This time we are introducing five the most common vintage watch brands in Finland. There is not much information about Finnish watch brand in English. These brands are mainly sold in 60-70´s in Finland and in some cases in Sweden also. We are introducing five the most common vintage watch brand in this article. These brands are Leijona, Cardinal, Milljonär, Leopard and Tiger.
Watches in this post are from my private collection. Photo quality is not the best because these photos has taken a long time ago, before posting. Copyrights remains to the owner.
Definitely number one of Finnish watch brand is Leijona. Leijona has established in 1907 and trademark is still working. Leijona is the most known, most popular and most used Finnish watch brand. Leijona watches has always designed in Finland. Leijona watches has designed for everyday use and you can wear watches in every situation.
Small story of Leijona´s history. The J.W. Lindroos watch wholesaler in Tampere (Finland), started to sell Leijona watches in 1910. 1918 brothers Jalo, Urho ja Oiva Perkko established Perkko Corporation in Helsinki. Perkko bought J.W. Lindroos company in 1919. In the beginning of Leijona history watches were manufactured in Switzerland and most of the watches were pocket watches. In 1920´s it started to come more and more wristwatches to markets for men and women. Even before 2nd world war they were wide range of mechanical wristwatches, pocketwatches and wall clocks. After war there became more selection with waterproof watches and other stainless steel and silver watches.
1970´s quartz watches replace mechanical watches in markets. In this stage Leijona quartz watches was manufactured in Japan. Nowdays Leijona watch collection consist of about 350 different types of wrist- and pocketwatches for men, women and children. There has been high level quality control since beginning and all watches has to fulfill hard requirements conserning of materials and production.
Cardinal: Cardinal was the brand of Kellotuomi co. ,the Finnish wholesaler, which built Cardinal on the example of Leijona brand. Cardinal came to the market on a trajectory, in the late 60´s when the production of cheap watches came to the transit stage. That is why there are much less Cardinal watches in the world if compared to Leijona. Mechanical watches did not sell in the 70´s, then at the end of the decade came the transition to quartz watches, first to the Swiss ones and early 80´s to Japanese Miyota movements. When Kellotuomi co. stopped operating -92, Exact Oy continued as a trademark holder. In the 80´s Cardinal had about 15% share of watch markets in Finland. Few years Cardinal was most sold watch in Finland.
Milljonär watches were sold in postal sales between 1950s and 1970s. Probably watches were sold also in some retail stores. Tähti-Tuonti co in Helsinki started mail order business in 1958 and in the end of 60´s company started to advertise Milljonär watches in different magazines. Also the company called Swiss-kellot sold Milljonär watches in 1977 through mail order sales. According to the advertisements, the watches had AS, FHF, ETA and UT movements. Milljonär brand is probably a Finnish / Swedish marketing name, which is likely to be marketed only in the Nordic countries.
The brand was Sylvester Korhonen co. own brand in Finland. It was the largest players in the watch industry in Finland at the end of the 60´s. The brand may have been born in the early 50’s. Sylvester Korhonen’s wholesale went bankruptcy in the 70’s because of the quartz crisis, partly also by generation change problems. Sylvester continued its operations as a watch shop in Espoo, after a generation change.
Leopard watches have been assembled with the brand name in watchmaking companies in Switzerland. The operating model was very similar to Leijona brand. The Leopard brand went down with the Sylvester Korhonen wholesale company.
Tiger was a trademark of Aseman Kello co located in Helsinki. Tiger followed Leijona brand footsteps. According to the available information, watches were mainly manufactured by the Swiss watchmaker Mildia SA. The oldest Tiger watches from 60´s had FHF and ST handwinding movements or AS and ETA automatic movements. Tiger is much less sold than the other mentioned watch brands in Finland because it was sold only at watch shops of Asema Kello in Helsinki and Tampere and also in watch shop chain of Velikulta.
Check also other posts in our blog: https://www.timemachine.fi/en/blog
If you are intrested about watches and need something for yourself, check our onlinestore were we are selling nice collection of watches, watch accessories and other fashion products: www.timemachine.fi/en