Brand Directory: Wempe

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Gerhard D. Wempe founded Wempe watches in 1878 in Elsfleth, Germany.

Initially selling his watches from his Aunts house. In 1894 he expanded to a second showroom in Oldenburg, Germany. Building on his success in 1903 he opened a shop in Hamburg, returning his profits into the business his son would deliver their watches by tram. Extending his reach in Hamburg he opened a further four branches. During the 1920s his son introduced a corporate identity throughout his stores, something unheard of at the time. They also began to service watches from other brands as a convenience to their customers. In 1923 their headquarters was set up in Hamburg popularly  called “Gülden Gerd,”

His next move in 1938 was to buy the Hamburger Chronometerwerke GmbH from shipbuilders based in Hamburg and Bremen. This move set them up to have their own competitive Chronometerworkshop.

In 1939, the Wempe company loses its independent status and is incorporated into the Ministry of Aviation and the Navy. By 1945, Hamburg lay in ruins, and the Wempe shops have also been destroyed.

Hellmut Wempe joined the company at 18 in 1950 Herbert Wempe dies in 1963 and Hellmut takes over. Continuing their expansion it was decided in 1980 that they should open a branch abroad and New York was chosen. Later further showrooms were opened in Paris, Vienna, London and Madrid. Kim-Eva Wempe takes over the business from her father Helmut in 2003 the companies 125th Anniversary. In 2009 they opened Germany’s first Rolex only boutique. In 2017, they opened Germany's largest jewellery store in Munich.