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Last Updated:
20/07/18 1619 hours GMT

Our designs are
legally protected .. more


History of Faller

Wilheim Faller (founder)
1860 - 1940

William Faller

Wilheim Faller was originally a native of Schonwald in the Black Forest region of southern Germany where he served a 3 year clock making apprenticeship in a local factory. He immigrated to Ireland in 1876. Based in Athlone he sold German clocks with his older brother Stephen (who in 1879 founded Stephen Faller Jewellers of Galway).

Wilheim moved to Derry in the North West of Ireland in 1878 and travelled the length and breadth of Donegal with a backpack of “wag in the wall” clocks, cuckoo clocks and other wooded clocks from Germany. Being the first to introduce these clocks into Donegal this proved a lucrative trade for him.

In 1883 at the age of 25 Wilheim (now known as William) opened his first shop at 25 Ferryquay Street, Derry. There he sold and serviced clocks and pocket watches both European and American, as well as watch chains and general jewellery. He still continued to sell his clocks throughout the counties of Derry and Donegal using the rail network and by 1897 he had 6 agents selling Faller clocks.

William with his 6 agents
William & his 6 sales agents

Faller shop 1904

In 1902 William took a ground lease on land overlooking the River Foyle at 12 Strand Road. He designed a purpose built jewellery store, complete with high ceilings to allow plenty of natural light to enter. The final cost including all the fittings was £970. All the original mahogany counters and show cabinets, made in Moville, are still in use today.

Business prospered in William’s new shop in spite of a world war and the partition of Ireland, which created a border between Derry and Donegal and caused the demise of the clock wholesale business in Donegal.

At the advent of the 2nd World War William avoided internment, even though he was still a German subject. He passed away in April 1940.

Stephen Faller
1908 - 1999
Stephen Faller

Stephen Faller, William's youngest son entered the family business in 1923 at the age of 15 and learned watch, clock and jewellery making and repairing. In 1931 he also qualified as an optician. As was common in the economic environment of the time he divided his time between both services, working long hours to fit in all his commitments.

Stephen took over the running of the clock and jewellery business after the death of his father but business was challenging due to post war shortages, until the mid 50's when consumer goods became available again.

His wife Maeve joined the business full-time in 1961 and her presence in the shop still continues today.  In 1969 "The Troubles" started in Derry but the business and shop survived and prospered.  In 1983 (our Centenary year) the archway next door, previously the entrance to the Victoria  Market, was purchased and the shop increased in size.

Noel Faller

In 1971 Stephen’s son Noel joined the business and he learnt the trade of jewellery manufacturing. In 1982 he qualified in Gemmology and a year later he became a diamond member of the Gemmological Association.
He also studied at the Gemmological Institute of America. His excellent skills and knowledge in diamond sourcing and grading is reflected in the quality and range of diamond jewellery we produce today.

In the early 90’s when Noel took over from his father he instigated his vision for the future. Reacting to the evolving tastes and demands of contemporary culture he redefined the ethos of the business.

Keeping the Faller commitment to quality, value and service he has enhanced the individuality and choice available to our clientele by increasing the range of jewellery exclusively designed and made by Faller. To achieve this, the workshop has gone through a period of expansion and development. As interest in platinum jewellery has increased new skills and machinery were introduced to achieve the quality we expect of our Faller product.

Faller’s current designer and goldsmith, Una Carlin joined in 1996.

Today Una and 3 other goldsmiths are employed in the Faller workshop which now occupies both upper floors above the shop. It continues to be constantly updated as new advances in the field of jewellery manufacture are developed. While traditional handcrafting skills remain the core of production, computer aided design and laser technology now have their part to play.

Faller began with time pieces but over the years that emphasis has changed. In 2007 the decision was made to phase out watch retailing completely to increase our focus on jewellery designed and made by Faller.

The shop has also evolved. Understated elegance, contemporary taste and modern technology have been perfectly blended with the distinctive original features of this listed building. Traditional values combined with innovative style being the trademark
of Faller.


The interior of the shop in 2008
shop 2008

The interior of the shop in 2008
Shop front 2008


Pearls by Faller