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Cardinal (Canada)

The Cardinal watch brand has its roots in the Wein family (formally Weinzieher). The Wein family originally emigrated to the US from Russia and would go on to form important branches of the North American watch industry. The foundations were established in 1904 with the incorporation of Weinstrum Watches, later to be known known as Wein Brothers. Eventually, the larger family enterprise dissolved into various individual undertakings.

Morris Wein would become the founder of Marathon Watch in Montreal, Canada in 1939, which is run today by his grandson Mitchell Wein (pronounced “ween”).

Hyman Wein (pronounced “wine”), born in 1888 in the city of Kiev, was 34 years old when he emigrated to the US with his wife, Susan. They settled in Chicago, Illinois, where he founded the Clinton Watch Company in 1922. Like many others at the time, the Clinton Watch Company imported movements, dials, and cases, assembling them in their workshops.


Rose Wenger and her husband traveled to Montreal in 1923 and founded Wenger Ltd, which today owns the Cardinal watch brand. (This Canadian enterprise was and is not affiliated with Wenger Switzerland or their sister company, Victorinox, which did not begin watch production until the late 1980s.) The Wenger Watch Company was a "compiler" – that is, rather than designing and producing watches in-house, they used imported parts and assembled timepieces for sale in Canada.


Cardinal watches were produced from the 1960s through the 1990s by numerous Soviet factories, including Raketa, Poljot, Slava, ZIM and Molnija.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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