You Probably Can Afford It is a new series which turns our earlier series, You Probably Can’t Afford It, on its head.
So instead of showing you watches which Warren Buffet, the so called Oracle of Omaha, can buy with the change left over from his recent $28 billion purchase of Heinz, this series is for people content merely to squirt and shake their ketchup on to their chips.
Our featured watch – or watches – today are from 88 Rue du Rhône, a relatively new brand established two years ago, but speaking of relatives, the founders are the grandsons of a long established independent Swiss brand, Raymond Weil. Their names are Elie and Pierre Bernheim.
Elie Bernheim made a name for himself in Swiss luxury watchmaking when he joined the family business after graduating from the hospitality management school, Ecole Hôtelière, in Lausanne. He has been responsible for global strategy at Raymond Weil for over six years.
Pierre graduated in International Business and Administration from La Haute Ecole de Gestion in Geneva, Pierre has been the Brand Manager for Raymond Weil since 2006, alongside his brother Elie. This position enabled Pierre to travel all around the world and hone all the watch business skills and know-how he needed to launch his own brand, in partnership with Elie.
With this pedigree and experience behind them it’s not surprising that 88 Rue du Rhône are quickly making a name for themselves as an up and coming low to mid priced brand. They were the official timekeepers of the recent BAFTA’s in which Daniel Day Lewis won the BAFTA for his portrayal of Lincoln.
The brand name is inspired by the famous Rue du Rhône, which crosses through the heart of Geneva, parallel to the river which shares its name. Rue du Rhône is home to the city’s most prestigious shops, like the Champs-Élysées in Paris or Madison Avenue in New York. The number 88 is the only number missing in the street, affording a view of the river. It also ties in with the belief that the number 8 represents prosperity in Asian cultures.
88 Rue du Rhône Black Leather Strap Ref: 87WA120033
This is a classic, understated three hander dress watch with a date window at 3 o’clock. The clean white dial features Roman numerals and a red second hand with the Rue du Rhone 88 logo at its base. It runs on a Swiss automatic movement, probably an ETA, although this is not stated. The brand is already widely available in many leading UK stores and online watch sites. The watch is available for around £695, but you might be able to find it for less with a little surfing.
88 Rue du Rhône 42MM Chronograph Ref: 87WA120044
This watch is from the 88 Origin range. A 42mm chronograph. It runs on a quartz movement and the date window is at 8 o’clock. The watch features Arabic numerals, silver hands, chronograph sub-dials controlled by push-buttons, date display and the 88 signature logo at 12 o’clock. The watch has an 8 engraved at each hour on the case-back.
If you read a lot of watch blogs you could get the misguided impression that every watch that comes out of Switzerland is fully mechanical and therefore very expensive. It’s certainly not the case. The majority of watches available for export from Switzerland are quartz. You can spend thousands for a mechanical chronograph, but the fact is, it won’t be as accurate as a quartz. This watch retails for approximately £530.
If you have been searching for a good looking Swiss made watch, this entry level brand with an excellent heritage could be a great place to start.