dennis petimezas

J. Dennis Petimezas, president of Watchmakers Jewelry, recently attended the Jewelers of America International Jewelry Exposition in New York.

A local jewelry store is closing its doors after 45 years in business.

Dennis Petimezas, owner of Watchmaker’s Diamonds and Jewelry, on Scalp Avenue in Richland Township, said he’s taking a cue from comedians Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld with his decision 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 been a wonderful year. I’m blessed with a booming economy and a positive business trajectory.”

Petimezas began his career in a Houston, Texas, jewelry store where he said he learned the ins and outs of the trade.

In 1975, he decided to branch off on his own, buying Watchmakers Shop and renaming it Watchmaker’s Diamonds and Jewelry. In 2002, thanks to growth, the business relocated from The Galleria mall to its current location on Scalp Avenue – a free-standing commercial building, tripling in size.

According to the jeweler, fostering a warm and inviting atmosphere has helped him and his staff develop a growing pool of loyal customers.

“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,” Petimezas 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.”

Shoppers looking for bargains or that perfect holiday gift are now being encouraged stop in to the store to find special deals on engagement rings, anniversary bands, gemstones and more, during a storewide retirement sale.

The sale began on Friday and will continue to run through the holidays.

While Petimezas is exploring his retirement options, he plans on spending more time with his wife Dee Dee and their two children, a safety engineer and an emergency room registered 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,” Petimezas said. “Go out while you’re on top and pursue whatever endeavors are there.”

He said he’ll miss his customers.

“I’m grateful to the entire community of Johnstown, whose support has made our success possible,” Petimezas 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.”

Ronald Fisher is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @FisherSince_82.

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