Alfred Dunhill started his empire way back in 1893, when he opened his first shop in London. He was well connected in the City, and his shop was a reflection of those connections. The shop sold mainly automobile parts and accessories, something that could only be afforded by the well-to-do of the time. After a short time he considered that watches would make an excellent addition to his growing stock, and so started selling quality timepieces.
After a decade of running his shop successfully, Alfred became more interested in his watches and other timepieces and started experimenting with timepieces for varying purposes. His first patent was a device for measuring a specific portion of time, similar to a stop-watch function.
As time passed, he became more and more fascinated with watches and soon he was selling chronographs, waterproof clocks for airplanes and other time measuring devices that he sourced mainly from Switzerland.
Sometime in the 1920s he started selling wrist watches made by various manufacturers, including men's and women's designs. He also became famous for his tobacco and related products and his timepieces also ended up in cigar lighters, ashtrays and even belt buckles.
For the collector, interesting watches with the Dunhill name are likely to be from around the 1920s to 1930s, when some interesting and attractive models were sold by the company. Dunhill still makes watches today and is a part of the Vendome group of companies.
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