The class of 2010 will be part of the new SAWTA program. SAWTA stands for Swiss American Watchmakers Alliance. SAWTA is owned by Rolex and the purpose of this is to train highly qualified watchmakers. The current curriculum through WOSTEP is good but it limits watchmakers to certain extents. SAWTA works in partner with WOSTEP and the AWCI. WOSTEP and AWCI are basically two separate entities and SAWTA is a big umbrella bringing them together. As most know, WOSTEP has a certain number of tests that need to be passed to obtain a WOSTEP certificate. The tests are being able to make a winding stem, pivot gauge, and a couple other things I believe. I can’t remember offhand but I’m sure someone will chime in on that. With that, a student can just keep on practicing making stems and pivot gauges over and over again until they become so good at it, they can do it with their eyes closed. This shows a level of skill but the brain isn’t functioning, so to speak. It becomes an action and you just make it like a robot. SAWTA on the other hand, will give out tests that will require analytical and problem solving skills. We have no idea what the test will be on and will find out the morning we get into class. It is a bit nerve racking but we will have learned all the proficiencies needed to pass the test.
Also, from the 2011 class and on, by passing the SAWTA exams, you will automatically acquire the AWCI certificate as well. I don’t know too much about that but all I know is that we have to take this test as well after graduation. So next year, consider yourself lucky!
If anyone has anymore questions or input, please chime in!