Archive for the ‘News’ Category

A Message from the President – Manuel Yazijian, CMW21

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

January’s Horological Times 2013

I trust you’ve had an enjoyable and festive season with your family and loved ones; now let’s start an exciting new year. My preceding two messages concerned proper business planning, methods of enjoying your practice, the state of the industry in general, and to a certain degree, spare parts. It would be quite safe to say that, without access to the required spare parts, practicing after-sales-service is a futile task. It is important to note that some of the world’s most successful watch brands have pathways in place for independent watchmakers to obtain spare parts, pending on training and tooling, among other criteria. More information on this model is available.

This month’s message however, is geared specifically to those who are watchmakers, certified or not, working for companies of various types and sizes.

With the increased production of Swiss mechanical watches since the early 1990s, we find ourselves with an abundance of watches that require service and this will be so for some time to come. Unlike quartz watches, which were easy to repair and quite often easier to simply replace, mechanical movements, mostly automatic winding in nature, require complete service to exacting standards.

Having said this, you may come across workshop managers who are not understanding of these specific requirements. Their message quite often is that of pushing work out as quickly as possible, even if the mechanism is not repaired to the standards you learned while in the educational stage of your career. Some of your manager’s goals may be to lower your standard of workmanship to satisfy lower market prices, to increase productivity, or to simply perform substandard workmanship because that’s the only standard they’ve known.

You are now faced with a dilemma. Do you lower your standards because this employer affords you an employment, perhaps health care insurance and paid holidays, etc.? It’s a tough situation to be in, especially if you have dependents. Don’t feel singled out; there are many who have traveled down this path before you. They also had to make this difficult decision whether to lower their standards to keep their employment. After all, work seems to be plenty and customers can’t really tell what was done inside the watch as long as the case and bracelet are polished and refinished.

What can be the consequences of such a practice? One of the main ones is that your employer, seeing that you have agreed to lower your standards, will be tempted to press you even more to take shortcuts until the product is truly abysmal in quality. In the eyes of your employer, and to a certain extent, the client, you will be seen as  the person to blame for poor quality work and therefore, a higher comeback rate.

What happens now? You have traded your standards, your reputation and self-respect for someone who has little regard for this profession. How long will it be before you look for other employers (or customers) who truly admire and understand the art and science of watch repair? How long before you lose the precious art and skills you have painstakingly acquired?

If you are forced to practice shoddy workmanship for whatever reason, feel free to document these events and contact the Ethics Committee at the following email address: moc.icwanull@mmocscihte. You may also contact me directly. This practice will be documented and investigated by the Ethics Committee and your matter will be dealt with in the utmost of confidence.

I end this month’s message with the cartoon below which our Vice President, Wesley Grau, shared with me. This was given to him by one of his former watchmaking instructors. I find it summarizes the state of the watch repair industry. Notice the publication date—1956. Not much has changed since then.


Feel free to contact me by e-mail to see how AWCI can be of assistance to you: moc.liamgnull@naijizaym

As always, keep your skills honed, your standards very high, your attitude professional, your tools and equipment in great condition and your workshops clean and organized; you never know who may come by to pay you a visit.

 Manuel Yazijian, CMW21


AWCI’s Clock Tower

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012


AWCI Clock Tower

AWCI’s “Henry B. Fried Clock Tower” was photographed just before dawn recently to light up the 1924 E. Howard clock movement (at the bottom) and the clock at the top. The tower was designed and the works restored by Joseph Cerullo and his committee when our building was constructed in 1995. As it was dark when this was photographed, we added back in the kind of scenery we see every day around our headquarters in Harrison, Ohio which is in the Tri-State…the part of the Ohio Valley where Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana all come together. In fact, Harrison is divided by the state line between Ohio and Indiana. As we drive around this area we see rolling hills and farmland dotted by some industry. The focal point is the Ohio River and Cincinnati, known as the “Queen City.” If you’re ever in the area, stop by and visit us and take time to see our museum and library.

(Thanks to Daniela Ott for the photo and Sandy Eichert for putting this photo together.)

A Message from the President: Manuel Yazijian, 12/2012

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

December’s Horological Times 2012 

MANUELPlease note: The situations outlined in the following message also apply to many of our clock repair members.

Continuing on my last month’s message to both repair professionals and manufacturers…

We have established that the very nature of watch repair is indeed quite complex, if one is to emulate factory conditions; and this is the only way a moisture-proof mechanical timepiece will function well for an average of five years before the lubricants begin losing their viscosity. Anything less than factory assembly standards will lead to a questionable performance.

Unlike a car engine where the oil can simply be drained out and fresh oil filled, a mechanical timepiece has to be completely and carefully disassembled, surgically cleaned, errors corrected, worn parts replaced and surfaces treated where needed. Additionally, up to eight or more different types of lubricants may need to be used in strategic amounts and locations, and finally, the watch needs to be timed and adjusted in order to achieve best performance.  This can be summarized in the table below


What Manufacturers’ Initial Assembly Deals With:


What After Sales Service Deals With:

Start off with lubricant-free movement parts

Dried lubricants found in movement

Clean parts

Possible dirt and dust in watch

No wear and tear (new parts)

Normal wear and tear

No damage from previous repairers

Possible damage from previous repairers

Proper approach with quality workmanship –

 QC checks at various points

Questionable quality of workmanship


Consistency in workmanship

Questionable consistency in work

Properly trained staff

Questionable staff training

Proper final quality control

Questionable final quality control

Table copyright of Manuel Yazijian

The above table covers just the movement section. There are still the dial, hands, casing componentry  (e.g. crown, pushers, gaskets, crystal, bracelet and more). If there is a failure in any of the afore-mentioned tasks or components, the timepiece will function erratically, come to a complete stop, have moisture ingression or have bracelet parts failure, among others. Ultimately, the watch will come back with an unhappy customer.

This message serves several purposes.

  1.  To demonstrate to manufacturers that our AWCI-trained and certified members, CW21 or CMW21 understand the importance of the above and adhere to preserving these practices at all times. By making spare parts, technical documentation and training available to watchmakers who have proven themselves competent through our certification program (CW21), it can take the burden out of your hands and put it in the hands of the independent practitioners who are located country wide—from the smallest town, to the largest city all across America. They will properly service your brand at the mere cost of spare parts from your end. You can then continue to focus on the mostly push-production strategy of watch manufacturing, your specialty. The centralizing of repair centers has its own set of challenges and may not meet a 100% of the after-sales service requirements for your products.
  2. To remind our practitioner members to adhere to our Standards & Practices at all times while performing repairs and not to give in to the constant pressures of taking short cuts to satisfy self-interested parties or to meet unrealistic repair goals. (Please refer to our Standards & Practices on under About Us/Governing Documents/S & P’s.)
  3.  To inform retailers of the complexity of timepiece repair and, therefore, to understand that emphasis must be placed on the above-mentioned points in order to maintain properly functioning watches, and most importantly, a happy clientele.  

After realizing the truly complex nature of repairs, many watch and jewelry retailers come to understand that watch repairs are not necessarily profit centers, but profit generators. Properly functioning watches help create goodwill between you and your client with the ultimate aim and purpose of establishing a loyal client-base who will have warm and fuzzy feelings about your business.  This, in turn, helps increase the sales of your high-end merchandise, such as diamond jewelry, watches etc. This is where your true profits are—this is why you pay premium overhead for your retail location.

The opposite can be quite disastrous to your sales. Clients bringing that same watch back for the 3rd time or more because it was never repaired properly in the first place will have sour feelings about your establishment. They will go to the competition; you will lose those clients forever. The competent watchmaker is your friend and your partner, let him or her make a comfortable living and they will help you be even more successful, especially in a difficult economy. If you don’t, the good ones will eventually leave the profession for other more profitable fields. Those reaching retirement age will eventually cease performing repairs for you, and you will be left with… who?

Please feel free to contact me at the e-mail address below to see how AWCI can be of assistance to you.

Manuel Yazijian


As always, keep your skills honed, your standards very high, your attitude professional, your tools and equipment in great condition and your workshops clean and organized; you never know who may come by to pay you a visit.


Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Richemont has job opening for CW21’s and CMW21’s in major metropolitan areas. Please see our Career Center for complete details.

Congratulations to These Members Who Have Recently Achieved CW21 Certification!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Michael Chiu                         Houston, TX

Vanessa Contreras              Scottsdale, AZ

Ross Cunningham                Moline, IL

John Dorety                        Oakdale, CT

Ritchie Greening                  Seattle, WA

Eric Hisey                           Tacoma, WA

Steve Hurst                        Raleigh, NC

Keith Lantz                         Stanfield, NC

Stewart Lord                       Evans, GA

Tam Luu                             Walnut Creek, CA

Brenden McDougal               Beltsville, MD

Jonathan Truxillo                 Baton Rouge, LA

Jason Woods                       Lititz, PA

Link to Video: Ficklin Article on Atomic Wristwatch

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

The October issue of Horological Times features a fascinating article on the Atomic Wristwatch by Jordan Ficklin, CW21. It begins on page 15 and at the end we refer you to a video on the subject which can be seen at the link below. Other “must-read” articles in this issue include the restoration of an historic pocket watch buried underwater by Hurricane Katrina, plus another article by Jordan Ficklin on Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey.

A message from the President, Manuel Yazijian 11/2012

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

November’s Horological Times 2012   

As you read this column, in some parts of the country, snow has already hit the ground and you are safely within the confines of your comfortable workshops working away doing what you enjoy most. In other parts of the world, it may still be warm with near summer-like conditions. Regardless of climate, our work is always indoors; this element of our work has some pros and cons.

The short message is clear: Try to harmonize the outside elements along with the inside elements in order to have a most enjoyable workday.

Since many of our members are engaged in after sales service, also known as “repair,” we must first recognize that a good quality timepiece, with very few exceptions, worked well when it left the factory. It was designed and put together in such a way that if used under normal conditions, it would require a service and maintenance within the next prescribed amount of time, e.g. 3, 4, 5 or 7 years.

Thus, to make it functional again to factory standards, it would be safe to say factory conditions must be emulated. To undo almost all the steps the factory took to assemble the watch is indeed a rather complex and tedious task. Is a watch supposed to function well for the next five years if you keep that worn part in? Why? Did it come with a worn part from the factory? The answer, of course, is no. That part must be changed. Fresh oils must be applied to surgically-cleaned components and adjustments must be made to bring it back to specs.

As a Message to Our Readers Who Are Manufacturers of Watches and Clocks:

 It would be of interest to you to know that many of our members are qualified and certified to industry standards. They are mostly independent business owners who are capable of handling the majority of complex tasks required to protect the investment you have made in your product. These independents have invested a good amount of resources into:

  • Real estate
  • Specialty tools and equipment
  • Training and certification

The product which you have made and marketed, will continue to function well into the future only if properly serviced, according to factory standards, by people who are truly passionate about this art and who care about the product, as well as the role they play as good ambassadors toward your customers – the wearer of your watch, or the owner of your clock.

One of the dangers of a company working with only one representative can easily lead to the lack competitiveness. The absence of competition can usually result in a deterioration of the quality of workmanship, not to mention long delays by one representative who is trying to “eat it all.” The client should have his/her watch back on their wrist as soon as possible while always adhering to factory standards. Long delays can contribute to a loss of interest in the concept of the wristwatch or the switching over onto another brand.

We at AWCI are here to help protect your investment in the good name of your product. In exchange, we would like to have the correct parts to help perform the work correctly.  After all, which is easier, sending the part to the professional watchmaker who can take care of the problem at or near the client’s location, or having the watch sent back to you? Using a professional local watchmaker is also advantageous to you because it represents a minimal investment on your part.

Please feel free to contact me at the e-mail address below to see how AWCI can be of assistance to you.

Manuel Yazijian 



Thursday, October 25th, 2012

FedEx, one of AWCI’s affinity partners, has a grant for small businesses. But hurry – you must enter by Nov 17, 2012! (see link below). It’s open to anyone. Also, check out the various discounts you can get from FedEx and FedEx Office by being a member of AWCI. Go to your member log-in page and it’s under Member Benefits and click on the FedEx section.

A Message from the President: Manuel Yazijian, 10/2012

Monday, October 1st, 2012

October’s Horological Times 2012  

The summer vacation period being over after all the fun and excitement that we all deserved, we quickly realize the fall season has drawn fast upon us. It is time for reflection and assessment of our current standing, followed by planning and preparation for the following business year.

Planning for the future is always a good thing to do. Many of us are artisans and technicians, involved in the small world of watch and clock repair and restoration that come across our workbenches. Each repair has its own set of challenges that we have to identify and solve with the ultimate goal of rendering that timepiece back to working condition; and not just any working condition, but close to that of when it left the factory. This is a tall order. However, we quite often drown in the details of solving the challenges of the job in front of us, and this takes us away from the task of planning and growing our business. It is important to set time aside for this and ask someone else to help with planning if you are unsure of how to go about it. Asking for help does not mean we do not know, it means we want to plan better by minimizing mistakes.

Take one day off. Get out of your workshop if you need a different environment, a place where there are no interruptions, with no phone calls or e-mails. Get yourself a large calendar, some pens and markers, sticky notes, water and snacks but most importantly, your creative thinking. Use these tools to plan your year ahead and set some realistic business goals with some flexibility built in to them. Once you have a clear view of your year ahead, you can always verify your progress as the days advance. It will give you a better sense of control over your workdays.

I would like to report to you that your Board of Directors this year are a committed group of people who are diligently and carefully working on growing this organization for the future. The planning process is not always easy and this is where we require your input. Please take the time to take a notepad and write down your wishes and desires as to how the watch repair and clock repair profession can be better and more enjoyable. After this, I would like you to e-mail them to me at the address mentioned below so I can share them with the rest of the team on this Board of Directors.

Also, if you would like to serve on a committee or have questions, comments and concerns I encourage you to contact me at the following email address below.

In the meantime, keep your skills honed, your standards very high, your attitude professional, your tools and equipment in great condition and your workshops clean and organized; you never know who may come by to pay you a visit.

Manuel Yazijian


New Perkins Book Is Selling Fast!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012


The new Perkins book is going quickly—over 20% of our inventory was sold in just the first week!  To order your copy of Antique Watch Restoration, Vol. 1 by Archie Perkins click here. Remember, AWCI members get a 10% discount.

Archie’s book signing was also a big hit at the recent AWCI convention in Denver. He also graciously gave everyone 2 free signed copies of his renowned hand-done illustrations.

Archie Perkins

AWCI would like to thank Archie for everything he did at our convention—and everything he has done for the horology industry!

Watch for Volume II coming soon!