TJ Hutchings Ltd, which today can be found on the corner of York Street and Seale Street beside the Town Hall, opened initially at the top of Queen Street on Easter Saturday, 2 April 1988.
Proprietors Trevor and Jayne Hutchings recalled that the shop was then not quite ready for a busy trading day.
‘We had nothing to put on the counters,’ said Mrs Hutchings. ‘The tourism season started at Easter time and summer was then our big season. Trevor would open the shop at 8 am and work until 6 pm, dash home for dinner and then open up again from 8 pm to 10 pm.’
‘The evenings could be really busy,’ said Mr Hutchings, who started his career at Curwen’s as a 17-year-old apprentice clock repairer directly after leaving Hautlieu School, then moving to EJ Gallichan in the Royal Square. After four years there he was taken on at Lawrence Jewellers before a spell in Ireland, working at Shannon Gems in Dublin Airport, which stocked hand-made Celtic designs.
Trevor and Jayne were married in 1982, when Mr Hutchings joined the Time group, working in Rivoli, Leo’s, 42 King Street and Linscots. Four years later found him working with Mick Emmanuel at Onyx Jewellers, which led in 1988 to the joint venture of Emmanuel and Hutchings at the corner of Snow Hill, with Mr Hutchings taking over the entire shop in 1995 and relocating to the York Street premises 18 years ago, in 2000.
Although to start with it was watches and jewellery that took pride of place, clocks have become a key item in recent years, particularly the ornate Seiko musical-motion wall clocks. ‘Visitors come over to Jersey specially to buy them,’ said Jayne, who spent most of her career in banking but now works for the charity Les Amis.
Along with other family members – including daughter Natasha and son Alex, niece Steph Brady, Trevor’s parents, Yolande and Arther Hutchings, and mother Ruth Leadbeater – Jayne has manned the counter regularly over the years and continues to serve customers when time permits.
Indeed, any visitor cannot fail to notice the vast array of items, including over 2,000 watches, 500 clocks of various shapes and sizes, trophies, gifts, watch straps and bracelets. Mr Hutchings also has a reputation for speedy and affordable watch and clock repairs, with engraving carried out on the premises and a myriad assorted inquiries coming through the door during the course of the day.
‘Although the shop is a little in the past, we have a Facebook page and Trevor knows where everything is,’ said Mrs Hutchings. ‘He prides himself on providing a great customer service.’