By BERNIE BELLAN When it comes to Winnipeg Jews who were well known for selling watches and other time pieces a few names come to mind immediately: Ben Moss –and his son-in-law Sid Trepel, Silverman Jewelers, Percy Segal, Marty Halprin (Celia’s Jewelry) – and I’m sure quite a few more individuals whose names I’ve either forgotten to mention or perhaps wasn’t aware of.
But, as much as Jews have a long tradition of being involved in both the production and design of jewelry, including watches and clocks, I can’t say that I’ve ever met a Jewish watch repair person prior to this past week when I was told about just such an individual whose shop is just a couple of blocks from my own home, called Gold Time Horology.
The owner of this business is Ilya Goldman (an appropriate name for someone in the jewelry business). Ilya was born in Ukraine, which is where he received his first training in watch repair. Subsequently Ilya went to Switzerland for more advanced training. He tells me he’s been repairing all forms of time pieces since 1991.
In 1997 Ilya immigrated to Israel, where he, along with his wife, Liliya, and three children: Radik (26), Loren (20), and Tom, lived until 2013, when they moved to Winnipeg.
Liliya, by the way, works in quality control, Radik is a student in the Asper School of Business, Loren helps Ilya in the business, and Tom is an elementary school student.
I asked Ilya whether he received help from the Jewish Federation when he and his family moved to Winnipeg and he said they had, for which he is quite grateful.
For years, Ilya says, he worked as a subcontractor, repairing all forms of time pieces for other jewelers, some as far away as Alberta. As a matter of fact, the likelihood is that if you took in a watch or a clock for repair to a jeweler somewhere in Winnipeg that if the repair was at all demanding, it was sent out to Ilya for repair.
In March of this year, however, Ilya decided to open his own shop, located at 723 Borebank (corner of Grant). When I asked him to list the kinds of repairs he does, he listed the following: Quartz watches, automatic watches (which, he explained, means “self-winding”), pocket watches, chronographs (those watches you see advertised that have all sorts of buttons on the side), and clocks.
During the time that I was visiting Ilya in his shop, by the way, someone came in and Ilya handed him a package. After that person left Ilya told me that the package contained a repair that he had completed for a well-know jeweler in the city.
Not only does Ilya do time piece repair, including luxury brands such as Rolex and Omega, he repairs all types of jewelry. Gold Time Horology also sells watches in case you’re thinking of buying one for yourself or perhaps as a gift.
The phone numbers for Gold Time Jewelry are: Cell – 204-890-6210; Work – 204-615-0694. Ilya’s email address is email@example.com.