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Wempe comes from humble beginnings a long time ago. Gerhard Diedrich Wilhelm Wempe opened a small watch workshop in 1878 with his 12 year old son, Herbert. By 1914, Wempe had four locations scattered around Hamburg. In 1980, Wempe made the international jump, choosing New York City for its first store outside of Germany. On the company’s 125th anniversary, Kim-Eva Wempe took over control of the day to day operations. She grew the business from 167 million euros annually, to over 400 million euros.
Wempe currently has locations all over Germany, as well as locations in New York, London, Paris, Madrid and Vienna.
Wempe is pretty much a generic luxury place. There was nothing particularly fantastic there, but the place was nice and inviting enough. The saleswoman was very friendly and tried to be helpful, but it was clear that her knowledge of diamonds was minimal.
Their product was surprisingly disappointing. Not only did they use a weaker laboratory for certification, but the quality was very disappointing. We were shown a 1.01 G SI1 Very Good cut round diamond in a simple solitaire setting for € 11,775. The cut was very poor (far too deep) and the color was weak (they definitely got the expected upgrade from H to G color that you expect from HRD certificates). The clarity was probably an SI1, but the inclusion black and noticeable. Overall, this was a diamond that I wouldn’t recommend at any price. While we weren’t impressed with the value at a place like Bucherer, at least you are getting a nice (albeit overpriced) diamond. Here you are getting a substandard diamond that no higher end jeweler should be offering.
As bad as the diamond quality was, when you look at the value you are in for a rude awakening. Let’s first compare apples to apples (a poorly cut round H SI1 to a poorly cut round H SI1). Here you have a comparable 1.00ct GIA certified, H SI1 diamond from Blue Nile. If you add it to a similar solitaire setting, the price comes out € 5,157. You are getting a ring that is practically identical for less than half the price (57% less to be precise).
Additionally, you can get a far superior ring and still come in at a much lower budget. Here is a stunning 1.00 G VS2 GIA Excellent cut round diamond. This diamond is superior in every single aspect (cut, color and clarity) and you are still saving almost 40%.
There is absolutely no justification for wasting money at Wempe. There prices are incredibly high and, most importantly, there quality is sup-bar. That is an unacceptable combination. The basic bedrock of luxury branding must be quality. You don’t have the right to gauge people on prices if you don’t even provide average quality.
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