Louis (Ludwig) Heerman, watchmaker, Queen’s Road, 1858-?

Charles Weiss HBRAS Detail Louis HeermanCarl Smith wrote a lengthy article, The German Speaking Community in Hong Kong 1846-1918, published in the the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong Branch, 1994.

The article mentions several people and companies involved, mid-19th century, in the business of selling chronometers and watches in HK. Were these actually made here or in Europe? It seems unlikely that the parts were shipped and then assembled here.

Further information on the subject of “HK” chronometers and watches in the mid-19th century would be of interest.

The first shopkeeper in Hong Kong with a German sounding name was Charles Weiss – Aberdeen Street…who in 1844 advertises himself as “Charles Weiss, Chronometer and watchmaker from London and Geneva, Oswald’s Hill opposite Gibb, Livingston and Co.” Weiss left Hong Kong permanently in 1856 and transferred his business to Henry Vaucher who had been a clerk in the watchmaking firm of Bovet Brothers and Co. at Canton from 1851 to the time he took over Charles Weiss’ business. He died of chronic diarrhea a year after moving to Hong Kong. (Adapted from source 1)

Thanks to Richard McGeough for re-typing the following extract from Carl Smith’s RASHKB article linked below.

“Louis Heermann was an assistant in the shop of Charles Weiss from the year 1854. After the shop was closed upon the death of Henry Vaucher, Mr. Heermann opened his own shop on Queen’s Road in February 1858 (Friend of China 1 Feb 1858). While in his shop notice Mr. Heermann calls himself Louis, in the Hong Kong jury lists he is designated Ludwig. In 1857 he was an assistant in the watch and chronometer store of Douglas Lapraik. Not long after opening his own store, Mr. Heermann left Hong Kong.

One of Mr. Heerman’s assistants, Charles J. Gaupp continued the business after his employer left.” (1)


  1. The German Speaking Community in HK 1846-1918  RASHKB Vol 34, 1994


  1. RASHKB says “Anyone with an interest in the history, art, literature and culture of China and Asia, with special reference to Hong Kong, will enjoy membership of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, which is generally regarded as the premier Society for the study of Hong Kong and South China. Dating back over 150 years, the Society is today a very active body, organizing varied visits, talks, seminars and more.”
    The Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch website

This article was first posted on 2nd March 2017.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Douglas Lapraik – watchmaker, shipowner and co-founder of the Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Company
  2. Charles Weiss, Hong Kong chronometer and watchmaker, c1844-1856
  3. Henry Vaucher, Hong Kong watchmaker, c1856-1857
  4. The German Speaking Community in Hong Kong 1846-1918 – Part One
  5. The German Speaking Community in Hong Kong 1846-1918 – Part Two
  6. Levy Hermanos – Watch Emporium, Central – late 19th and early 20th centuries
  7. The Stelux Group, founded HK 1963, manufacturer of watch components

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