In the past, we introduced you to the fine cutlery of International Sterling Silver. Afterwards, we received many notes from readers telling us
how much they appreciated our coverage. Therefore, I want to present Carl Mertens cutlery from Solingen, Germany. As many of you may know, Solingen has a long standing tradition of producing utensils such as steel knives, scissors and everything related to cutlery.
Carl Mertens – History
In 1919, Carl Mertens started his business as a subcontractor to a company that produced pocket knife blades. Nineteen years later, his son Curt introduced the first Mertens series of cutlery. During WWII, the factory was destroyed and was subsequently rebuilt in 1949. Ever since, Mertens has been producing stainless steel cutlery and home decor items of the highest quality, exclusively in Germany. The cutlery was so successful that it was even sold in department stores in NYC such as Macy’s and Bloomingdales.
Since the 1960s, Mertens has also collaborated with a number of designers on collections of fashion-forward flatware. In 1978, CEO Curt Mertens died unexpectedly while on a business trip. Subsequently, his son Curt Jr. decided to take over the management of the company, together with his mother, although he originally wanted to go to medical school.
Mertens Stainless Steel Cutlery
Mertens cutlery designs are all made from hand-engraved dies and often feature meticulous details. Unlike the sterling silver cutlery, it is much more affordable, though just as durable and attractive. Surprisingly, the middle east is a great market for the company since people there seem to appreciate high quality flatware over IKEA design, for instance. Today, the Mertens factory produces about 500,000 pieces of cutlery a year. Interestingly, Mertens issues 5 new models every year! As such, it is important for them to be innovative, because competitors usually catch up with new designs quickly. Since most of them produce in low-cost countries, Mertens always has to be a cut above. Overall, the brand is famous for their modern design, but they also offer a Royal Edition of classic cutlery. All the products made in Germany, Mertens does not come at a discount price; a 4 piece set of the Salzburg pattern costs 92.50 € (about $120) and the 30 piece set runs for 649 € or $850.
The cutlery is available at select stores all over the world, but it is mostly found in Germany. If you ever make it to Solingen, you may want to stop by at their retail outlet store (address below).
Video – Carl Mertens
In the following, you get a glimpse of how Carl Mertens Cutlery is made, starting with the hand-engraving of the die to the final polish – enjoy!Address:
Carl Mertens Besteckfabrik GmbH
Krahenhöher Weg 8
Tel: +49 212-24225-0