Christoph Köchert

My name is Christoph Köchert. I run our family business together with my brother Florian Köchert and my cousin Wolfgang Köchert all from the 6th generation.

Mr. Köchert you are one of the members of the Henokiens Association, could you please present yourself to our readers?

> Christoph Köchert : My name is Christoph Köchert. I run our family business together with my brother Florian Köchert and my cousin Wolfgang Köchert all from the 6th generation. I am married to Anna Köchert and we have four children.

Can you present your company and its activities?

CK >A.E. Köchert is Austria’s leading traditional jeweller and one known far beyond the borders of the country. It was founded in 1814 and is still based in the centres of Vienna and Salzburg. As purveyors of the Imperial Court, we have designed and made jewels for many of the Austrian emperors and are particularly proud of our work for the Empress Sisi including the famous diamond stars, which she used to adorn her wonderful long hair. Today, over 200 years of tradition and craftsmanship are still reflected in our continued collaboration with famous designers and exceptional jewellery, much of it made in our own workshop.

Which have been the outstanding events for your company in the recent years?

CK >

  • Our 200th anniversary in 2014, which we celebrated with a comprehensive exhibition of our most important jewellery pieces and a big celebration. On the occasion of this anniversary, the most famous artists in Austria designed jewellery pieces for us.
  • In 2015, we completely renovated our "Maison" at 15 Neuer Markt in Vienna. The architects associated with Erich Bernard succeeded in setting a strong contemporary accent while at the same time preserving and sensitively restoring the old building fabric.
  • In 2017 we had the pleasure to host the annual general assembly of the Hénokiens.


Could you give us some indications about your major projects in a medium or long term?

CK >

  • In 2022, we plan to double the space of our store in Salzburg.
  • For 2022/23, we plan to expand our webshop and strengthen our social media activities.
  • We are beginning to develop a family constitution to lay the foundations for handing over the company to the 7th generation.

How can you explain the longevity of your company?

CK >

  • We have the courage to try new things without putting the company at risk.
  • Our non-negotiable values include reliability, honesty, trust, responsibility, kindness and benevolence.
  • What we communicate is consistent with what we do.
  • We understand that we do not ‘own’ our company, but rather manage it for the benefit of future generations.
  • We give ourselves clear rules.

Could you say that this extraordinary longevity is an asset in your customer relations?

CK > Yes, absolutely: as jewellers, trust is our greatest asset. People are more likely to trust a family than a corporation, and especially a family that has been in business for generations and takes personal responsibility.

Do the traditional values guiding the firm constitute an advantage as regards research and innovation?

CK > One of our traditional values is openness to art and culture in general and specifically to collaboration with contemporary artists and designers - all this in an environment that is in itself very strongly influenced by culture. This openness to artistic inspiration is one of our greatest strengths.

Which are the most important traps that your company must avoid in order not to lose its independence?

CK > For us, the biggest trap would be to focus on excessive growth.

Did over the centuries the strong will of your family to keep its independence require very difficult decisions?

CK > The most difficult decision was made at the beginning of the 1990s, when we decided to divest ourselves of all external brands in order to focus all our efforts on building up our own brand.

Is the transmission of the firm to a family member governed by clearly established rules?.

CK > In itself, yes, but we need to develop these rules further.

Is the new generation already working in the firm?

CK > No, not yet.

Do you have a message to communicate to all those who would like to start their own family business?

CK > Go for it! It is the best task you can have. Involve your children early enough, so that they become interested in taking over from you.