Grenon’s of Newport

Grenon’s of Newport

Postby koimaster » October 16th 2018, 9:18am

Ray Grenon, owner of Grenon’s of Newport, came into the watch business organically, his passion for timepieces ignited as a boy, followed by various jobs that led him into watch retailing. Now he is augmenting that with the distribution of several unique brands. I caught up with Grenon in his offices in Rhode Island.

How did you get into watches?

When I was 13 years old I had a summer, job washing dishes and my sister had a summer job at a jewelry store. One day she came home with a catalog from Tissot. It was showing the all new “Rockwatch” collection where the case of the watch was carved out of one block of granite. I just thought it was the coolest thing in the world so I saved up my money, washed a lot of dishes, and mustered up the $250 to buy one. Shortly after that Tissot introduced the “Woodwatch” and the “Pearlwatch.” Many more dishes were washed and the obsession began! I begged my boss for more hours and worked as much as I could so I could buy more watches.

My first job in the business was when I went to college. I took a job at a store that was part of a chain owned by Woolworths called “The Best of Times.” Every employee at the store hated doing watch batteries so I volunteered to do them all. I had no training whatsoever so I just had to dive in and learn as I went along. It was a great education.

Out of college I worked for a high-end watch retailer in Boston. They had a very talented watchmaker there named Jack Maher. When business was slow I’d sneak new watches back to Jack so he could open them up and teach me about them. I owe a lot to Jack because he taught me a great deal.


“Your heart was warm and happy

With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
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