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ABOUT ORIGINAL PENGUIN

Here at Watch Warehouse were proud to be official stockists of Original Penguin watches.

If a 100-year-old underwear factory in Minnesota seems an unconventional starting point for a fashion icon that has represented Americana since 1955 and is still worn all over the world today, blame Pete the Penguin, and perhaps a whiskey or two...

Abbot Pederson was an ambitious salesman working for the Munsingwear undergarment factory in Minneapolis. On a sales trip to New York City in 1955, with some time to kill before his flight he popped into a local bar. Stumbling out some time later he took a wrong turn down a Manhattan street and found himself outside a taxidermist shop, staring at a display of stuffed Penguin. A few dollars later and one was his, affectionately named Pete...

The cocktails flowed on the flight home and enthusiasm getting the better of him, Pederson managed to knock poor Petes head off. With the help of the seductive stewardess Pederson removed his tie and wrapped it around the penguins neck, saving him from a life without head. She unknowingly joked such a dapper bird ought to be immortalised, or even embroidered on a shirt similar to Pedersons...

And thus in 1955 the Munsingwear golf shirt was born, as comfortable on the green as in the club house. A cool combination of retro flair and subtle branding, it is endorsed by celebrities, yet embraced by the everyman. It is classic for work, yet casual for bar-hopping; it is sold all over the world, yet found in only the most select stores. From Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood and Richard Nixon, Pete the Penguin has adorned the shirts of some of the worlds most (in) famous men. As the air stewardess suggested the headless Penguin be immortalised on a shirt similar to that of Munsingwear salesman Abbot Pederson, how little she knew...

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