History since 1898
In 1849, Alfred Jacob Hauser, Sr. was born in Besancon, France, the birthplace of the great French novelist and political activist, Victor Hugo, whom Hauser greatly admired.He became politically involved during the siege of Paris and in 1871 was incarcerated and destined for the French Penal Colony at Devils Island, French Guinea. He escaped his captors by jumping overboard at the Port Le Havre, swam ashore and made his way to Switzerland, where he was accepted as an apprentice watchmaker. After completing his apprenticeship, he immigrated to New York City and worked for Tiffany & Co. for a short time. During a brief stay in Staunton, Virginia, Hauser met and married Belle Page.
The newly married couple moved to Newport News, Virginia in 1898 and Alfred, Sr. opened his watch repair shop. One year later twin sons, Alfred J. Hauser (Jake) and Robert P. Hauser (Page), were born.
In 1915, Jake and Page joined their father in his watch repair shop on the 100th block of 26th Street in Newport News. The Hauser’s inspected the pocket watches for C & O Railroad. These pocket watches had to be cleaned approximately every 18 months and inspected every 6 months. The twins moved the store to 2519 Washington Avenue where the price of cleaning and servicing a wristwatch was between $2.00 and $5.00.
By 1957, Alfred Hauser, Jake’s son, opened a store in Hilton Village called Hauser’s Fine Jewelry. He sold jewelry and repaired watches and eleven years later, he moved the store to the Hidenwood Shopping Center.
Jake and Page continued working in downtown Newport News until 1970 when the Washington Avenue shop closed and the twins retired.
Lee Hauser, Alfred’s son, began working in the jewelry business in 1975 and two years later, Lee and his wife Vicki, purchased Findley’s Jewelers in Langley Square Shopping Center in Hampton. They kept the name of Findley’s when the store moved to Coliseum Square in 1982.
Alfred Hauser closed his doors at Hidenwood Shopping Center and retired in 1986. This enabled Vicki and Lee to officially change their store name to Hauser’s Jewelers and the “new” store moved to Coliseum Crossing Shopping Center in 1987.
Hauser’s underwent a major expansion to make room for more designer pieces and a larger workshop in 1997. The business flourished and in 1998, Hauser’s Jewelers proudly celebrated its’ 100th anniversary.
After almost thirty years in Hampton, Hauser’s Jewelers moved to the brand new City Center at Oyster Point and returned to their roots in Newport News.
Hauser’s celebrated it’s 110th Year with the introduction of the “1898 Diamond Engagement Ring“.
Today, the fourth and fifth generation of Hauser’s are proud to carry on the fine tradition Alfred Sr. and Jake and Page began so many years ago.
Throughout 118 years of serving our loyal customers by offering beautiful jewelry combined with product knowledge and the utmost integrity, we have always striven to enrich the community in which we live.