Established in 1834, Wolf manufactures exquisitely designed watch boxes, winders and jewellery boxes, with the preservation of your legacy jewellery and time piece in mind. Wolf products ensure your timeless accessories are deservingly stored in high quality, modern and stylish packaging.
Laura Moore recently spoke with Michael Jappert, Head of Global Sales, to discuss the brand’s continual success and finally meeting with their Australian distributor Duraflex Group Australia, post-pandemic to build a plan ahead with the brand here in Australia.
Laura: Tell us a bit about why you’re in Australia at the moment. Obviously, it’s been a while since you’ve been here. What brings you down under?
Michael: I had come to Sydney to spend some time to meet Phil and his team at Duraflex Group Australia. We felt very strongly that we needed to have a partner that not only had relationships with jewellery department stores and home gift retailers in the world but we also needed a place we could feed this market inventory.
Laura: I was very impressed to read that the founder of the company, Philip Wolf, was originally a silversmith. Is the company’s foundational understanding of metallurgy still employed when creating new designs?
Michael: Absolutely. One of the first things we have to always engage with when we talk about Wolf products is everything starts with a blank piece of paper. We don’t have any preconditions. We don’t take a collection that’s working exceedingly well and copy paste it, change the colour, add a new stitch or something like that. It’s all about what our product does for the consumer and the legacy piece that they’ve handed over to us. In terms of protecting precious metals, 18 carat gold containing a typical 25 percent rhodium will change colour and patina over time, but if you put it in a Wolf, the Wolf will protect it because it neutralises the interaction between oxygen and gases.
A constant theme recognised in Wolf’s business strategy is a dedication to listening to the needs of the customers and adapting to feedback. When the pandemic caused the brand to pause and reconsider their direction, a discussion was born regarding what mattered most, and consumers were at the forefront of their minds.
Laura: How do you maintain your legacy and still develop the brand, making sure it’s relevant in the market?
Michael: You know COVID really caused us to pause and really start understanding what was the way forward. We had a bit of a discussion about things that mattered and so we decided to reach out to our consumers and ask them to share with us what they trusted Wolf to protect. Those pieces of legacy. It doesn’t have to be something incredibly expensive to be a legacy piece. It can also be something that just means everything to you. In that was actually born “protect your legacy” – from what our consumer was really demanding.
The innovative design of their products begins at the outset. Considered first and foremost is the legacy jewellery piece that has been entrusted to Wolf by their consumers. Their goal is to protect the materials and preserve the life of the item.
Laura: How do the designers work with the form and function when creating such designs (especially for both men and women)?
Michael: We are very fortunate, none of this would be possible without amazing people. We have some designers who have been with us 15-20 years and then we’ve also had the rare opportunity to attract some very good designers who come into the world. The process however is highly unstructured when it comes to where the inspiration comes from, it can come from anywhere.
Laura: Have your watch boxes changed over the years? Do they replicate Simon’s love of the 70s or is there a bit more to it?
Michael: Simon does have a strong interest in vintage and a strong interest in a better way of designing with a high regard to sustainability but he also likes timeless design. We also look very closely at consumer feedback. I personally read 200 customer service emails every single week just to understand what the consumer is saying. It’s about being obsessive and continually seeking new ways of improving.
It’s the attention to detail that sets Wolf products apart. The team have an unwavering dedication to the minute details of their designs.
Laura: How important is it for the different luxury watches that are in your boxes to be cared for with a specialised box?
Michael: On the Wolf website you can actually type in the manufacturer of your timepiece and it will tell you precisely what the required turns per day are. The minimum expectation of that timepiece to be maintained and to operate correctly. And our winders can live up to what that specific information is because we patented our watch winder technology in the 70’s. Our winders are accurate and precise and allow for your watch to be taken off for wear during the day.
Another characteristic integral to Wolf’s business practices is their dedication to sustainability.
Laura: Wolf’s sustainability pledge is really impressive, and speaks to the consumer like never before. Even our Australian consumer is very demanding of their brands maintaining that sustainability pledge. How are you amplifying that message to not just the Australian consumer but globally?
Michael: Five years ago we found ourselves opening a box to make sure that the unboxing experience a consumer would receive when they purchased a Wolf had the ‘wow factor.’ However, when we opened it, there was the jarring noise that styrene makes – we all stopped on our heels instantly. Then we started questioning just who we were and what we were trying to achieve.
Wolf made a commitment from that point moving forward – sustainability would become a priority throughout their entire company.
Michael: All of the shippers and boxes that leave our factory into the universe are 100 percent biodegradable.
Wolf’s devotion to the cause is also clear in their design of new products.
Michael: For example, for a laptop case to be considered sustainable in the industry you need 30 percent of the material going into the product must be of sustainable nature – we started at 95 percent.
The offices of Wolf play their part too – on the 22nd April no phones will be answered in observation and celebration of Earth Day.
Wolf’s future in Australia looks bright. Partnering with Duraflex Group Australia, the brand’s objective in the watch and jewellery space in Australia is to introduce their brand and products, allowing the styles, design and acute attention to detail to speak for themselves. Globally, Wolf has some exciting news happening later this year in Brighton, England. At the end of September, a new product unveiling will mark the brand’s impressive 190 year anniversary (just in time for the Christmas season!)
Read below for related stories: