In September of 1955, Howard Toftegaard Sr. opened Howie’s following his experience repairing watches and clocks while he was at sea in the Navy. Howard Sr. built the reputation of his business by repairing watches for local jewelers. In 1962, Howard and wife Marilyn, moved the location of Howie's Jewelers to Second Avenue in Troy, where the store remained until November of 2013 when it was relocated to Brunswick.
Howie's is a third generation family owned & operated business... The passion for watch repair and fine jewelry has been passed down to Howard’s son, Howie and his wife Diana, who took over the shop in 1984. In 1998, Raechel joined the sales staff and in 2009, Howie’s daughter Candace also joined, completing the tight knit family that is Howie’s today.
Howard Toftegaard Jr.
Howie is a third generation Danish watchmaker who attended Lansingburgh High School as a part of the class of 1978. His father, Howard Toftegaard Sr. was an apprentice to his Uncle, Johnas Neilson. Mr. Neilson brought his watchmaking craft to the United States from Denmark in 1932, and Howard Sr. opened the business in 1955
Howie, Jr. has utilized his extensive education to become a highly respected and dependable quality horologist. His over 35 years of experience, as well as an apprenticeship with his father beginning at the age of fifteen, has included:
Certified Accutron Technician - #3497, August 1979
Graduate of Joseph Bulova Watch School - Watchmaking Diploma, November 1979
Graduate of American Watchmaker Institute - Certified Watchmaker #7979 December 1979
Graduate of American Watchmaker Institute - Certified Clockmaker February 1980
Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society - Voted on by peers at Bulova September 1981
Graduate of American Watchmaker Institute - Certified Master Watchmaker #81218 November 1981
Gemological Institute of America - Diamonds & Diamond Grading Graduate 1983
Rolex Watchmaking School - Completed Rolex Technical Course June 1996
American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute - AWCI Continuing education Course October 2008
Raechel was part of the Lansingburgh High School Class of 1997, and a graduate of Hudson Valley Community College with a Bachelors of Science Criminal Justice degree in 1999.
Raechel joined our sales staff in 1998, and for the past 19 years she has undergone educational courses through the Gemological Institute of America, which include:
Diamond Essentials - Completed in 2004
Diamonds & Diamonds Grading - Completed in 2007
When she's not at Howie's, Raechel likes to spend time with her husband and two children. They have a Golden Retriever and enjoy going out on their boat together.
Candace joined the sales staff full time upon graduating Alfred University achieving her BFA with a Concentration in Expanded Media in 2009. Candace is currently continuing her education in the jewelry industry with courses through the Gemological Institute of America. Candace has obtained her GIA AJP and Diamonds & Diamonds Grading diplomas. Current completed courses include:
Jewelry Essentials 2012
Colored Stone Essentials 2013
Diamond Essentials 2013
Diamond Treatments Seminar, Attended June 2016
Diamonds & Diamond Grading 2016
CounterSketch Studio Training, Attended July 2017
In her spare time, Candace enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and Cane Corso Mastiff. She is currently studying to complete her Graduate Gemologist Degree.