Below is the full text of a statement from Wempe explaining why it has terminated its partnership with Nomos Glashütte.
The family-owned Wempe company, which has its headquarters in Hamburg, has enjoyed a close and cooperative business relationship with Nomos for the past 20 years. Wempe has promoted the Nomos brand from Glashütte and its watches to many customers over the years.
We are convinced that we have made a significant contribution to the Nomos brand’s success. We were very disappointed by the decision made by Nomos founder Roland Schwertner to recognize the Internet platforms Chronext and Chrono24 as official partners of the company. Nomos is the only watch brand to have done so. We were completely surprised by this decision, because it had not been discussed with us at all beforehand. As a family-owned company with a long tradition, we have a concept of partnership that does not include such behavior. “Supplying products to Internet platforms that have not been licensed to date, and that primarily draw their product range from the gray market, is contrary to our marketing strategy,” says Kim-Eva Wempe.
It is normally not compatible with our style or our philosophy as a Hanseatic company to debate disagreements with our partners in the public arena. However, after this offensive on the part of Nomos, we now feel compelled to take a stand and to clarify certain facts.
Obviously all watch brands, as well as their authorized dealers, must face the challenges of the digital world. Wempe’s omnichannel strategy includes firmly linking the analog and digital worlds in close cooperation with its partners in the watch industry. But our explicit aim is to safeguard the culture of mechanical watches and the values they represent.
“The digital world is an important complement of the stationary trade, but it is by no means a substitute for it. For this reason, my father Hellmut Wempe and I are substantially investing in the expansion of our showrooms, which are always in prime locations such as Maximilianstrasse in Munich, the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, the Jungfernstieg in Hamburg, and corresponding sites in Stuttgart and Düsseldorf,” says Kim-Eva Wempe.
As a market leader, the Gerhard D. Wempe KG company bears a special responsibility and must therefore take a clear stand in the interests of its partners in the watch industry. That is why we felt compelled to terminate our relationship with Nomos. Of course we deeply regret that Nomos did not give us an opportunity to discuss the situation as partners before it made its decision.
The initiative of many authorized dealers to persuade Nomos to rethink its decision — as exemplified by the letter sent by Dr. Ralf Scharenberg — clearly shows that we are not alone in our perception of this matter.