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Jewelry Store Closing After 45 Years in Business

He said he’ll miss his customers who have become members of his extended family.




(PRESS RELEASE) JOHNSTOWN, PA – Dennis Petimezas recalls a chance visit to a Gordons Jewelry Store in 1974 for a pen refill. He was told about a job opening and agreed to an interview.

“After a “flukishly” successful interview in Houston, I was hired,” said Petimezas, who quickly rose up the ranks into management where he opened and supervised stores in the northeast.

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He decided to branch off on his own, buying Watchmakers Shop in 1975 and renaming it Watchmaker’s Diamonds and Jewelry. Despite no signs the business is slowing down, Petimezas said he’s taking a cue from legends including Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld in deciding to retire this year.

“You go out while you’re on top,” said Petimezas, whose store has received a dozen business recognition awards over the years. “It’s 45 a wonderful years – I’m blessed with a booming economy and a positive business trajectory.”

Large Sale in the Works

Shoppers looking for bargains on high-quality jewelry should mark November 7th on their calendars. That’s when Watchmaker’s Diamonds and Jewelry will start a huge store-wide retirement sale. Expect to find special deals on jewelry- including engagement rings, anniversary bands, gemstones and estate jewelry.


Interested in Jewelry at an Early Age

Petimezas recalls going to an F.W. Woolworth department store at age 5 in 1955 and buying a 25-cent pair of plastic rose earrings for his mother’s birthday.

“She still has them today and continues to wear them for special occasions,” he said of his mother May, who is 100 years old.

As a child, he always had an interest in plastic rings and jewelry and also collected rocks when he was young. He would later embark on a career where certain kinds of rocks¬–the ones that have diamonds–are prized, and his journeys for them took him to 4 continents.

Building a Career That Values Customers

As an adult just starting out in the business, a meeting in 1974 with the late Harry B. Gordon, son of the founder of Gordon’s Jewelers, would leave a lasting impression.


“He said ‘jewelry is the only thing you can give that conveys an emotion, you can wear it and it has continuing value.’ Think about the last gift you received that hit all those key values.”

Petimezas was also struck by Gordon’s affable, unassuming demeanor. At one point Gordon told him he could sit in his chair and put his feet up on his desk during some light-hearted banter in his office.

“I was so impressed by him,” Petimezas said. Petimezas himself would devote his career to providing excellent customer service with a smile, and treating everyone with respect no matter their station in life.

“A boy who’s 16 or 17 years old and wants to get his prom date something, well that’s the most important piece of jewelry in the world to him,” he said. “To somebody who is celebrating his 60th anniversary and has an unlimited budget, that’s an important piece of jewelry for him as well. At my store, my staff and I are going to give them the same level of friendly, quality customer service.”

Fostering a warm and inviting atmosphere has helped Petimezas and his devoted staff develop a growing pool of loyal customers.

“The staff–my business partners as I call them–have been with me for 25 and 30 years with some even longer,” he said. “It’s the same faces, the same people, and customers love that. And I think what people who have never bought here will find is a wealth of experience and people who enjoy what they’re doing because that’s all they’ve done for their entire career.”


Thanks to a steadily growing number of customers, Watchmaker’s Diamonds and Jewelry was running out of space. In 2002, Petimezas relocated from The Galleria Mall to its current location on Scalp Avenue: A free-standing commercial building that’s triple in size.

Giving Back

Petimezas has given to a variety of causes over the years, including contributing toward Reverend Sam Childers’ work with orphans in the Sudan. He’s struck up friendship with the former gang biker, otherwise known as the “machine gun preacher.” A movie about his life was made in 2011.

“He does a lot of good work in the Sudan resisting the insurgents, building orphanages, and rescuing children conscripted into the rebel army” he said. “I try to help when I can, and plan to visit him there after this last Christmas season”.

Setting a New Chapter in His Life

Petimezas is exploring his options in retirement while his wife Dee Dee, who he met in 1996 plans to continue operating her beauty salon and enjoying their two children, a safety engineer and an RN emergency room nurse.

“This has been a great year,” “I turned 69 this year, and it was time to execute a plan we had in the works for several years. Go out while you’re on top and pursue whatever endeavors are there”.

He said he’ll miss his customers who have become members of his extended family.

“I’m grateful to the entire community of Johnstown whose support has made our success possible,” he said. “And a great thanks to my loyal and dedicated staff for their long tenures and hard work which made everything happen. They became part of my family.”

Want to go?

  • What: Watchmaker’s Diamonds & Jewelry Retirement Sale
  • When: Begins November 7th, 2019
  • Where: 1252 Scalp Ave., Suite 2, Johnstown, Pa. 15904
  • Store hours: 10am. to 6:00pm. Monday through Saturday. After Thanksgiving open Sundays too, 12 to 5pm.
  • More info.: Visit, call 814-266-9653 or email Follow on Facebook



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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