rhone aims to make ladies and gents timepieces in both quartz and automatic movements within the price range of $395 to $995. The founders felt there was a gap in the Swiss watch market; most Swiss watches are marketed towards more expensive models aimed at the more affluent. Rue du Rhone sets to target the 18 – 35 year old audience and those with more moderate means. From the looks, though, they do not plan on skimping on design or materials. All the watches in the collection will be Swiss made with 25% of the stock set to be automatic and the remainder Swiss quartz. The first model shown has a mix of classic and contemporary styling, showing the brands aim to sit between sports and fashion brands.
The brand will initally launch in the UK and should be available in the US by August. Worn & Wound will be keeping a close eye on Rue du Rohne, so watch this site for future news about the brand.
What do you think? Does Rue du Rhone have what it takes to make your radar?