The story of Hvelplund Watches & Jewllery
TheHvelplundstory begins in 1971, when Erik Hvelplund founded his first store at the Hotel Sheraton - today the Scandic hotel - across from the Lakes in central Copenhagen.
Erik trained as a watchmaker in Randers and graduated with several awards, including Watchmaker of the Year in 1959. His skills took him to the renowned Beyer in Zurich and then to the famous watch and jewelry house Garretts in London, where Erik was responsible for the repair and renovation of watches belonging to the British royal family.
It was during his time at Garretts that Erik met Alan Banbery - an acquaintance that would have a major impact on Hvellund's stores today. The same Banbery was hired as sales director at Patek Philippe, and it was through him that Erik came into contact with the Stern family, who own Patek Philippe.
Henry Stern was married to a Dane and would stop by Erik's shop when he was in Denmark, so he could see first-hand what Banbery was referring to when talking about his Danish friend Erik. Banbery's referral and the personal visits meant that in 1975 Erik Hvelplund could write authorized Patek Philippe dealer on his business card.
The next generation - Erik's son Paul Hvelplund, holds a master's degree in business administration and management and is also a gemologist trained in Germany in both diamonds and colored stones. It is therefore competent forces that are behind the helm of Hvelplund's shop in Østergade. The Østergade store is the only one left after the hotel store and Vesterbrogade were closed due to lengthy renovations. Most recently, Vimmelskaftet was closed in connection with the consolidation of everything into a much larger store on Østergade.
The Østergade store also has a highly competent workshop under the management of one of Denmark's most skilled watchmakers. "In most watch shops, the workshop consists of a workbench in a semi-dark back room," says Mads Jørgensen from his seat in Hvellund's ultra-modern workshop, which has a special ventilation system that keeps his workplace completely dust-free. "We're way ahead, nothing is missing here," he continues, wearing a chalk-white smock with razor-sharp creases and a Patek Philippe logo on the chest. There's not much of a backroom feel to Hvellund's workshop as the automatic glass doors open and close each time the daily repairs land on his high table.
Patek Philippe has strict requirements for their authorized workshops around the world, and it is therefore their technical department that has determined how Hvellund's workshop is built.
Despite his age, Mads Jørgensen has achieved an impressive amount since he graduated as a watchmaker in 2001 - most of which he has learned since he joined Hvelplund in 2006. However, Mads Jørgensen is no longer just a watchmaker, but a certified watchmaker, as evidenced by the many framed diplomas behind him. These are professional foreign courses that last for weeks and sometimes months. During these courses, Mads receives concentrated training from the most competent watchmakers from Patek Philippe, IWC and Breitling. These courses take place at increasing levels that allow Hvelplund to service more and more complicated watches, for example, Mads is allowed to fully inspect and service both a Breitling with leap year calendar and an IWC with perpetual calendar.
The pleasant surroundings of the store are not only a luxury for customers and Hvellund's employees. It's also a necessity when dealing with some of the world's finest watch brands. It used to be said that nobility obliges - the same can be said of certain watch brands, Hvelplund's in particular.