Archive for February, 2015
Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Omega to Use New Whole-Watch Certification
By Donna Hardy
According to WatchPro, Omega has joined forces with the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) to produce a new, all-encompassing watch certification process to rival COSC.
Omega will begin using the METAS certification process next year to test its watches using antimagnetic Master Co-Axial movement, but the process will be open to all watchmakers.
Nick Hayek, Swatch Group chief executive officer, Dr. Christian Bock, director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology, and Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega, at Geneva’s Cité du Temps announced the partnership on December 9, 2014.
Hayek said that the partnership with METAS was the next logical step in the face of a COSC chronometer standard that he said “needs to be strengthened.”
The new certification process will test whole watches rather than simply movements and will be carried out by the Swiss government body responsible for “all matters involving measurement and measuring procedures.”
The process will include tests for precision during and after exposure to magnetic fields greater than 15,000 gauss. They will have to perform within a tolerance of 0 and +5 seconds per day for autonomy (functioning without winding, measured in hours) and water resistance.
METAS will offer the Official Certification to any watch that meets these criteria and not only to Omega or the Swatch Group.
For more information, visit these websites—
Thursday, February 19th, 2015
By this time, the holiday gifts have been opened and those that needed to be returned have been returned. The holiday decorations have been put away for another year. You have celebrated the New Year and made those New Year’s resolutions (you did make a few resolutions, didn’t you?). I hope that one of them was to improve yourself. How do you go about improving? Take on a project that challenges you to do something that requires you to step out of your comfort zone. Listen to a motivational speaker either on audio or in person. How about reading a book that expands your knowledge on a subject of your choosing? Go to your local college and take a course or two. Maybe it might be something that would improve your health or wellbeing, like going for a brisk walk, joining an aerobics class, or going to the gym. President Harry Truman was known for his brisk, early-morning walks that challenged his secret service agents to keep up him. Maybe we should try to emulate this man. Take a walk along the seashore or go to the mountains. Whatever you choose to do, stick with it for at least one month, because it takes 21 days to develop a habit.
Your goal may be to improve your business practice, learn more about how to use your computer, Excel spreadsheets, Google Drive, PowerPoint, or to develop a website for your business. Or maybe you want to learn more about accounting or better use of the telephone (phone manners). Take a course on business management or how to be a better salesperson.
How about taking a course at AWCI’s state-of-the-art classroom, with our most excellent instructors. Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished watchmaker/clockmaker, AWCI is the place to improve your skills. You may want to review the article in December 2014 HT, “You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks,” by Michael Dempsey. It may change your mind about the class you have been thinking about taking.
Maybe you should get on a committee and offer solutions to real or perceived problems. There is a committee volunteer form on our website, http://www.awci.com/about-us/2012-committeevolunteer-form/.
A friend’s grandfather came to America from Europe, and after being processed at Ellis Island, he went into a cafeteria in New York City to get something to eat. He sat down at an empty table and waited for someone to take his order—of course, nobody did. Finally, a man with a tray full of food sat down opposite him and told him how things worked. “Start at that end,” he said, “and just go along and pick out what you want. At the other end they’ll tell you how much you have to pay for it.”
“I soon learned that’s how everything works in America,” my friend’s grandfather said. “Life is like a cafeteria here. You can get anything you want as long as you’re willing to pay the price. You can even get success. But you’ll never get it if you wait for someone to bring it to you. You have to get up and get it yourself.”
My wish for you this year is that you SUCCEED in everything you do.
Thursday, February 19th, 2015
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is the knack of getting along with people.”
As the owner of an independent watch-repair shop for many years, I would like to share some of my experiences with you, with the hope that you may find this information helpful in your business. To be the operator of a business, you must be a self-starter. When you get out of bed in the morning, you must have the attitude that this is going to be a good day. A positive attitude is very important to your wellbeing. Who wants to deal with a grump? I once heard that “a bad attitude is like a flat tire—you are not going very far until you fix it.”
One of my customers had a problem with her watch not running after it had been properly serviced. “Let me see your watch,” I said. I started to wind the watch and discovered it was run down. I gave it a full wind and returned it to her. In a few days she was back because it stopped again. I wound it and returned it to her with the explanation: “You must wind it for it to run.” She said, “I do wind it.” “How much do you wind it?” I asked. Her reply: “Maybe four or five turns.” “You must wind it till it stops,” I said. She said okay and left the store. In a few days she was back again with the same complaint. I said to myself, “You must have PATIENCE. Sometimes you will need a bushel of it.” This time I took the watch in with the explanation that I was going to keep it for a week to 10 days. I was going to put the watch in every position and let it run for 24 hours in each position. When she came back, I gave her the results of my run out. The watch kept good time and ran fine during the time I had it. I said, “You must wind it.” Her response was, “I’ll break the mainspring.” I replied, “Break the darn mainspring! I’ll give you a new one.” After that, there was no more problem with the watch, and she remained a good customer for several years.
There are several lessons in this story (which is a true story).
1. Do your best to satisfy your customer.
2. Have patience with any situation.
3. Keep a good attitude.
4. Always think on your feet and come up with a solution to the problem. For every problem there is a solution. Sometimes we have to do some digging to find it.
Satisfy your customer if you can. Does that mean the customer is always right? No, of course not. After you have tried every avenue to satisfy, there does come a point where you have to say that maybe it is best that we part company. This doesn’t happen often.
Practicing patience means that we try to put ourselves in their shoes. Look at the problem from their perspective; try to see it through their eyes. If you do find yourself losing it, excuse yourself, walk away, take a deep breath, and get a drink (of water). Come back to the customer and try to solve the problem. There are some situations where you can’t make them happy, and that is when it is best that you part company.
A positive attitude will serve you well. It keeps you thinking that you can overcome whatever obstacle is in you way. You feel better about yourself.
So remain positive.
Sometimes the solution will just come to you from who knows where. Sometimes you have to beak some mainsprings. (Change your way of thinking.) Here is a motto for small-business owners to live by: IF IT’S TO BE, IT’S UP TO ME.
Thursday, February 19th, 2015
By Donna Hardy
Montblanc’s e-Strap might be the first smart, connected wearable from a luxury watch company
Montblanc’s upcoming Timewalker Urban Speed collection of watches will have an optional strap called the e-Strap. It features a high-end leather strap with carbon-fiber texture. At the bottom, sitting under the wrist, is an electronic module made from DLC (diamond-like carbon) coated steel or in gray steel. The e-Strap’s module is 40mm long, 14.2mm wide, and 9mm high (thick).
Ariel Adams of ablogtowatch. com asks, “Why isn’t Montblanc simply producing a smartwatch that combines technology with luxury watch design and materials? Well, according to most people in the luxury watch world, that isn’t what most of their consumers want….So, for Montblanc and other luxury watchmakers, they are taking charge by offering what they feel is the ultimate combo–a traditional mechanical luxury watch with a strap that contains a smart wearable device.”
Not all Timewalker Urban Speed watches will have the e-Strap. It will come on a few of the new 2015 Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed watches, but it can also be purchased separately.
The Montblanc e-Strap will be compatible with all 42mm- or 43mm-wide Timewalker watches currently or previously available. It should be able to fit other watches with similar lug space sizes.
The e-Strap’s electronic module will have a 0.9″ monochromatic OLED touchscreen display with a 128 x 36 pixel resolution. It will be able to handle basic calls, texts, emails, calendars, social media, and reminder notifications. The e-Strap will also function as an activity monitor/tracker with a pedometer and accelerometer to measure data that feeds into the accompanying iPhone or Android smartphone application. It will also be able to control your phone’s music player. The Montblanc e-Strap will use Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to its host phone device.
The e-Strap will have five days of continuous use between charges, using its internal lithium ion battery. A micro-USB charging port is built in. Montblanc claims the e-Strap is shock resistant and splash resistant.
According to a report on mashable. com, “The e-Strap ($300) will be much cheaper than the watches it will support—many of Montblanc’s timepieces cost as much as $3,000—but run higher than some smartwatches like the Moto 360 ($249). The Apple Watch will start at $349, but it’s rumored the luxury ‘Edition’ model (like the 18-karat pink or yellow gold version) could cost up to $5,000.”
Ariel Adams concludes: “While it doesn’t represent the sentiments of all luxury watchmakers, Montblanc’s upcoming release of the e-Strap is a healthy sign that the often-conservative luxury watch industry is trying to work with smartwatches rather than ignore them.”