Four generations of Wempe
A family-owned company discovers the threefold path to success: reliability, exclusivity and continuity.
1921 - 1963: Herbert Wempe: Age of Chronometerwerke
1963 - 2003: Hellmut Wempe: International Expansion
The youngest son, Hellmut Wempe, took on his first set of responsibilities for the company as a 13-year-old and joined the company in 1950 at the age of 18. The new beginning was successful. The first branch that Hellmut Wempe managed independently was located in the Barmbek district of Hamburg. In the period until the early 1960s, the company established ten branches throughout Hamburg. The German “economic miracle” made it possible — and the Wempes took advantage of this opportunity. Herbert Wempe died in 1963 and Hellmut took over the management of the company. Altogether, Hellmut Wempe expanded the family empire to include 29 branches throughout the world.
Since 2003 - Kim-Eva Wempe: The road to the future
Kim-Eva Wempe’s predecessors were watchmakers with an unerring business sense. Conversely, she studied business management — and as a businesswoman she has demonstrated, down to the present day, that she too has inherited the family’s love of fine timepieces and jewellery. In several steps, she has strategically guided the company’s development in new directions, thus laying the foundation for further Expansion. It all began at the turn of the millennium with a line of jewelry. Together with her colleagues, Kim-Eva Wempe developed her own signature in the field of jewelry design through the BY KIM brand. The pieces in these collections are voluminous, yet transparent. They are cosmopolitan — for women who follow fashion and are in tune with the spirit of the times. The rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches BY KIM soon acquired an international following. BY KIM became a success, and today it is the company’s segment with the second-largest turnover. In just a few years, Kim-Eva Wempe has significantly expanded the family-owned company. Formerly a dealer of fine timepieces and jewelry, it is now also a brand of fine timepieces and jewelry — pieces created in innovative workshops that belong to the company. Under Kim-Eva’s aegis, Wempe’s turnover increased from 167 million euros in 2003 to 441 million euros in 2012 and the number of its employees augmented considerably. “Our employees are the capital with which my children will create value in their turn,” says Kim-Eva Wempe today. Her daughter Chiara is interested in jewelry design, and her son Scott already has some ideas of his own for the company. The Wempe tradition is continuing — in the next generation.