Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Industry News, May 2015

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Baselworld 2015 Brand Highlights

By Aaron Recksiek, CW21

The annual spectacle of world watchmaking took place March 19–26, 2015. As always it was filled with excitement, as many brands announced their releases early, and surprises, as some brands were able to keep tight lips about their new offerings. It would be impossible, and mostly irrelevant, to cover every aspect of the show here in this forum. So I have decided to write brief recaps about the most notable brands, releases most relevant to our profession, new technological innovations, and the news that got everyone around the industry talking.

  • Patek Philippe is making a push into an entirely new demographic of buyers by debuting the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524, an aeronautical timepiece completely unlike anything the ultra-luxury watch manufacturer has made before.

The Rolex 3255 caliber debuted at Baselworld.

  • Rolex not only announced a new men’s caliber, the 3255 (a 70-hour power reserve, ultra-precise caliber that incorporates a new escapement design), to be paired with its new line of 40mm Day-Date watches, but they also created a redesigned Yachtmaster with black ceramic bezel and Everose gold case. It also comes equipped with the first-ever Rolex rubber Oysterflex strap.
  • Omega started to put their new METAS certification to work in the new Globemaster, the first Master Chronometer, the title they have given to watches that achieve both the METAS standard as well as the traditional COSC certificate. Omega also added four new variations to their Dark Side of the Moon line.
  • Oris bested everyone in the “throwback” competition with the new Divers Sixty-Five. Its styling and construction were designed to the smallest detail to feel like you’re wearing a watch from 1965.
  • Bremont, one of the babies of the luxury watch world (they were founded in 2002), continued adding to their portfolio by creating a watch in collaboration with the car maker Jaguar, the Jaguar MKII Chronograph. Although the most notable news from Bremont came one week after Basel when Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon presented his father-in-law with a special edition MBI watch that is only available to military pilots who eject from their aircraft in a Martin Baker seat.
  • TudorTudor’s show was a big step in distancing itself from its parent brand, Rolex. They showcased the first in-house Tudor movement. It is not made alongside Rolex movements in Bienne, but at an entirely different facility. The movement is available in several of their new models. It is chronometer certified (also a first for Tudor), and it didn’t increase the price point one bit.
  • Tag Heuer not only officially unveiled their partnership with Intel and Google to create a smartwatch, but they also unveiled their plans to produce the most inexpensive Swiss Tourbillon ever made. The watch would incorporate the Calibre Heuer 02 Tourbillon Chronograph movement that is currently in the final stages of development.
  • Angelus reintroduced themselves with their first new watch since the late 1970s, the U10 Tourbillon Lumière, with an extremely unique and contemporary floating tourbillon. They were acquired in 2011 by Swiss watch manufacturer La Joux-Perret SA, a subsidiary of the Citizen Watch Company.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger previewed his new watch brand called The Schwarzenegger. Since he is a long-time, outspoken watch collector, many didn’t see it as much of a surprise that the former athlete/actor/politician would be looking to monetize his next passion.
  • Breitling unveiled a new worldtimer, the Galactic Unitime SleekT. It’s a “double revolution” for Breitling, meaning that it contains the first non-chronograph in-house Breitling movement, and the first of their watches to utilize a tungsten carbide bezel.
  • Nomos Glashutte presented a new, incredibly thin in-house automatic caliber containing their proprietary “Swing System” escapement, along with several new models to contain it.
  • Corum brought the highly popular Bubble out of retirement after many collectors clamored for a return of one of the brand’s most iconic styles.
  • Shinola introduced two new movement types, both of which are variations of Ronda movements assembled in Detroit, to be used in two new styles—one with a GMT function and the other with a moon phase. They also announced a collaboration to produce watches for outdoor-equipment maker Filson.
  • Zenith showed that they are still master of innovation with the Elite 6150, with a simple 30mm diameter, 4mm thick, automatic movement that produces an astonishing (for its size) 100-hour power reserve.
  • Bulova is doubling down in the new 262 KHz Ultra-High Frequency Accutron II watches, and they announced a full spectrum of styles to accompany the new technology.
  • Ball continued their pursuit of developing antimagnetic technologies with the new Engineer II Volcano, a certified chronometer that is housed in a case made of material that has never before been used before in watchmaking—superimposed layers of carbon and mumetal (a carbon infused nickel-iron alloy, composed of approximately 77% nickel, 16% iron, 5% copper, and 2% chromium or molybdenum). The watch is shockproof to 5,000 Gs and resistant to up to 80,000 A/m of magnetism.
  • Citizen improved upon their GPS time-receiving-technology they released last year with the new Satellite Wave F900 Eco-Drive. The improvement comes in the speed. The watch is able to track your location and update the time based on what time zone you are in (now in less than 30 seconds). The functional upgrade to the movement also came with an upgrade to the case and bracelet, which are made from Duratect-coated titanium Citizen calls “Super Titanium.” They claim it has a hardness of 2,200-2,500 on the Vickers scale.
  • Seiko is also following suit in the GPS-timekeeping-innovation game by introducing the new Astron GPS Solar Dual-Time. However, the more notable releases from Seiko came in their continued pursuit to compete with the best the Swiss have to offer with the Grand Seiko collection. The new 55th anniversary watches return to 1967 and to its first-ever automatic watch, the impressively accurate Hi-Beat 62GS.
  • Smartwatches—Frédérique Constant and Alpina were able to show off the new Motion X-365 Horological Smartwatch Platform designed to turn high-grade Swiss timepieces into low-key smartwatches (more on this next month). Bulgari is taking a unique approach to the smartwatch market by debuting the Diagono Magnesium, an “intelligent watch” equipped with cryptographic Near Field Communications, allowing the user to authenticate payment methods with a connected device.

Trends
Several trends became apparent this year. The reproduction of iconic vintage models was certainly one of them. Many brands revived old favorites while others made completely new models that had a distinct vintage look. Many brands ventured into new territory with their offerings, some introducing models going completely away from what many fans of the collections would expect from them. This is largely assumed to be a strategy to appeal to and draw in the next generation of younger watch buyers to invest in their brand. Another large trend was the reduction in expected cost and the added value for already existing prices across the board. The Swiss franc scare frightened the industry earlier this year and no doubt prompted many brands to re-evaluate the direction of the growth of their company and to try to maintain a more competitive price point to better appeal to the recessing markets. An extremely positive trend that was discovered throughout the show was the incredible amount of autonomy that many brands are investing in. One of the most common terms being thrown around was “in-house,” a hallmark achievement of any brand that should be encouraged and supported. It bodes well for the future of the industry to have more innovation coming from more sources around the watchmaking community.

Sources
watchtime.com
hodinkee.com
ablogtowatch.com

 

Industry News, April 2015

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

5th Annual Madison Avenue Watch Week April 20-25

By Aaron Recksiek, CW21

Madison Avenue in New York City has the long-held reputation as the largest marketplace in North America for fine watches. The Madison Avenue Business Improvement District would like to celebrate this fact and garner more interest for its businesses. So they’ve created an annual event to draw more attention to their prestige within the industry. The Madison Avenue Watch Week was born in 2011.
    The 2015 version of this event will include participation from 13 fine timepiece brands: Lange & Söhne, Chopard, David Yurman, de Grisogono, Fabergé, FP Journe, Georg Jensen, Hublot, Jaeger-LeCoultre, John Varvatos, Montblanc, Panerai, and Vacheron Constantin.
    The week kicks off on April 20 and runs through April 25, 2015. Events include but are not limited to: new timepiece releases, exhibitions, artisan demonstrations, receptions, and in-store events. The proceedings are primarily geared toward a retailer-to-customer dynamic but will inevitably include participation from the watchmakers and specialists working at the boutiques. Details of events will be released as the event draws closer. You can see all the events at madisonavenuewatchweek.com.

Sources
jckonline.com/
madisonavenuewatchweek.com/

 

Industry News, March 2015

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The Value of the Swiss Franc Increases Suddenly: Making Sense of the

Swiss Flag

SNB’s Decision

By Aaron Recksiek, CW21

On January 15, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) ended its policy of trying to maintain a cap on the value of its currency compared to the euro. The policy was put in place in 2011, the last time the franc was considered “overvalued,” in an effort to reduce the country’s currency deflation and to promote growth of its industry. With exports making up more than two-thirds of the Swiss gross domestic product (GDP), a lower-valued Swiss franc translates to a healthier export market and, overall, to a healthier Swiss economy.
    To maintain the cap, the Swiss National Bank would purchase the amount of foreign currency, mainly euros, it needed to stay undervalued. The more Swiss francs that were exchanged for foreign currencies, the weaker the franc would be. If the SNB needed to purchase more currency, all it needed to do was print more of its own Swiss francs. By the end of 2014 the SNB had amassed foreign currency holdings worth over 500 billion francs—more than twice the amount it had in 2011.
    The main problem with investing in foreign currency is that the value of holdings is subject to unpredictable fluctuations in the market. The
European Central Bank (ECB), which is in charge of administering monetary policy for the eurozone, was working on a solution to counteract much of Europe’s currency devaluation. The plan was to help improve their ever-weakening euro currency and provide stimulus to the stagnant European economies that have still failed to rebound from the worldwide financial crisis of 2008, by purchasing over a trillion euros worth of government bonds. This would have essentially required the Swiss National Bank to double down on its efforts to purchase euros to continue its currency devaluation, which would amass them a stockpile of European currency of such grand proportions likely never seen before. Many saw this as an unsustainable practice that would expose the historically conservative SNB to an extremely large risk: holding so much foreign currency—the value of which would be mostly out of its control.
    Another issue is the growing reserves of deposits held by lenders at the SNB. This only added to the strain of holding down the value of the franc. As the size of the deposits grew, so did the value of the Swiss franc. In December 2015, the SNB announced a plan to charge a negative interest rate of .25% on deposits of over 10 million francs, in an effort to reduce the amount of deposits. After the announcement to end the cap, the SNB official interest rate was lowered even further to a unprecedented -.75%. The Swiss franc has long been an attractive currency to invest in because of its historical stability. As the economic uncertainty in Russia and other European countries mounted, the investment in the Swiss franc had become excessive as of late.
    The rationale behind the decision of the Swiss National Bank to abandon the effort to cap its currency and essentially lose vast amounts of money based on the size of its foreign currency holdings has not been completely explained. It is believed by most that continuing to purchase foreign currency that had already grown to about 75% of its GDP would have grown a reserve too large, and the faith that the euro would do anything but decrease in value even further prompted the bank to cut its losses early and avoid the risk of losing even more in the future. The SNB also feared that its credibility would be hurt more by holding a greater amount of liabilities than assets and becoming insolvent than it would by going back on a promise it had made to buy “an unlimited amount” of foreign currency.
    So far the SNB stands by its decision to remove the cap. Jean-Pierre Danthine, vice-chairman of the SNB, was quoted as saying, “The risks of the policy to the economy had begun to outweigh the benefits.” He claims that the Swiss franc is no longer overvalued, and foreign markets will need time to adjust to the new flexible exchange rate. He also said the SNB is not going to completely abandon intervening in the foreign exchange market. They are reevaluating their strategy and have yet to announce their new plans.
    Obviously, this decision has consequences that will echo in all areas of the Swiss economy. In one day, the value of the Swiss franc jumped by 20%, and the value of the Swiss Stock Market (SMI) decreased by nearly 15%. Swiss watch brands’ stock value that traded on markets outside of Switzerland also fell on average 10–15%. The deflation within Switzerland, which had already dropped to -.25%, is expected to continue to deepen. Deflation is worrisome to modern economies because it increases the real value of debt and can lead to or aggravate an economic recession.
    What this means to the watch industry is immediately apparent to everyone involved. Swiss exports immediately became at least 20% more expensive, and the cost will either need to be absorbed by the margins of the Swiss companies or passed on to the consumer. The Swiss watch industry, which was already showing stagnant growth over that last couple of years, will inevitably show negative growth for the immediate future, something that has only happened once since the resurgence of Swiss watches in the early 2000s. Swiss-made parts and tools for watches will now be more expensive, putting strain on after-sales service and on watchmakers. The news of the cap removal came just days before the annual SIHH watch convention in Geneva, where several executives of Swiss watch brands were quoted as not knowing the exact repercussions the new exchange rate would have on the prices that were already predetermined in Swiss francs and euros. Many dealers reduced their orders or cancelled them completely. The most notable quote to come from a Swiss watch executive was Swatch Group’s CEO Nick Hayek, who said, “Today’s SNB action is a tsunami; for the export industry and for tourism, and finally for the entire country.”
    The fine-watch industry has become more reliant on the Swiss for tools, parts, movements, and complete watches. The silver lining is that now the cost of manufacturing and innovating outside of Switzerland has become more appealing than ever. It may now be cheaper and more stable to invest money in the growing industry in Germany, where certain brands have been investing in all facets of watch-parts manufacturing, and in the United States where the long-dormant industry has finally started to show signs of resurgence under a few pioneering brands that have vowed to lead the charge to restore American watch manufacturing back to the glory of the 1940s.

Sources
watchesbysjx.com/2015/01/news-switzerland-abandons-currency-cap.html
wornandwound.com/2015/01/27/speaking-francly/
bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-15/swiss-franc-surge-spoils-luxury-watch-party-as-local-costs-mount
nytimes.com/2015/01/22/business/international/swiss-watchmakers-jolted-by-currency-shock.html?_r=0
wsj.com/articles/swiss-central-banks-foreign-exchange-reserves-soar-in-2014-1422617398
http://qz.com/327410/absolutely-everything-you-need-to-understand-what-happened-to-the-swiss-franc-this-week/
economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/01/switzerlands-monetary-policy

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

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him. It is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.

~ Charles Kendall Adams

Our midyear coFred T. White, CMW21, AWCI Presidentnference is over, and we had what I feel was a very good meeting.We opened the meeting with a prayer and the pledge of allegiance. The prayer that Joe Cerullo chose was the serenity prayer, which I believe speaks to the situation that we as watchmakers and clockmakers find ourselves in: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” We reviewed what we had accomplished in the last several months, which is highlighted in the minutes of those months. According to a report on the James M. Dodson Perpetuation Fund, submitted by Dale Coates, our financial position is strong. Each committee gave a report on what they had done and what they hope to do in the future.
    It was a team effort, and the emphasis was to return AWCI to what our founding fathers believed we should be about, which is to educate everyone from the beginner to the most accomplished watchmakers and clockmakers to improve their skills. By doing so we can better serve our customers; it should be our desire to do the best job we can for our clients. There is no better feeling than to have a client come back to you or refer someone to you for a repair job.
    We are working toward getting the bench courses put back together so when an affiliate chapter or a large enough group wants a day class, a weekend class, or a weeklong class, we can bring it to them. We feel that would better serve our membership. These classes would be taught by instructors who are in various parts of the country. Work is being done on the watch technician program as well as a sales program for salespeople. Salespeople and technicians can ultimately become certified in these programs; but if they never become certified, the knowledge they can gain from such programs could be very valuable to them and the businesses they work for. By August 2015, we are going to pilot a program on battery replacement that will show how to replace a battery while maintaining a high standard of quality. We also plan to develop a new CMW21 program for those who wish to take that certification. We should look at certification as a measure of our ability and as an accomplishment to be proud of.
    When I think of a team, I think of a group of people working together to accomplish a common goal. Years ago I worked for Curtis Dworken as a manager of part of his business. When he hired me, he said, “We work together but I don’t want ‘yes men,’” meaning “Feel free to speak your mind.” That is what this Board of Directors does: We work through issues, try to solve problems, and we disagree at times without being disagreeable. Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” We as watchmakers and clockmakers should take the advice of the serenity prayer and accept the things we cannot change, have the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

 

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

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

 No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him. It is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.

~ Charles Kendall Adams

I hope the anFred T. White, CMW21, AWCI Presidentecdotes I’ve been sharing for the past few months about my time running a small business have been helpful and entertaining to some of you. One of my proudest memories is of the time we opened our jewelry store and had customers coming in;our hope was that we could be of service
to our community. We served the community for 26 years in the same location and had a lot of good and not-so-good experiences. (Gun-point robberies are not too pleasant.)
    We took a lot of pride in what we did, whether it was repairing a watch, clock, or a piece of jewelry, many of which were family heirlooms. Pride is defined as “great self-esteem; dignity.” We tried to finish each job and restore it to its original “like new” condition whenever possible. We worked to a high standard and wanted to hear, “Wow, that looks great!” or a report back that the watch or clock was keeping good time.
    We had printed on our thank-you envelopes: “IF YOU ARE HAPPY WITH WHAT WE DID FOR YOU, TELL SOMEONE ABOUT US. IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY, TELL US.” We were prompted to put this on our envelopes when a lady brought in a ring that she had just had made by another jeweler and was very unhappy with the results. I said, “Why not take it back to him?” She said, “He was so proud of his work that I cannot take it back.” I said that we would make the ring for her but we needed a sketch of what she wanted. She produced a very good sketch of what she wanted: her engagement diamond in the center and her mother’s and grandmother’s engagement diamonds on each side; all stones were set in four-prong heads, but not in a straight line. Right then and there the decision was made to use the tag line: “IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY TELL US, BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T WE WILL THINK EVERYTHING IS OK.”
    A happy customer might tell four of five people about you, but an unhappy one will tell as many people as will listen. So, do whatever you can to keep customers happy. Don’t be so proud of your work that you can’t see that someone is unhappy. We recently had a bad dining experience. The restaurant was cluttered, tables weren’t clean—the place needed attention. Our daughter told several of our friends about the bad experience with the statement: “I’ll never go back there again.” You and I do not want that to happen to our businesses.
    Always listen to customers and watch their body language. Sometimes the body language speaks volumes.
    In your business as well as your personal life, you can’t get more than you give any more than you can take a pint container to a well and bring back a gallon of water. You can’t give frowns and get back smiles; you can’t use a loud, angry voice and expect gentleness from others in return.

Note of Appreciation

Mr. Jon Safranek
has resigned from the AWCI Board of Directors.
We thank him for his service and wish him well.

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

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

 

It is with great pleasure that I welcome Mr. Tom Schomaker back to the classroom at AWCI.
He brings great skills, both as a watchmaker and an instructor, to our organization.
Welcome back, Tom!

“I Bargained with Life for a Penny and Life Would Pay No More….

 In last month’s PrFred T. White, CMW21, AWCI Presidentesident Message we discussed some of my experiences as an operator of a watch-repair shop for many years. This month let’s look at pricing our work for profitability. We all know the formula for how to look at our expenses: rent or mortgage, phone, auto, Internet, insurance, salaries, and various incidentals that may come up in the course of a year. But most of us forget to build in profit. How do you set your prices? Is it by what you think your competition would charge? How many of you are afraid to ask for the money? If you don’t ask for the money, people won’t just give it to you. How many times have you received a service or bought something and you said to the person serving you, “Here, take more.” (I’m not talking about tips). In the auto business we had a saying, “Hang the bacon high,” or, in other words, ask for more money—you can always come down.
    When we price our work, we should always ask for a fair price for our services. What is a fair price? What if you price a job and when the project is finished, you lost money? Was that a fair price for you? In the jewelry industry it is a common practice to mark things up keystone. Do you mark parts up when you buy them? I’ll assume that’s a yes. Good for you. Let’s assume you took an hour to research and find the part. Do you charge for that time?
    Let’s assume you repair 10 watches at $250 for a total of $2,500. But what if you raised your price by 25%? Now you can repair eight watches and make the same money. Learn to work smarter and make the same or more money, depending on the effort you wish to put into it.
    How do you overcome objection to your price? When people bring their timepieces to you, encourage them to talk about the item they brought to you. Some of them have an interesting history. If you get a watch that belonged to a favorite grandfather or was carried through a war by this person, or many other stories that can be told, you have a more-than-likely chance of getting a repair job. Very few watches bought at yard sales ever get repaired. I never pressure anyone to leave a repair job. Let them think about it. Some people experience sticker shock when a price is quoted. I always explain that the watch is fully disassembled, cleaned, reassembled, oiled, and adjusted. Also, I will point out my credentials. If they still want to think about it, that’s okay.    
    Think on your feet. Many years ago a customer brought in a clock for repair. We looked the clock over and gave her an estimate of $185. (When you give an estimate, don’t say anything until the customer responds.)
    The very next words out of her mouth were, “Can you do it any cheaper?” My reply was, “Yes, we can, but you have to go to your boss tomorrow and tell him to cut your salary.” I waited for her response. She said, “Fix it.” When you make a closing statement, wait for their answer.

 …I worked for a menial’s hire
Only to learn dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of life,
Life would have paid.”

~From the poem “My Wage” by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

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