Archive for September, 2016

A Message from Our AWCI President, Fred T. White, CMW21, October 2016

Friday, September 30th, 2016


It has been my pleasure to serve as your president for these past two years.


Fred T. White, CMW21, AWCI PresidentThe past two years have been very busy and have gone by very fast. It seems like only yesterday that I was elected president of AWCI’s Board of Directors in my hometown of Clinton, Maryland. We finished that convention on a note of hope for the organization, looking forward to getting some things done. One objective was to shorten our BOD meeting to one hour or, at most, one hour and a half. We did accomplish that. One of the most difficult things that I had to overcome was understanding the role of the president of this organization. I can say it took a good six months to get a feel for it. It is a very complex job that you spend many hours each week working on. There are emails and phone calls and some very complicated decisions that have to be made. Some you make and hope the BOD will go along with, while some you just put off until the next board meeting.
     Thanks to a group of dedicated people that serve on committees, subcommittees, and our Board of Directors, we were able to get some things done. In November 2014, we passed an amendment to our policy manual that provided funding to have speakers and educational programs brought to our Affiliate Chapters. We revised our online “Find a Professional” to make it more user-friendly, and made it so you could add your certification and a bit of bio about your qualifications as a craftsperson.
     We sent a letter to membership about the attempt to restructure our membership, because most people did not like the way it was going. We also made a decision to purchase a digital microscope for the classroom and to replace a HVAC unit. In February we made the decision that the theme for the 2015 convention would be: “Join us in the heart of America as AWCI celebrates the rebirth of the American Watchmaking spirit.” Kansas City here we come! It was a great convention; everyone came away with uplifted spirits.
We have made some changes in the BOD structure. We will be down to six elected board members. The REC chair will no longer have a vote on the BOD, which gives the members you elected more power on the board. There have been some changes in the bylaws and the policy manual, all of which you can read for yourself online.
     March 11 and 12 we got together at headquarters in Harrison, Ohio, for the mid-year conference, which is required by our bylaws, to discuss the state of AWCI. I am happy to report that we are in good condition financially. Our classes are being utilized to close to capacity. We have started some cooperation with NAWCC: we look forward to exchanging instructors to teach specific classes. These two days in Harrison were filled with reports, discussions, and decision making by a dedicated group of people who give of their time freely without pay, just for the satisfaction of knowing they may do some good for the horologist. For more details about what has happened in the past years, read the minutes online.
     The BOD has had a conference call meeting just about every month. I am happy to report that most committees are busy doing what they should be doing. It has been my pleasure to serve as your president for these past two years. My hope is that history will look favorably on my service. Thanks to the two boards that I have had the pleasure of working with. They are truly great men and women.






Industry News, October 2016

Friday, September 30th, 2016

WatchTime New York

Takes Place October 14–15 at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall

By Kathy Ortt

The consumer event and show for wristwatch collectors and enthusiasts is being held a second year at Gotham Hall. Twenty luxury watch brands, ranging from internationally renowned to aspiring independents, will exhibit their latest watches. Along with seeing the latest advancement in watches, guests will mingle with watch company executives, industry, experts, and other watch collectors. Last year’s event drew in nearly 1,000 attendees, including collectors, enthusiasts, journalists, celebrities, and personalities known on social media.
    The event will kick off with a VIP cocktail party Friday, October 14, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Roger Ruegger says, “WatchTime New York enables attendees to interact face-to-face with brand principals and experts in the watchmaking industry, and to mingle with other watchmakers, designers, enthusiasts, and collectors—particularly at the Friday night cocktail event. It’s an excellent time to network with peers and discover the latest product developments and novelties for 2016.”  
    Saturday, October 15, is an all-day session featuring watch exhibitors, entertainment, industry panels, and meet-and-greet opportunities. Several exhibiting brands will have professional watchmakers at their benches. Ruegger says, “The show provides the opportunity to handle groundbreaking new watch novelties, some presented in the US for the very first time, and discuss their innovative mechanical movements with informed professionals rather than in a disconnected retail environment. Select brands will present watchmaking demonstrations live on site for an up-close look into their complications and production. WatchTime New York will also host a few watch accessories vendors of interest to repair professionals, including strap vendors.” Some of the exhibiting brands include Breguet, MB&F, Seiko, Bell & Ross, Armin Strom, and Nomos.
    According to Ruegger, “WatchTime has curated some of the foremost experts in watchmaking from various sectors of the field, including preeminent journalists (Joe Thompson, WatchTime Editor-at-Large, and Roger Ruegger, Editor-in-Chief, and Sarah Orlando, WatchTime Publisher), social media influencer Anish Bhatt, WatchAnish, noted collector and consultant Jeff Kingston, as well as several notable watch-themed book authors and speakers—to be announced. Each panel session allows a Q&A during which attendees may present their questions.”
    WatchTime New York, formerly known as Inside Basel Geneva, is hosted by WatchTime magazine. The watch venue was completely revamped in 2015 with a new location and a broader range of watch brands and schedule of activities to appeal to consumers of today. Guests may purchase tickets at




Kathy Ortt is an editor for the Horological Times.

Industry News, September 2016

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Jewelers’ Security Alliance


In May 2016 HT, Ken Nichols reported on security in the horological industry in his article, “Robberies, Burglaries, and Thefts: How to Be Safe rather Than Sorry.” In the report below, the Jewelers’ Security Alliance offers updated statistics and information on crime in the industry. 

Jewelers’ Security Alliance has released its crime statistics for the first six months of 2016, which indicate a continued decline in crime against the diamond, jewelry and watch industry in the US. Dollar losses decreased from $33.2 million to $30.8 million, and the number of crimes decreased from 562 to 528.
    John Kennedy, President of JSA, said of the results, “While violence and large losses still pose a major threat to the industry, the long-time trend of overall losses is still heading down. Improved security measures by jewelers, greater sharing of information on crimes and suspects, and excellent work by the FBI, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and local law enforcement agencies around the country have all contributed to improved results.”
    Notable features of the six-month results included 30 smash-and-grab robberies, and over 40 gunpoint robberies, which provided a majority of the large losses. Violence in these robberies included shootings, pistol-whippings, the use of pepper spray, and other violence. There were also 10 cases, an unusually large number, in which burglars used vehicles to break into retail jewelry stores, and 20 cases in which burglars broke in from the roof, side walls, or an adjoining business rather than through a window or a door.
    JSA received reports of 187 grab-and-runs in retail jewelry stores, 49 distraction thefts, and 36 sneak thefts. Despite the new credit cards with chips, thieves have used stolen cards and counterfeit drivers’ licenses to continue to carry out numerous fraudulent transactions, particularly seeking high-end watches.
    Finally, off-premises losses, primarily of traveling salespersons, were concentrated in Texas and Southern California, including the homicide of a traveling salesperson in Dallas, Texas, who was attacked at a gas station close to the airport.
    On a positive note, there were many successful investigations that resulted in indictments and convictions of gang members and criminals in the first half of the year. In many of these cases, JSA had assisted law enforcement. Successful investigations included the arrest of seven gang members who carried out smash-and-grab robberies in Southern California totaling $6 million over the last two years; the female robber, backed up by three gang members who stayed outside, who carried out six armed robberies
totaling $4 million in the South; and the arrest and unsealing of an indictment of three suspects who defrauded over 40
retail jewelry stores through counterfeit documents and false credit applications to obtain high-end watches.
    Kennedy said that in addition to weekly Email Crime Alerts sent to JSA members and law enforcement personnel, jewelers can get daily crime alerts on JSA’s website at

John J. Kennedy, President
Jewelers’ Security Alliance
6 East 45th Street (#1305)
New York, NY 10017 USA
212-687-0328 or 1-800-537-0067
E-mail: gro.ytirucessrelewejnull@2asj

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) is a non-profit trade association providing crime prevention information and services to the jewelry industry. JSA, founded in 1883, has 20,000 member locations and works closely with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

A Message from Our AWCI President, Fred T. White, CMW21, September 2016

Thursday, September 1st, 2016


These volunteers are working to improve AWCI and make it stronger for us all.


Fred T. White, CMW21, AWCI President

At the end of this month, AWCI will experience an exciting time, when we go back to the Chicago area where it all began over 50 years ago. Convention time is a wonderful time to meet with old friends and to make new ones. It is a great time to improve your skills by attending the classes offered at the convention. In the classes this year, you will have the opportunity to look at the way parts will be made in the future as well as in the present. You’ll also get instruction on nanofabrication for horology, the history of horology in Illinois, how to write an article and take good photos for that article, and much, much more. There will also be time to sit down and visit with friends and make new ones. For students or beginners in watchmaking or clockmaking, it is a time to rub shoulders with those people whose books you have read or whose articles you’ve read in Horological Times. You will find they are willing to answer questions and share their experiences with you, which can only make you better at your trade. Come to the Chicago area and have a great experience, and then return to your shops with new ideas and, above all, new friends—some may last a lifetime. Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know some really great people, but I count my friends in the horological community among the very best. It is not too late to come to Chicago. Will I see you there?
     For months we have been talking about volunteers. This organization, AWCI, is not my organization, and it is not your organization, but it is our organization. Since it is our organization, why haven’t you given some of your time to it? I’m not talking about the people who give much of their time, but those who sit on their hands and let someone else do it. We strive to put every person who is willing to work into a job they will find rewarding. Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do little; together we can do so much.” So why not be a part of the “together” group?
     In the past couple of months, seven people have volunteered, and they have been placed on committees that fit their skills and desires. Three have been added to the Education Committee and four have been added to the Horological Times Committee. These volunteers are working to improve AWCI and make it stronger for us all. We can always use people to write articles for HT. Maybe you have found an easier way to do a repair, or maybe you have developed a new tool or altered a tool so it works better.
As we develop the classes that will go on the road, we are looking for people to teach these classes, both in watchmaking and clockmaking, with the attitude “Have Suitcase, Will Travel.” These people will travel to Affiliate Chapters or wherever we can put together 10 to 12 students. It is an exciting time at AWCI. Our clock program is coming together with the revision of the CC21 Certification, which we will roll out soon. Clockmakers—start honing your skills. If you are a watchmaker or clockmaker who wants to see how good you really are, then work toward becoming certified. There is a great amount of pride—and credibility—in being able to say, “I am certified through AWCI.” If you don’t believe it, just look at the advertisements for employment in the back of HT.