More than 155 years of market experience

On 1st May 1860, the company Carl Engelkemper is founded by the Münster watchmaker of the same name as a “trading company for watches, tools and equipment en gros et en detail”. After his death in 1899, it is initially continued by his employee and later partner Robert Henseler until 1914.

During the First World War and the post-war years, the Engelkemper company is managed by former authorised representative Josef Brockmüller. When he dies, the company is returned to its founder’s brother, Wilhelm Engelkemper, who, as a theologian, has no use for it.

It is from him that Franz Abeler, son of the Münster fine watchmaker Heinrich Abeler and just 23 years old, acquires the company in 1936 with the help of his father and godfather. He initially adds leather and other watch straps to the range, and later jewellery.

With her husband enlisted in August 1939, Johanna Abeler, another daughter of the sector, manages the business during the Second World War. When a bomb destroys its premises in Katthagen, Münster in December 1944, six staff are evacuated with the company to Bünde. Despite difficulties in procurement, the business never dries up completely. Starting again in premises measuring just 65 m² on Piusallee in Münster, with the support of his wife and despite all the adversity of the post-war years, Franz Abeler manages to develop the company so successfully that it moves to significantly larger premises in 1951.

The structure as a family company and his talent for business decisions are crucial components of this success, which demands another move in 1976 and expansion to premises measuring 3,700 m² in 1988.

The second generation, in the form of second son and business graduate Rainer Abeler and his wife Marlis, takes over responsibility for the business in 1967. When the Berlin Wall falls in 1989, he puts the company on a broader footing, allowing it to move into its current building, architecturally tailored to the needs of the company, on Lindberghweg in December 1993. With office and warehouse space arranged in a ring around a large exhibition space in the centre, it offers fast, efficient access to everything that forms the heart of the business.

Today, Carl Engelkemper Münster is managed by the third generation with Guido Abeler as Executive Partner and offers a portfolio of goods ideally tailored to the market in the jewellery, watches and technology segments, as well as service, promotional support and marketing strategies – a diversity seen nowhere else on the German market. 

Like Marlis Abeler before her, lawyer Yvonne Abeler has also assisted her husband in business matters since 1998. One of the company’s core principles is that of a family-run business, in which both customers and all 150 staff feel that their concerns are addressed in a positive way.

It is in this tradition that the watch brand Abeler & Söhne, founded 130 years earlier by patriarch Heinrich Abeler, is relaunched in 2007. By the time the company celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2010, the brand is once again successfully established on the market. Today, the made in Germany brand is one of the company’s flagships.