Gerhard Diedrich Wempe
Gerhard Diedrich Wempe opened his first shop on May 5th, 1878 in Elsfleth an der Weser, Germany. The shop was both a workshop and a jewelry store, something that had never been opened before in the town. Wempe started out trading used watches and creating custom orders. His shop provided customers with the best quality, a wide variety of products and outstanding customer service and care. In 1894, Wempe opened a second shop in Germany and then in 1907 the Hamburg store was opened. He has since been known as the city’s first watch and jewelry dealer, wanting to have shops in all the different neighborhoods of Hamburg. Wempe’s son continued to expand the company through WWI and the Great Depression, but it was eventually incorporated into the Ministry of Aviation and Navy in 1939. The youngest Wempe son, Hellmut, opened his branch at age 18 in Hamburg and helped expand the company internationally, opening 29 shops during his career. In 2007, Wempe bought 50 percent of the shares in L.C. Kohler a jewelry manufacturer. Their team has over 50 goldsmiths, setters, casters, and polishers to produce their jewelry.