Dawson’s Jewellers & Watchmakers

Where: 52 Station St, Moorabbin
When: Wed-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-12pm
Phone: 9555 2116
Web: www.stewartdawson.com.au

Within minutes of walking into Dawson’s Jewellers & Watchmakers, you’ll likely be interrupted by the chime, cuckoo or ringing of a clock somewhere. For owners Jenny Garley (née Dawson) and her brother Robert, however, the occasional interruptions by the multitude of clocks around the shop has simply become second nature.

Started by Jenny’s father Stewart Dawson, the Dawson’s Jewellers & Watchmakers shop in Moorabbin has been in the family since 1950. Three generations on (Jenny’s son works at the shop), Dawson’s is as good as ever, and decades of experience ensures that anyone who walks through the door will be guaranteed a brilliant service by one of Moorabbin Junction’s longest running businesses.

“Our family has lived in Moorabbin for many generations, my father grew up here before he opened the business and his grandmother cleaned the Moorabbin Town Hall (now the Kingston City Hall) just after the first World War,”Jenny explains.

Dawson’s started as a watchmakers, before the shop developed a jewellery business as well. Over decades, Dawson’s has developed expertise in watch and clock repairs, custom design and restoration of valuable jewellery. Perhaps partly caused by people favouring smart phones and digital watches, the watchmaking side of the business has unfortunately slowed down in recent years. That said, true watch and clock connoisseurs come to Dawson’s to get tricky repairs done.

“Some of our regular customers are avid watch and clock collectors and they come to us because they know that it won’t be a rushed job,”Jenny says. “We do all the work ourselves and take time and apply the utmost care with every piece.”

Befitting of the business’s long presence in Moorabbin, generations of families have come to Dawson’s for years. Grandmothers whose engagement and wedding rings were bought at Dawson’s now have grandchildren getting their own rings and at the same store. Jenny says despite having done no advertising over the years, it is the loyalty of their customers and word-of-mouth that has kept the business going for over 60 years.

So how has Dawson’s Jewellers & Watchmakers stuck around for so long, even after other watchmakers in Moorabbin have long closed their doors for good?

“That’s a good question! I think it’s just sheer perseverance, really,”Jenny says bluntly. “We’re a little time shop stuck in a time warp.”

Perseverance, excellent service and a dedication to their customers is probably a more accurate answer. Nonetheless, Dawson’s is certainly worth visiting for a glimpse into Moorabbin’s rich history – you might just walk out with a cuckoo clock or a beautiful vintage watch you’ll pass on to future generations.


Words by Delima Shanti

Photos by  Jesse Thompson