Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Industry News, January 2015

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Omega to Use New Whole-Watch Certification
By Donna HardyMontlanc's e-Strap

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—

http://www.omegawatches.com/news/internationalnews/international-news-detail/2838

http://www.hodinkee.com/blog/omega-developsa-new-watchmaking-certification-standard-withthe-swiss-federal-institute-for-metrology

http://www.fratellowatches.com/omega-master-coaxial-officially-certified-metas-announced-warninglong-opinionated/

Sources
WatchPro
watch-insider.com
ablogtowatch.com

A Message from Our AWCI President, Fred T. White, CMW21, January 2015

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Fred T. White, CMW21, AWCI PresidentBy 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/.

QR Code   
     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.

 

 

A Message from Our AWCI President, February 2015

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is the knack of getting along with people.

Fred T. White, CMW21, AWCI PresidentAs 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.

 

 

Industry News, February 2015

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Montblac Procedures
the e-Strap
Montlanc's e-Strap
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.”

Sources
ablogtowatch.com
mashable.com

Congratulations!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

to our members who recently passed the CW21 exam

Joseph Daley

Brandon Dark

John DeBoom

Cecilia Dunn

Miraslov Dvorak

Pete Evans

Ryan Harrington

James Hochmuth

Michael Laskoski

Trevor Reis

Mort Robinson

Toran Sheftick

Miguel Sherlock

Lorena Wilkinson

PA

NC

PA

WA

CA

PA

PA

PA

Toronto, ON

PA

VA

NY

WA

OK

Welcome to Our Newest AWCI Members (Oct-Dec 2014)

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Karson Barnes

Christian Bolling

Luke Boysen

Hayden Brown

Josiah Butterfield

David Cohen

Jeff Cohen

Michael Craig

Tyler Daniel

Matthew Demert

Karin Dickinson

Lee Dowell

Chase Duquette

Erik Dyrdal

John C. Figlar

Gary Flatt

David Glasser

Katharine M. Harris

Joseph Hefferon

Ross Hudson

Buddy Huguley

Josh Joyce

Reza Khalaj

Trevor Kilpatrick

Richard Legnani

Nicholas Manousos

Dalfret Martin

Michael McDonell

Gregg G. Metzler

Seth Mueller

Derek Niles

Ariel Ochoa

Michael Oransky

Luis Orozco Jr.

Chris Paoliello

Kevin R. Peavey

Robert Peterman

Christopher Pilant

Edward Popiel

Alfred Ptasznik Jr.

Cody Rieff

Justin C. Rogers

Marcin Ruszczyk

Jeremy Salewsky

Anthony Scatena

Alec Sessa

Kenneth Settles

Ben Shankland

Steve Shimonov Sr.

Douglas Smith

Kevin Smith

Robert E. Smith

William R. Stiles

Eric Storlie

Grace To

Dalton Toledo

Jose Vega

Jacob M. Weaver-Spidel

James J. Wienandt

Sabastian Wilkinson

IL

CO

WA

IL

WA

NY

IL

MI

PA

NC

TX

PA

WA

WA

PA

PA

OH

WA

VA

WA

MD

PA

GA

IL

CT

NY

FL

IL

NJ

WA

PA

IL

PA

CO

WA

IL

NY

PA

OH

VA

WA

TX

CT

WA

IN

IL

NY

PA

FL

CO

PA

CA

TX

WA

OR

CA

PA

PA

TX

WA

 

 

 
 

A Message from Our AWCI President, December 2014

Monday, January 5th, 2015

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry is one of the best-loved stories. I would like to share it with you as my president’s message for December.

Fred T. White, CMW21, AWCI President
Mr. James Dillingham Young and his wife Della lived in a furnished flat at $8 a week that in its former glory would fetch $30 per week, but the property had fallen from grace. The Dillingham’s were living on $20 per week. In other words, times were hard.
     Tomorrow was Christmas, and all Della had to buy Jim a present with was $1.87. That was all, and a lot of it was in pennies she had saved from the grocery money. She wanted to buy Jim something really nice, but what could you buy that was really nice for $1.87?
     The only things that Jim and Della had of value was Jim’s gold pocket watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s, and Della had beautiful hair that was the envy of most women. Her beautiful hair fell down in ripples and cascades like brown water. It reached below her knees and made a garment for her.
     What could Della get for Jim for $1.87 for Christmas? She put on her coat and walked into the street and stopped when she saw a sign that read: “Hair Goods of All Kinds.” She asked the owner, Madame Sofronie, “Will you buy my hair?” “I buy hair,” said Madame. Take your hat off and let me look.” Down fell the brown cascades. “Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the brown rippling hair. “Give it to me quick,” said Della. With the $20, she went shopping for Jim’s present.
     She searched the stores for that perfect gift, and there it was—a platinum watch fob chain that was worthy to be attached to such a beautiful watch as Jim’s was. The fob cost $21, leaving Della eighty cents to buy chops.
     Della had been admiring three combs in a store on Broadway. Jim knew just what he had to do—sell the watch and buy the combs for his lovely wife for her beautiful hair. The beautiful combs were made of pure tortoise shell with jeweled rims, just the right shade for Della’s hair. Home he went with the three combs in his possession.
     He opened the door and to his dismay there stood his beautiful Della with her hair all in short curls. “Jim, I hope you don’t kill me or hate me. I sold my hair to buy you the most beautiful Christmas gift,” said Della. Then she showed him the wonderful watch fob. “My hair will grow back,” said Della.
     “Dell,” he said “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ‘em a while. They’re too nice to use at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now, suppose you put the chops on.”
     So this is what Christmas giving should be about—being willing to give our most valuable possession to the one we love. But greatest of these is LOVE.
    
From the White house, here’s wishing you and yours the most joyful and blessed holiday season, filled with all the things that make you happy.

 

 

Industry News, December 2014

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Stuller
Becomes a Distributor of Renata Batteries
By Donna Hardy

Swiss-made Renata BatteriesNSY Kessler Sales, Inc., the North American headquarters for the Swiss-made Renata Batteries, is pleased to announce that Stuller has become authorized as a Strategic-Key Renata Battery Distributor. According to Darrell Warren, Stuller’s Vice President of Tools, Equipment, and Supplies, the addition of the Renata product line was well timed. “Our customers demand top quality and great service, and Renata is a good fit for us.” 

To learn more about Renata, please contact Stuller at www.stuller.com, 800-877-7777, or Sy Kessler Sales, Inc., moc.relssekysnull@selas, 800-527-0719, renatausa.com.Escapement

 

 

 

 

 

The Henry Graves
Supercomplication Watch
The Henry Graves Supercomplication Watch
Sold for $24 Million
By Donna Hardy

The Henry Graves Supercomplication watch, a marvel of early 20th-century watchmaking, sold for $24 million on November 11. It is the most expensive watch ever to sell at auction. The watch was commissioned by New York banker Henry Graves in 1925, made by Patek Phillipe, and delivered in 1933. It boasts 24 complications, including grande and petite sonnerie that emulate the bells of Westminster; a record of the phases and age of the moon; sunrise and sunset indications; a perpetual calendar; and a celestial map of the New York sky. According to Sotheby’s, it is the most advanced timepiece ever made without the assistance of computers.

According to CNN’s website, “The Supercomplication was made as the result of a friendly competition between Graves, a member of a well-known banking family, and James Ward Packard, the luxury automobile manufacturer, to see who could produce the most impressive timepiece. Packard’s attempt was a pioneering feat. It was the first ever watch to feature a sky chart, which included 500 golden stars and was centered above his home in Ohio. However, it contained just 10 complications, making Graves’ timepiece the undisputed winner with 24.”

The buyer of the watch is undisclosed.Escapement

Sources
CCN.com
Mercedsunstar.com

 

TAG Heuer 
Plans to Produce a Smartwatch
By Donna Hardy

LVMH’s biggest watch brand, TAG Heuer, plans to release a smartwatch at Baselworld, March 10, 2015, but they have divulged little else about the watch. This release is timed to align closely with the release of the Apple Watch in spring 2015.
     Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer’s parent company Hublot, has been quoted as saying that TAG Heuer’s smartwatch “must not copy the Apple Watch.” Biver also said, “Communications is not the business of the Swiss watch industry. We don’t have the technology. And if you don’t have the technology, you have to buy it. If you have to buy it, you’re always late.”
     Last year TAG Heuer made a one-off smartwatch for members of the Oracle sailing team.
     Citigroup Inc. analysts have forecast that the smartwatch market will probably expand to about $10 billion in 2018 from as much as $1.8 billion this year, funneling customers away from traditional products.
     TAG Heuer also makes the luxury smartphone, Meridiist. Escapement

Sources
swissinfo.ch
digitaltrends.com

Industry News, November 2014

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Niall: A New American Watch Brand
                                                           By Donna Hardy

Niall WatchNiall is a startup watch company in Kansas City, Missouri. It uses a Swiss-made automatic movement—either an ETA 2824-2 or a Selitta SW200—but the case and all other components are sourced in America. Niall (pronounced Nile) is the brainchild of Michael Wilson, a former marketer whose father owned a fabrication shop where he learned to cut and shape metal on industrial equipment. Niall’s debut watch, the Niall One, costs $3,950, which is in line with Niall’s American competitors, such as RGM and Xetum.
     Niall’s website (niallluxury.com) says their quest is “to build the next great American luxury brand.” Wilson would like to build something of equal status to Hamilton, which he calls “the last great American watch company.” He also hopes to develop his own mechanical movement timepieces someday.
     According to Techcrunch.com, “The watches themselves are evocative of Hublot or Audemars-Piguet, but the handsome back-slung lugs and the understated face are unique to the brand.” For now Niall is producing only men’s watches with black or brown leather straps, but they hope to produce women’s watches in the future.For the crown, Niall uses a push-down crown system that they call “Airlock.” The Airlock crown has a set of three gaskets that keeps the watch locked and sealed from elements such as water and dust. Niall worked with Corning to create crystals with shatter- and scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, the product Corning originally created for iPhone touchscreens. Wilson and a partner, Barron Link, assemble the watches themselves in their small business quarters in Kansas City.
     Niall is a recent addition to that group of American watch brands on the forefront of a return to watch manufacturing in the US. Other American brands include Minuteman, Kobold, RGM, and Shinola. 
     “US watches are the wave of the future,” says Gary Borel, vice president of Jules Borel & Co. “Swiss is the best, but there’s no reason we can’t restart this industry in America.…We’ll have American-made movements, no question about it.”Escapement

Stainless SteelPlasma Gold

A Message from Our AWCI President, November 2014

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

 

Fred T. White, CMW21, AWCI President

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
~John F. Kennedy

One day King Solomon summoned his goldsmith because he wanted a special ring made. Upon arrival, the goldsmith asked, “What can I do for you, old wise one?” The mighty king responded, “I want you to make me a grand ring, one like no one has ever seen before. Make it of the finest gold you can find. I want it engraved with the most prophetic statement you can think of.” What a charge to be given to the goldsmith. He thought, “Wow, what can I as a goldsmith do to honor such a mighty person as King Solomon?” He gave it a lot of thought. After hours of thinking, he came up with “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.’’ 

In the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s, America was the premier watch manufacturer in the world. They made watches by the thousands from 1852 till 1957. American Waltham Watch Co. made 35 million watches from 1867 to 1956. Elgin produced 55 million. Hamilton, from 1893 to 1942, produced almost 4 million. After 1942, they changed their numbering system. They continued to make watches until 1969; their last model was the 992B. They stopped manufacturing at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and so ended the era of watches produced in the US. “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.’’
     During the heyday of American watchmaking, the Swiss were getting on the bandwagon with watches whose names sounded American-made, such as Hampton Watch Company [not Hampden], Rockville Watch Co., H.W. Co., or W.W. Co. These fooled many customers into thinking they had bought an American watch. The Swiss started making better-quality pieces, and so they made an inroad into the US market. Bulova, Gruen, Omega, Font, Felsa, A. Schild, ETA, and many other brands and ebauches came into being during those years. Parts were readily available, both genuine and generic, from your local material houses. After World War II many people went to watchmaking school on the GI Bill. This produced a flood of watchmakers in the marketplace, and as a result, watchmakers cut their prices so drastically that it was hard to make a living.
     In the 1960s the Accutron and the electric watch came out, and then the quartz watch made its debut. That was the end of watchmaking to many craftspeople, so they left the trade and sought other ways to make a living. Those who stayed with it found that the quartz watch needed repair, and there still was Uncle Joe who liked his watch that ticked, and the family heirloom that needed restoring. And they found that they could charge a fair price for their labor.
     With the manufacture of so many cheap quartz watches, many people said it was the end of the mechanical watch. “THIS TOO HAS PASSED.” The mechanical watch has made a strong resurgence in the marketplace. Thus the need for a watchmaker who is qualified to work on these timepieces is stronger than ever. The parts issue will be with us until the demand from the customer is so loud that it starts to hurt the sale of watches. In time “THIS TOO SHALL COME TO PASS.”