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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 26, 2009

New start for old store

By Saranac Hale Spencer

GUILDERLAND — With the third generation following the second, Singer’s Jewelers has shifted its focus to jewelry, but the walls of its new Route 20 store are crowded with clocks, a nod to its history.

“In his very heavy accent… he said to me, ‘You treat every customer the same, whether they are in for a battery or a $10,000 diamond,’” Linda Singer said, recalling one of the first things her father-in-law taught her at his shop in Troy.  The Polish-born watchmaker came to America after escaping the Nazi occupation during World War II. 

“The reason he survived the concentration camps was because he knew watch-making,” she said.

Abe Singer graduated from the British Horological Institute in 1952 and opened his store in Troy a few years later.  His son, Jeffrey Singer, and his wife, Linda, opened the Guilderland branch in 1995 and just moved to 1890 Western Avenue.

Business in their new store has been up 45 percent over this time last year at their location in the Town Center Plaza, Linda Singer said.  “It was hard to be in a place where we weren’t really seen,” she said of their former location.

Because of their increased visibility, they’ve gotten new customers and they’re better able to serve their established customers with things like increased parking volume, Jeffrey Singer said.  The new shop is rented from Robinson Hardware, located next door.  The two local businesses aren’t dissimilar, Singer said, since each provides the same kind of personal service and knowledge of products.

Abe Singer always had watches and clocks in his shop, Linda Singer said.  And he worked hard at what he did.  “He didn’t take anything for granted,” she said.  “He knew he had to work hard to succeed.”

While the business is now primarily jewelry, Singer’s still takes in repairs and has a sizable clock and watch selection.  When Abe Singer was fixing things, Linda said, “He would make parts if he couldn’t get them.”

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