Aebischer’s Jewelry was founded in 1928 by Swiss immigrants, John and Johanna Aebischer, seeking a better life for themselves. The couple came over by boat in 1927 while Johanna was 5 months pregnant with their first child. John had been working for ten years in a Swiss watchmaking factory, where he had developed his skills as a fine watchmaker. Johanna also worked in a factory that made jewels for watches. Deciding to leave for America, John asked his boss to write a letter of recommendation so that he could hand it to any future employer as a reference. Once arriving to America, even though his tools were stolen and they could not speak a word of English, they traveled to Lowellville where they knew other Swiss families had settled.
John had heard how busy the steel mills were in the Mahoning County and was told by a Swiss friend who had traveled once to the Steel Valley, “those guys would need their watches worked on. I’m sure you’d have plenty of work.”Working for about six months for another jeweler, John decided to find a small place to rent and set up shop. He found that location in a covered over ally on Bridge Street in Struthers that had a rear wall that enclosed the back and a front wall with a bay window and a door facing what was then, a bustling main street on State Route 616. To get his first customers, he set up his watch bench in the bay window and took his own watch apart and re-assembled it, several times a day until finally someone came in and said, “I see you work on watches. Mine isn’t working correctly. Can you fix it?” So from those humble beginnings, in April of 1928, John and Johanna began what has become a four-generation, full service jewelry store.
While servicing watches and clocks for years, they also began offering a jewelry repair service. Eventually they would buy watches and jewelry to sell, thus becoming a full service retail jewelry store.
The business was turned over to their son, Harold Aebischer in 1967. The business remained in the same location for 48 years until May of 1976, when they moved the business to its present location in the center of Poland Village in the Town One Square Plaza
.A few years before moving the business to Poland, Harold’s son Doug came into the business, learning the watch and clock repair trade. Shortly after being in Poland and after attending YSU, Doug expanded his gemology and bench repair education through the Gemological Institute of America where he earned his Graduate Gemologist degree. Doug, along with his wife Karen, have owned the store since 1996, when Harold retired.
Doug and Karen are very pleased and proud to have their sons Adam and Alex come into the business, making them the 4th generation! Adam came in January of 2009 and Alex in January of 2016. Adam is a certified Graduate Gemologist through the Gemological Institute of America and a certified jewelry repair technician.
Alex is also a certified jewelry repair technician.Aebischer’s serves not only Poland, but many of the surrounding communities as well. With the expanding uses of modern technology, such as email, digital photography, and texting, the staff maintains great communication with their customers.
Aebischer’s still offers watch repair and jewelry repair, some still on sight and some through outside trade shops. They also offer a full bridal department, custom design, remounts, and several watch lines, including Oris which is an independently owned Swiss watch line featuring all mechanically made watches still made in its original factory since 1904.