Our History

Our History

Since its inception in 1942, J Farren-Price has developed one of Australia's most extensive range of famous Swiss watches and beautifully crafted luxury jewellery.

1942 - IN THE BEGINNING

1942 - IN THE BEGINNING

A young John Farren-Price

1942 - IN THE BEGINNING

J Farren-Price was started in 1942 by John Farren-Price, father of Julian Farren-Price, when he was discharged from the war effort. He had been trained by his brother as a watchmaker but was too entrepreneurial to be confined to the watchmakers bench. Thus he set about acquiring agencies for popular Swiss watch brands.

1950’s - ROLEX, TUDOR & LONGINES

1950’s - ROLEX, TUDOR & LONGINES

John Farren-Price with Rolex founder Hans Wildorf - circa 1950

1950’s - ROLEX, TUDOR & LONGINES

By the early 1950’s John Farren-Price was producing his own J Farren-Price watches and was an authorised agent for a number of prestigious Swiss watch brands including Rolex, Tudor and Longines all of whom we still represent today.

During the 1950’s J Farren-Price began to expand and soon there was an outlet in every Grace Brothers department store in Australia (now owned by Myer) and Mr. Farren-Price also began franchising the JFP brand across the country.

1950’s - J FARREN-PRICE BECOMES A HOUSEHOLD NAME

1950’s - J FARREN-PRICE BECOMES A HOUSEHOLD NAME

Excitement at a J Farren-Price new store opening by Bob Dyer, Bondi Junction circa 1955

1950’s - J FARREN-PRICE BECOMES A HOUSEHOLD NAME

By 1954 with 20 J Farren-Price branches now in Australia, JFP was considered the country’s largest watch organisation. John Farren-Price was a gifted promoter and through his association with well-known media personalities like Bob Dyer on ‘Pick a Box’ and “golden tonsils” John Laws, J Farren-Price had became a household name by 1950/60’s. In that era there was a good chance your first watch would have come from J Farren-Price.

One of his more ingenious stunt ideas was when he once famously strapped a Movado watch to the keel of a Sydney to Hobart racing Yacht, showing it in full working order after the race. On another occasion he organised a shark to be pulled out of the ocean at the local Cruising Yacht Club of Australia with a working JFP watch in it!

1958 - KRYSTEN JOINS THE FIRM

1958 - KRYSTEN JOINS THE FIRM

A young Krysten Farren-Price

1958 - KRYSTEN JOINS THE FIRM

In 1958 Mr. Farren-Price made a fateful decision to employ a bright, young and ambitious assistant, Krysten Browne. A lady who he would later go on to marry and have a son named Julian with. Not to mention, a lady who would one day buy him out of the business.

1970’s - QUARTZ CRISIS

1970’s - QUARTZ CRISIS

Krysten & John Farren-Price open a Citizen Watches boutique in the 1970s

1970’s - QUARTZ CRISIS

By the 1970’s there were over one hundred J Farren-Price stores across Australia and New Zealand combined. However, stormy clouds were looming.

When the Japanese commercially developed the quartz watch, the novelty caused havoc in the Swiss mechanical watch industry. Many famous manufacturers became financially unstable, with some declaring bankruptcy and closing their doors.

Some tried to compete with the Japanese quartz technology, while others staunchly defended the value of Swiss mechanics and persevered.

With this big change, the J Farren-Price wholesale network was closed. However, in 1976 a new opportunity presented itself. The business was offered a small salon for lease in the newly re-built St James Centre in Castlereagh Street. Consequently, No. 80 Castlereagh Street became the new home of J Farren-Price, where it remains today. Rather than retiring, Mrs. Farren-Price decided to pursue the business as a hobby. The newly established boutique began with stocking Girard Perregaux watches and some jewellery pieces.

1977 - PATEK PARTNERSHIP

1977 - PATEK PARTNERSHIP

Alan Banbury Sales Director for Patek Philippe with Krysten Farren-Price circa 1977

1977 - PATEK PARTNERSHIP

In 1977, J Farren-Price re-introduced Patek Philippe into Australia by becoming an official retailer. Based in Geneva, Patek Philippe continues to design and manufacture some of the world’s finest timepieces.

1980’s & 1990’s - THE HARD YARDS

1980’s & 1990’s - THE HARD YARDS

J Farren-Price boutique in the 1990's

1980’s & 1990’s - THE HARD YARDS

As many entrepreneurs know, starting a new business is no small or easy task. In the early 1980s John and Krysten parted their ways, resulting in Krysten buying John out of the business.

1989 - JULIAN JOINS THE FIRM

1989 - JULIAN JOINS THE FIRM

J Farren-Price boutique in the 1990's

1989 - JULIAN JOINS THE FIRM

In 1989, Julian, the son of Krysten and John, had just qualified as a Chartered Accountant but wanted a break from corporate life. This led him to join the company and become part of the family business.

2008 ONWARDS BUSINESS MATURITY

2008 ONWARDS BUSINESS MATURITY

Julian & Krysten Farren-Price being photographed on JFP’s 75th anniversary

2008 ONWARDS BUSINESS MATURITY

Whilst the early 1990s recession saw a period of economic downturn, the rapid growth of the Chinese economy significantly expanded J Farren-Price’s customer base. China has now grown to be Australia’s largest source of tourism both in terms of volume and spend. With a desire for luxury, our Chinese clients value our exquisite collections that we have spent decades creating.

Today we proudly represent a large range of the world’s finest watchmakers and internationally renowned jewellers, in addition to our own bespoke jewellery collection.

2019 - J FARREN-PRICE EXPANDS

2019 - J FARREN-PRICE EXPANDS

Julian with Krysten Farren-Price giving a speech at the J Farren-Price 75th anniversary gala event in November 2017

2019 - J FARREN-PRICE EXPANDS

At J Farren-Price we pride ourselves on our impeccable and personal customer service. In the age of convenience and fast paced living, we maintain our family friendly approach and continue to grow the business that has been built on loyalty and trust with our clients. 2019 sees further development with the expansion of the Castlereagh boutique to a second floor above. The new floor will house a brand new Patek Philippe salon, which will be one of the biggest Patek boutiques in the Southern Hemisphere.