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

The Four P’s of Watchmaking and Clockmaking…


 PFred T. White, CMW21, AWCI Presidentatience To be a watchmaker or clockmaker you must have patience. There are so many times you will lose your cool if you don’t have patience. Many times when you are putting something together, it just will not go the way you want it to. Wheels won’t line up with the pivot hole, or you flip that part across your bench—now you have to practice patience. It is the very thing that keeps us from blowing our stack and doing something we’ll regret later. We also need patience to sit and work with a hairspring for what seems like hours or taking the time to analyze a problem until we find the solution. I’m sure you remember when you started out as a watchmaker or clockmaker how complicated a particular project might have seemed. But with time and patience, now it doesn’t seem complicated at all.   
    We must also practice patience with problem customers: we need to show restraint and put on a happy face and help find a good solution to their problems. Listen. Really listen, and let them vent. After they have told you all their problems, ask the question: “Now, how can I help?” After you ask that question, shut up and let them tell you what they expect you to do for them. Now is the time for you to pay particular attention and deliver more than they expect. Promise little but deliver much more than expected.
Pride As watchmakers and clockmakers we should be proud of what we do. We are rendering a service to our communities just as surely as the doctor, plumber, carpenter, or trash collector. We are all a part of the community that makes the whole thing work. I grew up on a farm and was taught some good work ethics. I was taught if you plowed a row, you plowed it straight. If you dug a ditch, you did it with pride, so that when someone looked at the work you did, they would see the pride you put into it. And so it should be with all the work we do. You should be willing to put your name on your work just as an artist signs a picture. (I don’t mean scratch your name on the movement but in a fashion that will not deface the movement). I recently was talking with a young man who was serving an apprenticeship in the plumbing trade. He said he had to work three years as an apprentice before he could take a test to become a journeyman. He said, “I’m loving it.” We should all feel the same.
    You should be proud of your association with AWCI.  When you hang that certificate on your wall, it should be with much pride, whether it’s a membership, CW, CW21, CMW, CMW21, CC, CC21—or any other certificate of accomplishment. When you take classes that improve your skills or your understanding of the movement, you will be better able to serve your community. (It’s what you learn after you know it all that matters). You will gain knowledge or skills that will make you a better craftsperson. If you have a certification, be proud to display it, because it wasn’t given to you. You EARNED it, just as CPAs or PhDs earned theirs.  It is something that any watchmaker or clockmaker can accomplish with patience, pride, passion, and perseverance.  

I will say more about the Four P’s of watchmaking and clockmaking next month when I talk about passion and perseverance.
To be continued.