After 75 Years, House of Watches to Wind Down

The House of Watches has been an iconic fixture in Wilmington for 75 years. But the owners have decided it’s time to retire, and they will close their doors for good on December 31st.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki yesterday congratulated the Berman family – Bob and Debbie, and Gil and Mardian – owners of House of Watches and Fine Jewelry on their retirement after serving the community for more than seven decades.

The popular Wilmington jewelry store was started by Gerry and Ted Berman in 1944, and thirty years later the couple expanded its business to a location on Concord Pike. 


The Mayor presented the Berman family a Proclamation by the City for being “an example of the strong foundation of successful small businesses, whose reputation for quality and exemplary customer service has made it a household name and valued brand.”

Mayor Purzycki said, “This is a well-earned retirement after so many years of selling engagement rings, anniversary presents and birthday gifts to generations of Wilmingtonians, and even serving as the location for the occasional marriage proposal!” 

Gerry Berman saved money while Ted was overseas during WWII, and upon his return, Ted attended the Philadelphia School of Horology to become a watchmaker.

In May of 1944, the couple opened House of Watches at 1301 Washington St. in Wilmington. Sons Gilbert and Bob eventually joined and helped expand the business, changing the name to House of Watches and Fine Jewelry. In 1979 moved the store to its present location at 1330 Washington Street.

Gil Berman and Bob’s wife, Debbie, opened the family’s second store at 2505 Concord Pike in 1974, with Gil’s wife Mardian joining in 1975 and continuing the Berman family tradition of personal service by a Berman family member at both locations.

Both stores will close their doors for good on the last day of the year.

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1 Comment

  • Terrific article on a Delaware treasure The House of Watches….a stellar family of jewelers and great people who will be missed.