Wellendorff jewelry

Sparkling Returns

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Despite its small size and being positioned at the lower end of the declining luxury goods market, Wellendorff has managed to increase profits.

  • Facts


    • Wellendorff was founded by the family of the same name in Pforzheim, south-western Germany, in 1893.
    • It is estimated to enjoy an annual turnover of around €80 million ($83 million).
    • Global sales of luxury jewelery are expected to remain static this year at around €16 billion.
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Made in Germany: Schmuckmanufaktur Wellendorff
Christoph Wellendorff has overseen his firm's expansion into China, the U.S. and Japan. Source: Heinz Heiss

The family-owned Wellendorff jewelery firm is famed throughout the world for its gold thread necklace that requires the most exacting of production techniques.

The necklace starts the manufacturing process looking like a long sausage of dough. But as it passes through steel rollers multiple times, the thread becomes thinner and thinner. Eventually, after hours of pressing and other processes have been applied, what originally looked like a 40-centimetre long gold sausage has been fashioned into a delicate golden thread.

Christoph Wellendorff, one of the co-owners of the Pforzheim-based company, takes pleasure in showing visitors around the factory and showing them how its famous gold colliers are made. He is also looking forward to next spring when a new visitor center will open on the site, which sits on the northern edge of Swabia’s Black Forest.

The new Wellendorff World visitor center will house the company’s showroom and a small museum with a treasure chest of jewelery rarities. Its opening will coincide with the 250th anniversary of jewelery production and watch-making in Pforzheim, which is known as “Goldstadt Pforzheim” (Gold City of Pforzheim) because of its long association with the jewelery trade.

While global luxury good companies have in recent years been suffering a downturn in sales, particularly in China and Hong Kong, the Wellendorff family business has been going from strength to strength, by breaking undisclosed new sales records.

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