- About Us
About Gasser Jewelers
The Gasser Story
In the early 1880's, grandfather Josef Gasser apprenticed as a watchmaker in Lucerne, Switzerland with the now famous Gubelin Jewelers. Upon returning to his home town of Schwyz in central Switzerland, he founded his own jewelry and watch shop on the ground floor of his home, where he also performed his duties as the town's postmaster.
Josef's son John apprenticed under his father from the age of 11, learning clock, watch, and jewelry repair. John's desire to see the United States carried him to Dixon, Illinois in 1923. His watchmaking skills earned him a job with the Illinois Watch Company in nearby Springfield. Not long after, John was recruited by the Dueber-Hampden Watch Works in Canton, Ohio. Sadly, financial problems upset the company, and Dueber-Hampden's manufacturing equipment and dies were sold to the Soviet Revolutionary Government in 1930 and the plant closed.
Not easily discouraged, John Gasser continued to work as a watchmaker in Canton and went on to establish his own watch and jewelry business in May of 1937. Times were still very difficult, but John's friendly and sincere manner, coupled with his unparalleled watchmaking skills, brought him growing success.
John's son Robert became an apprentice to his father at the age of 12, learning at a watchmaking bench in his bedroom. He worked after school and through the summer in the jewelry store. After receiving a degree in business administration from Kent State University, Bob served two years as an officer with the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In 1956 he returned to Canton and formed a partnership with his father, establishing the business as John Gasser and Son Jewelers.
Bob enrolled in related correspondence courses while in the Navy, and after returning to Canton, he completed the Master Watchmaking course and later the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) courses leading to the American Gem Society titles of Registered Jeweler and Certified Gemologist Appraiser.
In 1963, the jewelry store moved from its original Second Street SE location to its present address, 205 Third Street NW, Canton. The following year, John Gasser unexpectedly passed away.
Struck with a strong sense of tradition, Bob was determined to continue the quality jewelry business he and his father had built, emphasizing superior craftsmanship in watch and jewelry repair, and offering the finest diamond and colored gemstone jewelry. Through Bob's guidance and hard work, John Gasser and Son grew to be one of Northeastern Ohio's premier full service jewelers.
This is evident after a visit to Gassers, home to a Certified Master Watchmaker and Master Goldsmith. A complete accredited gem laboratory is staffed by American Gem Society titleholders, who will assist you with all your jewelry needs, including design work and appraisals.
Bob's son, Mark Gasser, returned to the family business in the mid 1980's. With degrees in geology, specializing in mineralogy, from Mount Union College and Harvard University, and a Graduate Gemologist title from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Mark's vast wealth of knowledge contributed greatly to the store.
Bob and Mark are both gone now but Gassers continues under the leadership of Bob's wife Lurene and the loyal and dedicated employees that make up the Gasser family.