Born in Vienna, Austria in 1909, Kurt Wayne spent his earliest years in a Catholic orphanage, an unlikely place for a Jewish boy but a home nonetheless. At age ten, his life was changed when he was placed in the care of a jeweler. He then spent his days learning the crafts of the goldsmith, silversmith, diamond setter, and watchmaker. His arduous apprenticeship was not his choice, but it soon became his passion.
In 1937 at age twenty-eight, Kurt Wayne married his love, Gusty, but with a Second World War growing eminent, they would need to leave Austria. It was April of 1939 when Kurt and Gusty spent their last night in Europe on a park bench overlooking the port of Genoa, taking turns sleeping, the other awake protecting their luggage and limited belongings. Early the next morning they boarded a ship to America.
When Kurt and Gusty arrived in the New York City Harbor, neither could read or speak English, but in time they taught each other. Kurt worked at William Halpern as a model maker for handmade watchbands, and soon, with the confidence and support of new friends, he took a chance and ventured into his own business. In 1945, his office was small, but his vision had no limits. Never swayed or influenced by the industry, Kurt Wayne became an acknowledged style-maker and trendsetter, and his reputation was universal.
As a child in Austria, Kurt never saw the ocean. As a father in America, some of Kurt’s greatest family moments were aboard his yacht. Captain of his own ship at sail over the Atlantic, Kurt showed his children that, against all odds, he was in control of his own destiny. In 1990, three years after celebrating his 50th Wedding Anniversary, Kurt Wayne passed away. The passion of this remarkable innovator continues to live on through his family and friends…
Website: Kurt Wayne