The practice of importing Swiss made watches under a house brand label was good for the jewelry company and for the customer. The jewelry company was able to offer a better than average watch at a lower than average price, thus making everyone happy.
This vintage Kent Chrome Plated and Stainless Steel Men’s Swiss Watch with a “Rotomatic” 17 Jewels movement, circa 1947, is a good example. It features a chrome and stainless “Military Style” steel case, sweep second hand, and an automatic movement that is working great and keeping good time after 60-plus years of vintage wear. The pale gold tone dial has Arabic numerals with some remaining luminous paint, no longer glowing. Full chapter ring. The dial is fully signed: KENT / ROTOMATIC / INCABLOC / 17 JEWELS / SWISS. The case has the numbers 47 on the side between the “south” lugs (beneath the 6). Nicely knurled crown.
“Rotomatic” is a form of automatic or self-winding watch movement; a “Rotomatic” watch is driven by automatic movement–so as long as you’re moving, it’s moving, gaining power and reserving it for use. Several immediately recognizable high end watches used (and still use) the term “Rotomatic” for their movements. Do an internet search of “Rotomatic” and “watch” to find out more.
Kent Watch Company imported watches from Switzerland, to be the in-store brand of the Finlay jewelry departments within the New York chain of department stores owned by A.S. Hirshberg. By 1954, the parent company of Finlay, Finlay-Straus, sold their stores to Kay Jewelers, who continued to feature the Kent brand of watches made in Switzerland for the USA market.
They advertised in Esquire magazine with this slogan:
“Kent is Elegance with Simplicity”
To read more about this watch, click: Kent Rotomatic
To read about this and other Kent watches, click: KENT