Few Australian jewellery brands have been in the jewellery game for as long, or have had as rich and storied success as Cudworth Enterprises. This year, Australia’s largest men’s jewellery and accessories wholesaler celebrates its 100-year anniversary from 1921 to 2021. Stefan Juengling explores Cudworth’s history, its accomplishments, and its goals for the future.
What eventually became Cudworth Enterprises originally started as Norman P Joseph Pty Ltd, first registered on February 17, 1921 by owners Norman P Joseph and Norman Schureck as a company wholesaling in giftware and men’s cufflinks and accessories under the registered trademark Smartset.
Both owners remained as directors until Joseph’s death in 1945, upon which Shureck took over as sole director.
In 1950, Harry Whitman was appointed as business partner with the company continuing to sell the same products in jewellery and menswear stores across Australia.
Following Schureck’s passing in 1961, Whitman became the company’s new owner.
The famous Cudworth name finally emerges when Dennis Cudworth started as a Sydney-based sales representative for the company in 1962.
During this period, the business relationship with David Jones commenced, which continues to this day.
In the early 1970s, Dennis Cudworth and Mr MacMurray bought the company and changed the name to Cudworth-MacMurray Pty Ltd.
They then proceeded to commence a business relationship with Myer, which also continues to this day.
Dennis also met future wife Lesley Rylah during this era.
Lesley was working at Prouds, to whom Dennis was selling Cudworth-MacMurray products. The couple married in 1979.
Denis O’Beirne commenced as the Victorian sales representative during this period, and he remained in that position until 2009.
The 20-plus year partnership with Mr MacMurray ceased in 1982, and the company’s current name: Cudworth Enterprises Pty Ltd was then registered with Dennis and Lesley Cudworth as directors.
During this period in the 80s, the company commenced its long association with Hourglass/IBSM which is now known as Leading Edge Group.
Dennis also became patron of The Father’s Day Council of Australia which holds its annual event: The Australian Father of the Year Award in Sydney annually in August.
Dennis passed away in December 2001, and Neil McCammon and Darren Roberts acquired the company, driving it forward in the new century.
In 2003 the Cudworth brand expanded into men’s jewellery, becoming the first company in Australia to introduce stainless steel jewellery. Additionally, the business was a first time exhibitor at the Australian Jewellery Fair in Sydney.
Over the years from the early 2000s to today, Cudworth acquired many big name brands as distributors including Lanvin & Hoxton in 2010, Hugo Boss writing instruments in 2015, and London brand Tateossian in 2017.
The business also showcased its brand at various European jewellery fairs in 2011 including the UK at the London Jewellery Fair and Vinceza in Italy.
CEO Darren Roberts said that to this day, Cudworth Enterprises continues to be the market leader in men’s fashion jewellery, and understands the Australian market.
The company continues to consistently offering new designs and trends to customers, while keeping it masculine yet fashionable.
The Cudworth brand is now a global phenomenon with distributors across Australia, New Zealand, The South Pacific, Europe and the UK.