Archive for October, 2017

A Message from Our AWCI President – Fred T. White, CMW21, October 2017

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your president.

Fred T. White, CMW21, AWCI President

As I start to write this, my last message as president, I am listening to reports of Hurricane Irma and wondering if we will have a convention because of the damage that the hurricane is doing to Florida. By the time you read this, you will know what has happened.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your president for the last three years. I have attempted to do as much as I could for the independent watchmakers and clockmakers. Have I been successful? Only time will tell. Some things we can look at and say we have set them in motion. We are working with NAWCC in a cooperative effort to offer them some of our benefits as they offer us some of their benefits. Our Education and Standards Committee is moving along quite nicely. With the hiring of Mike Carpenter as Clock Director, I am looking forward to our clockmaker’s education and certification programs to be implemented so that we can offer more education for those who want it. I feel the clockmakers have been overlooked for far too long. One of my goals was, and still is, to improve our lot in our trade, whether you are a clockmaker or a watchmaker. We are on a good path now for the clockmakers, and I hope that it will continue into the future.

Why get certified as a clockmaker? First, to prove to yourself that you are as good a craftsperson as you think you are. Second, it is something you can look upon with pride (like a doctor, lawyer, CPA, or RN) and say to yourself, “I took a difficult test and passed it. There is the certificate on the wall to prove it.” Third, it will improve your income because there is a new level of trust from your prospective customers.

As for the watchmakers, my hope is that in the future there will be more help on the parts issue. I know that some of you feel we are beating a dead horse, but if we don’t continue to push, nothing will happen. I have taught my children that there is one answer to every question, either yes or no; so we need to continue to question. There are good, qualified watchmakers who are having issues with parts, and this should not be so in America. Some clients don’t want to send their watches in and wait for months for them to be returned, when they could have their watches back in a short period of time if they used local repair people. So, my hope is that we will continue to strive to improve our lot as crafts people in our trade.

In closing, I hope what I have written and said over the past three years has helped some of you along your journey here on this earth. Muhammad Ali said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Let’s not forget to support our fellow crafts people who have suffered from the devastation of the last two hurricanes that have hit our shores. My plea to each one of you is to do what you can to help these folks.

Keep on making them tick or tock for the good of us all.


Industry News, October 2017

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Investigation into Restrictive Spare Part Supply Possible

By Aaron Recksiek, CW21

The independent federal authority in Bern, Switzerland, known as Wettbewerbskommission, or WEKO for short, also referred to as the Competition Commission, or COMCO, indicated that they will investigate complaints from independent watch service centers and consumers about the increasing unavailability of genuine spare parts. Deputy Director Patrik Ducrey, an official from WEKO, shared the news with Reuters in early August.

“We received complaints from independent watch repairers who no longer had access to parts, but also from customers who were unhappy they could not get their watch repaired wherever they wanted,” Ducrey told Reuters. “We are doing preliminary checks at the moment to see if there are indications that watchmakers unlawfully limit the access to parts for independent watch repairers. By this autumn, we should be able to decide whether to open an investigation,” Ducrey said.

WEKO holds the legal authority to impose fines or sanction watch manufacturers that they have found are engaging in anticompetitive practices. This could increase pressure on watch companies to make spare parts more widely available outside of their network of authorized repair locations.

If you would like to notify WEKO personally about any potential anticompetitive practices by Swiss companies, you can fill out a contact form on their website:, write them at: Secretariat, Hallwylstrasse, 4 CH-3003 Bern, or call: +41 58 462 20 40.




Aaron Recksiek is an independent watchmaker in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a graduate of the 2008 WOSTEP class at the Lititz Watch Technicum.