Wempe Atelier L.C. Köhler – 125 Years of “Made in Germany”
The guests included two Royal Highnesses, a District Administrator who is reminded of his native Swabian Alb region whenever he sees a Wempe showroom anywhere in the world, and a cosmopolitan mayor who thanked Hellmut and Kim-Eva Wempe for “combining Hanseatic elements with Swabian ones.” The occasion of this high-caliber gathering in Schwäbisch Gmünd was the anniversary of the Wempe Atelier L.C. Köhler.
This company’s ascent to the status of one of Germany’s finest jewelry manufactures began five generations ago in this city of gold and silver, and it has been closely associated with the success story of Wempe Jewelers ever since 1902. That was the year when the Atelier, which had been founded in 1891, delivered a first group of three rings to Gerhard Diedrich Wempe. Since 2007, the two companies have gone through life together in a 50-50 partnership, both in their work and on paper.
To celebrate the anniversary, Wempe Creative Director Catherine Plouchard created a breathtaking piece of jewelry: a rare antique-cut demantoid weighing 7.48 carats enthroned in the center of a Colonna BY KIM ring in white gold. Like an aura, 16 pear-shaped diamonds encircle the green demantoid. “This ring embodies all the experience that our company has gathered in the course of 125 years,” says Petra Forinton, the authorized signatory of the Wempe Atelier.
The unique ring is a further milestone in the gallery of masterpieces of the goldsmith’s art made in Germany. The gallery includes the engagement ring given by the German diplomat Claus von Amsberg to Princess Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard of Orange-Nassau, now better known as Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, in 1966. Other milestones include the necklace Chronos & Cosmos BY KIM, which received an award from the Diamond Trading Company in the competition “Diamonds – Miracles of Nature” in 2004, and the spectacular ring “25th Anniversary of Wempe Munich Maximilianstraße” created in 2014, which featured a 28.88 carat solitaire — at a price of €1.25 million, it is the most valuable piece of jewelry ever created by the Atelier.
But the expertise and excellence of the 72 Atelier employees, including 20 goldsmiths, is not devoted solely to the creation of spectacular one-of-a-kind and custom creations. They also support the success of the BY KIM brand, whose jewelry has been produced in the Atelier since 2000.