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AWCI Annual Convention and the Future of Watchmaking

by Jordan Ficklin

I’m headed home from the AWCI 2011 Annual Convention and Educational Symposium. I just wanted to let all of our readers know that it has been a wonderful event. The future of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute is strong. The level of education taking place at this convention is very high. It has, as it has in the past, encouraged me to be a better watchmaker and to strive for a higher skill level from myself.

In the coming months you will see a totally new web-site from AWCI which will be directly focused to three different groups. Those who attended the convention were given a preview and it was impressive!

A section specifically targeted at the consumer will explain the benefits of choosing a watchmaker or clockmaker who is a member of AWCI. It will help them to understand what they should expect from their watch or clock and from their watchmaker or clockmaker. It will also help them to easily find a watchmaker or clockmaker who is a member of the organization as a part of the all-new membership directory which will allow members to better describe their business and may also allow them to position a full color ad.

A section specifically target at industry will explain to employers the benefits of choosing an horological professional who is a member of AWCI, and help them to understand that an horological professional adds value to their store and can help improve the bottom line. It will also help them to understand what kind of workshop is needed in order for watch or clock repair to be performed at a successful level.

A section only available to members will provide access to more than 10,000 pages of technical literature (almost done being scanned) and to marketing materials that will help the watchmaker or clockmaker better serve their customer. These materials will be available with the watchmaker’s business name in a ready to print format free of charge with membership. In addition the Horological Times magazine will be available in a downloadable and searchable digital format, including for eReaders. Marketing materials for use on web pages including videos will also be available for direct link or download.

Continued marketing efforts are underway to further promote the organization and more importantly the profession.

Plans are well under way for next years convention which will be held in Denver, Colorado. There are many details to tie down but it will be another fantastic convention. If you are not a member of AWCI, now is the time to join. The benefits are amazing! They will help you to promote yourself and your business. They will help you to improve your skills and your marketability as a watchmaker. Your customers will thank you. If you have never been to a convention you should go. Once you have seen the workings of this organization you will want to be a lifelong member.

The following statistics were given regarding membership:
>82yrs old 9.3%, 72-81 14.6%, 62-71 24%, 52-61 29%, 42-51 13.8%, 32-41 5.6%, 22-31 3.7%

Personally, given that 76.9 % of our membership is 52 years of age or older, I was very excited to see 8 or 9 new young watchmakers at this year’s convention. I was also excited to see that progress has begun to implement a CMW21 pathway. Advanced coursework is going to be scheduled and exams will be piloted in conjunction with CW21 exams in the coming year.

I want to give a huge congratulations to Jack Kurzionak of Eckcells, our newest AWCI Fellow. He has given many, many years of service to the organization and has received infinitely more rewards for his service.

3 Comments

  1. Mike Blaszczyk, CW21
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    That’s fantastic!
    Great news about the web site. When I was at the meeting in Tampa, I had a quick preview of the web site and it was impressive back then. It must look amazing now. Excellent news about the continual development of the CMW21 program.
    I was planning on going to this year’s convention but could not make it because of a serious family health emergency. I am sad to see that the 82+ age demographic has nearly three times the membership as the 22-31 age demographic to which I belong. Maybe one can call this problem “Job Security”? Thanks for the updates!

  2. J.Peter
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Mike, we would have loved to have you there. I hope all is well with your family. Denver is going to be pretty exciting, lets see you there.

  3. Jake
    Posted August 8, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Those are surprising statistics.

    What are some of the things that you learned there that have helped make you a better watchmaker?

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