Tony Kennett Kennett’s Jewellers

We did do a lot of odd repairs …

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I had the wife of a well-known businessman in Christchurch come in and gingerly pushed her watch over. It was in a plastic bag. She said, “I’ve just rescued it out of the toilet!”

Tony Kennett

The Kennett’s Jewellers business was established by watchmaker Robert Kennett and he and his wife and four children lived upstairs above the shop. The youngest, Ronald, was born in the back room in 1889. When Robert retired in 1922 Ronald took over the business and died in 1946 only three months after his son Tony had begun his apprenticeship.

The Kennett's building at 209 High Street was built in 1903/04 for Shier Brothers, watchmakers and jewellers. David Shier, a jeweller came to New Zealand from Glasgow and had this building built as a jeweller’s shop in High Street. The Shier business appears in the street directories until 1964. During the 1960s the building was purchased by Kennett's Jewellers who had operated from the site next door, 211 High Street, since 1880.

Kennett's Jewellers operated from both buildings until they moved into 209 High Street, during the 1970s and remained there until the 2010 / 2011 earthquakes.

Building information

Kennett’s Jewellers 209 (& 211) High Street Architect: Clarkson and Ballantyne Date: 1902 – 1903