Wempe 125th Anniversary Annual Calendar Triple Date
Special Edition of 125 Watches
37mm Reference 5125 Platinum
Antiquorum Auction House has successfully sold versions of this very rare Platinum Patek Philippe in the past. The one pictured below sold on July 12, 2006 for $117,400. The Reference 5125 is very rare in Platinum. Notice the version of this Reference 5125P was the WEMPE Logo designation printed on the moon phase sub-dial, and the version later in this story lacks the WEMPE logo.
Notice this model has red seconds markers. There were many people who wanted Patek Philippe to reintroduce the absolutely timeless triple-date for a long time, and the closest Patek Philippe came was by introducing the Reference 5125 as shown below.
The challenge was that Patek Philippe made this watch for Wempe, which is was, at the time a German Patek Philippe Authorized dealer and jeweler who had been selling Patek Philippe many years. In 2003 Patek Philippe made this watch to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Wempe Jewelers. The Patek Philippe Wempe Reference was limited to 125 pieces. In 2010 Patek Philippe finally brought back the triple-date model as the all-new Reference 5396.
Antiquorum Auction House lot notes:
In 1878, with a mere 80 Marks in pocket, the young watchmaker Gerhard D. Wempe opened a watch and jewelry business in his Aunt Caroline's house in the small German town of Elsfelth, just outside the northern city of Bremen. Business went well for the young entrepreneur and in the years to come he moved his venture to Oldenburg and later to Hamburg, where in 1907, he established the company's "Stammhaus" or "flagship store".
By 1914 Wempe had opened 4 more stores in Hamburg. However, with World War I sales dropped considerably. When Gerhard D. Wempe died in 1921, his son Herbert took over the business concentrating on exclusive connections to Swiss watch brands such as Omega and Longines. He further extended the business, buying in 1938 the famous "Hamburger Chronometerwerke" factory, an important manufacturer of ship's chronometers known for producing high precision nautical instruments. World War II again brought personal and professional difficulties. During this time, several stores were destroyed and 80% of the workforce was without housing.
In 1945 the company management was handed over to a trustee, and in 1951, the 19 year old son Hellmut had to take over the business. By 1953 Wempe again had 5 stores in Hamburg and by 1960s had opened additional stores in several other German cities. In 1980, Wempe entered the international scene with the opening of its US flagship store on New York's Fifth Avenue.
Stores were also opened in Paris, Vienna, London and Madrid. Since 2003 daughter Kim-Eva Wempe, who joined the firm in 1987, officially heads Germany's most respected watch and jewelry retailer. Today, Wempe has over 500 employees and 26 branches worldwide and additionally operates in Hamburg the largest watch repair and service facility of any retailer in Europe.