Generations through the years

The Swiss, family-owned House of Gübelin is known for its exquisite high-end jewellery, gemstone expertise, and as purveyors of some of today’s most sought-after luxury watch brands. Its story begins in 1854 with the opening of a small watchmaker’s shop in the Swiss city of Lucerne. Over time the business grew, moving to ever-larger locations in the city until finally settling in the prime site on the quay that still houses Gübelin’s Lucerne boutique today.

  Gübelin has grown from a small watchmaker’s shop in Lucerne to an internationally operating luxury brand. In the 1920s Gübelin opened its own jewellery atelier and at the same time set up a small gemmological laboratory so that it could test – and be sure of the authenticity – of the stones its jewellers used. It also continued making and repairing fine watches for a discerning clientele, developing a reputation that soon reached throughout Europe and overseas.

Gübelin today

These were the seeds of the Gübelin of today. The Gübelin Jewellery Atelier has become known globally for its exquisite, handcrafted pieces which celebrate the beauty and mystique of magnificent gemstones. The Gübelin Gem Lab, based in Lucerne and with branches in Hong Kong and New York, has grown into one of the most renowned and respected institutions of its kind. It provides highly trusted analyses and gemmological reports, and is relied on by famous auction houses, royal families, collectors, and others for its authoritative expertise. In Switzerland Gübelin sells timepieces from some of the world’s most coveted luxury brands.

Gübelin has grown in other ways as well. Today it employs over 250 experts. Its ten boutiques in Switzerland and Asia feature an elegant, inviting ambience in which customers can take advantage of its refined, knowledgeable service in a relaxed, home-like setting. It has also expanded its services, with its Edigem subsidiary supporting clients in the appraisal and sale of estate jewellery, and the Gübelin Academy, based in Hong Kong, helping to share Gübelin’s expertise through a unique set of gemmological courses and seminars.

The history of Gübelin

Gübelin is Swiss-based and family-owned, with a heritage stretching back over 160 years. Through all this time the family has carefully nurtured its traditions and kept them alive. They provide a strong foundation for Gübelin’s core values like beauty, craftsmanship, knowledge and authenticity, and are the keys to its future.

  • 1854

    1854

    Founding

    Mauritz Breitschmid opens a watchmaker’s shop on the Pfistergasse in Lucerne.

  • 1861

    1861

    Apprenticeship in Lucerne

    Eduard Jakob Gübelin, born in Eastern Switzerland in 1861, subsequently moves to Lucerne and is apprenticed to the watchmaker Mauritz Breitschmid.

  • 1886

    1886

    Breitschmid and Gübelin

    On 9 October, 1886 Eduard Jakob Gübelin married Bertha Sophia Breitschmid, the daughter of his old master Mauritz Breitschmid. He becomes his father-in-law’s business partner.

  • 1899

    1899

    Taking over the business

    Mauritz Breitschmid’s son-in-law, Eduard Jakob Gübelin, takes over the business.

  • 1903

    1903

    Gübelin on the Schwanenplatz in Lucerne

    Eduard Jakob Gübelin opens a boutique in the former Hotel d’Angleterre on the Schwanenplatz in Lucerne.

  • 1923

    1923

    The Gübelin Jewellery Atelier

    Since 1923 Gübelin has been creating its own jewellery in its in-house jewellery atelier.

  • 1923

    1923

    The Gem Lab

    Eduard Moritz Gübelin, the son of Eduard Jakob Gübelin, founds a small gemmological laboratory to test the quality of precious gemstones. The lab is run by his employee Charles Salquin.

  • 1931–1932

    1931–1932

    Gübelin in St. Moritz and Zurich

    Opening of the Gübelin boutique in the Surselva House in St. Moritz. This is followed by the opening of a boutique on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich in 1932.

  • 1944–1972

    1944–1972

    Boutiques in Switzerland

    With the opening of the boutique in Basel Gübelin is now represented in the following Swiss locations: Lucerne, Zurich, Basel, Berne, St. Moritz, Geneva, and Lugano.

  • 1945

    1945

    Walter and Eduard Josef Gübelin

    Walter Gübelin, son of Eduard Moritz Gübelin, assumes responsibility for the overall running of the business as well as the management of the watch atelier. His brother, the gemmologist Eduard Josef Gübelin, is responsible for gemstones and communications.

  • 1988

    1988

    Thomas Gübelin

    Thomas Gübelin, son of Walter Gübelin, takes over responsibility for the family business.

  • 2000

    2000

    Sara Gübelin Mittelmann

    Sara Gübelin Mittelmann, daughter of Thomas and Susy Gübelin, joins the Firm. In 2007 she becomes a member of the Board of Directors.

  • 2007

    2007

    Raphael Gübelin

    Raphael Gübelin, son of Thomas and Susy Gübelin, joins the Board of Directors along with his sister. In 2011, he becomes CEO and assumes responsibility for the management of Gübelin.

  • 2010

    2010

    Gem Lab in Hong Kong

    The Gübelin Gem Lab opens a second location in Hong Kong.

  • 2012

    2012

    Gübelin in Kuala Lumpur

    Gübelin opens a boutique in Kuala Lumpur, its first retail presence in Asia.

  • 2013

    2013

    Private salon in Hong Kong

    Gübelin opens a private salon in Hong Kong.

  • 2013

    2013

    Founding of the Gübelin Academy

    Gübelin opens the Gübelin Academy in Hong Kong. Its modular programme of gemstone courses helps gem lovers deepen their knowledge.

  • 2015

    2015

    New jewellery creations

    Gübelin introduces its Deeply Inspired philosophy and presents its three new worlds of jewellery: Deep Sea, Mystical Garden, and Glowing Fire.

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