Devoted to the finer things since 1845: the history of Heimerle + Meule

Devoted to the finer things since 1845: the history of Heimerle + Meule
Our story begins in 1845, when entrepreneur Julius Dittler was preparing to set up a scrap company in the then small town of Pforzheim. On a commission basis he began recovering precious metals from production waste products, a venture that quickly developed into a success story and became the foundation for Germany’s oldest gold and silver refinery. Constant growth, a productive change of company form, continuous introduction of new products and fruitful partnerships have all led to an extremely active company from its first beginnings, which continues to have an optimistic outlook on a golden future.

From a general partnership to the Heimerle + Meule Group
Julius Dittler was a clever businessman with great vision. In the second half of the 19th century, the company rebranded as Heimerle + Meule, first as a general partnership under today’s understanding of legal corporate definitions. At the end of the First World War, the company went public as an Aktiengesellschaft, a public limited company. In 1935 it changed to a limited partnership. After enjoying a silent partnership from 1951 to 1960, the Lübeck Possehl Group¹ became the exclusive shareholder, a partnership that continues even today. Additional company parts were added. After taking over the former Cookson Precious Metals Group, the Heimerle + Meule Group² (Heimerle + Meule, Cooksongold, Weston Beamor, Cookson-CLAL, SEMPSA JP, Drijfhout, Koutadly) was formed in 2013 and is now one of Europe’s largest processors of precious metals with over 950 employees at locations in seven countries. 

From the town centre to the industrial estate
A blazing fire on 23 February 1945 totally destroyed the company’s premises on Östlichen Karl-Friedrich-Strasse in Pforzheim, prompting the move to new premises in the town centre at the Knoll + Pregitzer jewellery and watch factory. In 1951 a new, modern factory was constructed, also in the town centre. An extension and additional new building on Berliner Strasse followed as the company grew. In 1977, Heimerle + Meule left its town-centre premises and moved to the Pforzheim industrial estate of ‘Brötzinger Tal’, where it purchased highly modern production halls, well equipped with what is still considered state-of-the-art technology. The company continued to expand in the 1990s, and soon the premises proved too small. In 2000 the decision to build an extension was taken. Taking over Heraeus Edelmetall Halbzeug GmbH, a Pforzheim company, made it necessary to rethink plans in 2001, which would not be implemented until 2004. The final joining of both companies ‘under one roof’ at Dennigstrasse 16 came to fruition in 2005. 

From precious metal recovery to complete expertise
The company’s range of services has continuously evolved along with the company and its changed forms and locations. From 1920 Heimerle + Meule began alloying precious metals in-house, turning them into semi-finished products and supplying them to the jewellery and watch industry. Just a little while later the first dental alloys were developed and produced. With the upturn of electrotechnology and electronics, Heimerle + Meule has used its experience with precious metal semi-finished products to forge a place in this market segment as well, building a reputation as a competent supplier. The company’s services gained new reinforcements with the addition of technical and decorative electroplated surface coatings. The recent inclusion of the chemicals industry is another growth factor that opens up even greater access to international markets for the company. As the Heimerle + Meule Group now sets itself up as an integrated entity today, it covers virtually all of the precious metal fields and sectors.

From a scrap company to an end-to-end supplier in precious metal processing, we have continually evolved and are ideally positioned for a great future.