In 1875, three brothers from Rohrbach deep in the Black Forest, Germany opened a Watchmaking business in Quay Street, Sligo. The three brave young brothers Edward (then 21), Bartholomew (18) and Adolph (9) had left the Black Forest to seek out a new life as times were tough in Germany. Incredibly, at such a young age, the three brothers sailed to Cork, briefly stopping in Limerick before finally acquiring a premises in Sligo in 1875.
They sold clocks and repaired watches at their premises on Quay Street until 1900. Bartholomew returned back to Germany at this time and the remaining two brothers opened a new shop at a premises in number 3 Knox Street, now O'Connell Street, where the business remains today.
Edward died leaving no children, but Adolph had two sons Fred and Eddie, who would carry on the family business after Adolph's untimely passing. Fred was a watchmaker of some distinction and worked for Rolex before coming back to work in the family business. Fred and Eddie worked along with their mother Anastacia, who some of our older customers may remember as a fixture of the old shop, sitting in her chair inside the door.Eddie was a renowned gentleman and a popular man in Sligo and in the Jewellery trade. A keen sportsman, he was a founding member of Strandhill Golf Club and indeed the Irish Jewellery Trade Golfing Association. A fantastic soccer player in his youth Eddie won two Connacht Cups and a Western League medal with Sligo Bohemians.
In the 1970s’s, Eddie’s son Tony joined the business and immediately began to progress the business. Wehrly Bros joined buying groups which gave us very strong buying power with companies and also gave Tony the platform to chase exclusive brands which he did successfully. In 1989, Tony acquired number 2 O’Connell Street, previously Young’s Medical Hall, and expanded the footprint of the shop. The store was completely revamped in 2007 which gave it the modern, elegant and luxurious appearance we have today.
In 2009, Tony’s son Richard became the fourth generation of Wehrly’s to join the business. Richard had completed a Marketing degree and since joining the business has attained the Professional Jewellers Diploma from the National Association of Jewellers and the prestigious DGA status from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
In 2016, Richard became the youngest ever President of the Association of Fine Jewellers (then known as the Retail Jewellers of Ireland) representing over 150 jewellery shops around the country.
In 2019, Wehrly Bros. was shortlisted for UK & Ireland Retailer of the Year at a Black Tie event in the Artillery Gardens in London, although not winners, the nomination was a fantastic achievement for us and has given us the inspiration to keep evolving and changing with the dynamic jewellery trade.
Looking to the future, we plan to expand our online business and continue to be the port of call for exclusive brands, quality pieces of jewellery and diamond rings in the North West.