The company and its History
The company was founded in 1965 by Mr. Samuel Weisz, who started a wholesale enterprise for distribution in the Benelux. His two sons joined the company, Edward in 1971 and Franklin in 1978, which made the company expand and become a key player in the Benelux market. The company was organized in two main departments:
- Wholesale in the Benelux with multiple brands;
- Production and worldwide distribution for two brands: Danish Design and Jacob Jensen.
Today S. Weisz Uurwerken BV is an international operating watch, clocks and jewellery company with its head office based in Amstelveen, The Netherlands.
The worldwide distribution is organized from our head office; nowadays we have a distribution network in more than 65 countries. The export started mainly with our own brand Danish Design and because of the fast international growth and recognition, the studio of Jacob Jensen (Denmark) realized the success of our working method making Danish Design a world brand. Therefore, a cooperation between Jacob Jensen and Weisz was created. The Jacob Jensen studio designs and the Weisz company manufactures and distributes Jacob Jensen watches, clocks and jewellery worldwide.
Three generations of S. Weisz Watches
Not just during family diners they meet up; they meet each other daily at the work floor. The two brothers Franklin and Edward Weisz and two children run S. Weisz together. They distribute watches all over the world, import different kind of brands and own the watch brand Danish Design.
It’s quiet a busy day at the office of S. Weisz watches in Amstelveen, but not too busy for an interview. Edward and Franklin Weisz are sitting next to each other at the table, Franklin’s daughter Jawina and son Ronen join them later. Publicity and marketing got more important for the family business. With the coming of Ronen a couple of years ago, a marketing department saw the light. For the older generation, the brothers Weisz, something they had to become accustomed to. ‘It was needed to look beyond their own borders’, Edward tells. ‘ We just neglected our marketing. I’m a bit old fashioned, so I really had to get used to it. But after all it’s a great achievement of Ronen. I’m glad he took it up.’
S. Weisz watches was found in 1965 by Edward and Franklin’s parents. Edward started working in the company in 1978. Both didn’t even reached their twenties yet. ‘I followed my heart’, claimed Franklin. ‘I have always known that I wanted to work in the company. For Edward it was different. I studied History and I wanted to do something with it. But finally I chose for our parents business.’ Franklin and Edward grew up with trade and watches, and got promoted at S. Weisz quite fast. Edward: ‘ When I started, the team was made out of a small amount of family members, including my mother, father and me. We were unique in what we did and on top of that, we had something to offer no one had. So that went really well. Before we knew we sold complete collections.
S. Weisz held office in one of the smaller rooms of their home. ‘ My father wanted to make money first, before he enlarged the business. He didn’t want to spend any money, they didn’t had. We worked in a space in Amsterdam South that was too small for so many people. It’s just five years ago we moved to Amstelveen.
Dyin’ to get in
Edward and Franklin together form the Executive Board, but both have their own tasks. ‘Our characters complete each other’, Edward tells. ‘I’m looking forward, but sometimes want too much. Franklin is more restrictive and stops me when needed. Sometimes he slows down the pace a bit too much and then I actually have to get him in movement. We keep an eye on each other.’ Together they make big decisions. The realization of new plans happen with the approval of their kids. Every member of the family has their own qualities and something to add. Franklin’s daughter Jawina is brand manager of the brand Jacob Jensen at S. Weisz. ‘ I helped in the company from when I was a kid. During the summer I had a job at the service desk. But I got to University first. I didn’t want to work right away for the company, but gather experience somewhere else. Although, I based my thesis on S. Weisz. I wrote about ways to position the brand better. I couldn’t wait to implement the knowledge I got at the company. The plan was to work half a year for my dad and uncle. That moment is now already four years ago.’ Franklin: ‘I was really happy. We never forced Jawina to come and work for us. Actually, I didn’t even think this would happen, because she got a job offer at Nike. So I was positively surprised that she chose for our company.
Jawina: ‘I like the fact that everything is build from a small attic room. As a third generation, it makes me very proud. At home I was surrounded by hard working people, but I also learned how you can combine your work with your spare time. I enjoy working with family intensively. I get criticized when needed and compliments when I deserve them; just like in any other company with a good boss.
Ronen: ‘I started a month after the company settled down here in Amstelveen. I studied Communication an d did a year of volunteer work in Israel. I noticed that the study Communication didn’t really fit me, but I really liked Marketing. I did a course of Graphic Design and after that I started here in the company. The business didn’t had a marketing device yet. So we slowly build it up a bit. We created posters for our clients, got in contact with advertising agencies. The section kept growing and so it became a real division.’
These days and the past
The family members see differences but also the similarity between their work now and in the past. Franklin: ‘Trading and the meaning of sales, never change. It’s not very different from what it used to be. The way to play the market did change.’ Ronen adds: ‘Because me and Jawina are younger, we have a better idea about new technologies and new media. The use of tablets during a sales moment, social media in the communication with the market; things like that. Fortunately my dad and uncle are open to new stuff. We always find each other somewhere.’