As the door opens to Karkazian Jewelers at Fort Washington and Friant roads, mirrored walls and an U-shaped display case filled with shimmering jewelry welcomes you with open arms.
A sturdy wooden grandfather clock sits alongside the back wall as a testament to old-fashioned mechanical expertise.
“Clocks are a dying art,” said George Karkazian, owner of Karkazian Jewelers. “Not many people repair and work on clocks anymore.”
When Karkazian talks about watches, his face lights up. For him, owning a jewelry store is more than just about money — it’s about a commitment to craftsmanship, a dedication to a profession that has become increasingly impersonal as chain stores dominate the jewelry industry.
“We’re jewelers who make jewelry,” he said. “If they want a wedding ring, we will make them one,” he said.
Although Karkazian Jewelers has been located near Woodward Park in northeast Fresno for several years, Karkazian has been in the jewelry industry since 1977.
“I used to cut diamonds,” Karkazian said. “So I know a lot about diamonds. You have to know about color and quality.”
Not only is Karkazian a specialized diamond cutter, he’s also a Swiss-certified watch repairman. Karkazian studied at the Swiss Horological Institute in Beirut to obtain his unique education.
“When you go to those schools, you go to learn — not fool around,” Karkazian said. “If you go to learn about watches, you must always be on time.”
Karkazian Jewelers is the only place in California where Bulova Accutron watches can be repaired because parts are difficult to find.
Karkazian Jewelers is also the only place in Fresno that carries bridal sets by Krizanti Jewelry and Simon G. Jewelry.
Speaking of bridal sets, Karkazian said halo-style engagement rings — “where smaller diamonds are in a circle around a larger diamond” — are very popular.
“We also have pearls that are very popular for bridesmaids,” he added. “We have pearl bracelets that go for $35.”
Karkazian has noticed a definitive shift in the jewelry industry as younger people gravitate towards larger-faced, modern watches, which he doesn’t consider as refined as classic styles.
With Father’s Day around the corner, Karkazian Jewelers offers a few pre-owned watches for an affordable gift. It also has a gold Rolex watch for $29,900. Custom options like added diamonds are also available.
Karkazian Jewelers sells watches that were popular in the 1960s and clocks that were popular in the 1860s. It also offers repairs for clocks.
“We do old clocks, new clocks, grandfather clocks, wall clocks …” Karkazian said.
Without a doubt, Karkazian represents an unyielding pride — standing strong in the face of change.
9447 N. Fort Washington Road, Suite 110, Fresno
493 W. Shaw Ave., Suite B, Clovis