In the early 1890s a young man named William Harry (W.H.) Schwarzschild was working as a clothing salesman, but like many he sought a better opportunity for himself. He saw among his clients the need for quality timepieces, particularly for those men who worked to keep the trains running on time. So in his non-work hours Schwarzschild sold timepieces to men at the Richmond rail stations. By the mid- 1890s his business was thriving. He quit his job as a clothing salesman and concentrated on building The Old Dominion Watch Company.
Schwarzschild’s business and success grew and in 1902 he changed the name of his company to Schwarzschild Brothers Watchmakers and Jewelers and moved to a new location at the corner of Broad and Second Streets. Schwarzschild now has locations in Short Pump Town Center, Cary Town and Midlothian.
Richmond residents who value fine jewelry have long recognized the Schwarzschild name. Schwarzschild Jewelers has provided Central Virginia with exquisite diamonds and jewelry for 113 years.
Schwarzschild is among the many Richmond businesses that Richmond has come to know and trust. Richmond values tradition, and Schwarzschild has been there to help carry that tradition out in fine style.
For over a hundred years, Richmond brides embraced the tradition of the Schwarzschild Bridal Registry. A young lady knew she was really a Richmond bride if she were registered with Schwarzschild. After a three year absence, the company announced the return of the Bridal Registry in December 2009. The savvy, modern-day Richmond shopper can reach the couple’s registry via the Schwarzschild website.
Just as no Richmond bride could be complete without a Schwarzschild registry, the best dressed Richmond trees bear the traditional Schwarzschild ornament. For 2009, the jeweler offered their exclusive ornament highlighting the charming row houses that line the streets of The Fan. This addition joined ornaments that featured The Jefferson Hotel; Maymont House; St John’s Church, The Dogwood & Cardinal; The State Capitol; The Byrd Theatre; The Ukrops Christmas Parade Silver Anniversary limited edition; Robert E. Lee statue and JEB Stuart statue.
Schwarzschild recently announced that for the Perfect Match Diamond Event at Schwarzschild Jewelers Friday, July 30th and Saturday, July 31st at Schwarzschild Alverser Plaza, they have “has assembled a collection of hundreds of fine diamonds of all shapes and sizes; engagement rings and wedding bands; and a special assortment of natural fancy colored diamonds, the rarest of the rare – in naturally rich, luminous hues that range from blue and pink to champagne and bright canary yellow.”
The story of W. H. Schwarzschild is one of many Richmond success stories. It’s the story of a young man, born just a few years after a long drawn out Civil War destroyed much of the city. As the city moved into the 20th century, Schwarzschild saw an opportunity and seized it. His entrepreneurship stands as a testament to the American spirit. And his name is a Richmond household word. Today, Schwarzschild remains one of the few independently owned, and family-run luxury jewelry companies in the country.