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.
Eddie's son Tony came to work in the family business in the 1970's after completing a Watchmaking Diploma at the Irish/Swiss Institute of Horolgy. In the late 1980's Tony acquired number 2 O'Connell Street, previously Young's Medical Hall, which extended the shop creating a new Giftware and Watch section, and a new dedicated private room for viewing engagement rings. Over the years Tony has completed many Diamond courses making him an expert in his field. Tony is also a Registered Valuer and conducts valuations on the premises.
In August 2007, the most radical changes occured to Wehrly Bros. for many years with a completely new shop fit. The old-world style was gone and replaced with a new vibrant, modern, yet elegant decor.
In 2009 Tony's son, Richard became the fourth generation of the Wehrly family to go into the family business. Richard has a degree in Marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology and has also completed Jewellery and Diamond courses with the National Association of Goldsmiths and The Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
In 2016 Richard became the youngest ever President of the Association of Fine Jewellers (Retail Jewellers of Ireland).