Kent Chronograph

Kent Chronograph

There’s no denying it: without jewelry stores, the watch industry would be a very different place. 

It’s a symbiotic relationship, one that's almost as old as the industry itself. Watchmakers made the watches--in their cottages in the early days, until the dawn of mass-machining saw those cottages turn into massive manufactories--and then send the watches to jewelry stores (also known as comptoirs) for assembly and retail.

Many of these stores would place their names on the dials alongside that of the manufacture. In the upper echelons of the watch collecting world, saying that a watch is "Tiffany-signed" can cause one's heart to flutter. But oftentimes, jewelry stores--particularly in the United States--would have "house brands" under which they would import Swiss-made watches.

The practice was widespread in the industry, and even well-known names like Heuer took part. Chronographs or "poor man's Heuers" would be sold under jewelers such as Zales, under brand names like Baylor. Both jewelry stores and the watch manufactures would benefit from this practice--the manufactures could sell stock at a lower price, while the jewelry store would be able to offer Swiss-made watches more affordably than their competitors.  

In the case of this handsome chronograph, Kent was the house brand of Finlay Enterprises. Founded in 1882 in New York City by A.S. Hirshberg, Finlay Enterprises operated jewelry departments in high-end stores like Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Lord & Taylor's. In the 1950s, Finlay was sold to a little-known chain of jewelry stores known as Kay Jewelers.

We're pretty sure you can hear their jingle in your head at this point (sorry about that). 

Even after Finlay was bought out by Kay, they continued to sell their Kent line of watches. Judging by the gold-plated cushion case that this chronograph boasts, plus the fact that it's powered by a Valjoux 7734, it comes to us straight from early 1970s. The gold hands offer an interesting counterpoint to the panda dial with red accents, a vibe very common to the era.

Powered by robust and reliable internals, this watch exudes a funky 1970s style that's hard to beat and impossible to imitate.


SKU: TT01210

Gold-plated case is approximately 40mm (excluding crown and pushers). Valjoux 7734 Manually-Wound Chronograph Movement.

Overall Condition: Gold-plated cushion case is in very good condition overall with minor signs of wear throughout. Dial is in very good condition with crisp printing and vibrant colors. Luminescent elements of the hour plots and hands show some signs of age. Unsigned crown. Stainless steel case back shows some signs of wear.

Includes one 20mm dark brown leather Analog/Shift strap.

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