“For us as master watchmakers, concentration is more important than patience. Concentration can be trained,”
says Taco Walstra, glancing briefly at his wristwatch. He knows what he’s talking about — patience is not one of his most obvious qualities. As the director of the biggest privately owned watchmaker’s workshop, he always has lots to do, and he generally has little time for conversation.
Few other watchmaker’s workshops have as much concentrated watchmaking expertise as the Wempe workshop here in Hamburg. Whether it’s for maintenance, servicing, overhauls or repairs, around 16,000 timepieces are carefully examined here every year. At any given time, there are over 100,000 individual parts in the warehouse, which is managed by two watchmakers.
“All of us here have a special relationship with time — we repair it, so to speak.”
Taco Walstra is referring to the many diverse timepieces that are brought or sent here every day. Many of them require a thorough overhaul or specific repairs, whereas others need servicing more than anything else. But whether it’s an elegant wrist chronograph or a large clock, no timepiece is returned to its owner unless it has been restored to perfect condition. That is personally guaranteed by Taco Walstra and every member of his team.
Nonetheless, the doors of Walstra’s fascinating world stay closed to the customers. That’s due not only to the stringent security rules but also to the need for extreme concentration, which applies to everyone who works here. Only by way of exception has Taco Walstra allowed the camera team for our video portrait to enter the workshop. Join us as we take a look behind the scenes.
Close-up: In our photo gallery you can find out
what dedicated craftsmanship and great attention
to detail mean for our watch experts.