It is with great honor that I have accepted the nomination to run for the Board of Directors of AWCI. As you may know, I am a young watchmaker (32) with 5 years experience as a watchmaker in a retail jewelry store. I have been a member of AWCI since I joined in 2006 while attending the Lititz Watch Technicum. I graduated from LWT with my LWT diploma, WOSTEP certificate, and CW21. Prior to my pursuit of watchmaking I earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Arizona, spent two years in Peru as a missionary where I purchased my first mechanical timepiece, and worked for 3 years in sales at a retail jewelry store.
I attended my first annual convention in August of 2008 and it was a real eye-opener for me to see how this wonderful organization operates. Shortly after attending that convention I began serving on the HT Committee and wrote my first article for Horological Times. I currently chair the HT Committee and serve on the Strategic Actions Committee and Marketing Committee.
AWCI is an organization which I feel has a bright future. I have many, many more years of watchmaking ahead of me and I want AWCI to be an organization which supports me throughout my career. I have a bright vision for AWCI. I feel the organization has much to offer me and I would like to help move it to action which will help the future of watchmakers. I know the organization is run by volunteers and together we can get much benefit from AWCI by each doing our part. While AWCI has much to offer each of us, most of us also have much to offer AWCI.
AWCI has done much to change the perception of the watchmaker and clockmaker. The CW21 and CC21 programs have really helped define the minimum requirements for watchmakers and clockmakers who wish to work on modern timepieces. It is time for the educational focus to broaden to include those who employ watchmakers as well as those performing the work. The standards set forth for CW21 watchmakers truly are minimums but many employment situations make it difficult for a watchmaker to adhere to even these standards. AWCI needs to help employers understand that a watchmaker (certified or not) who adheres to the standards set forth by AWCI is a real asset to any retail establishment. A watchmaker who adheres to these standards will drive traffic, make customers happy (with fewer comebacks), and generate profits for the store. Highly skilled, well educated, professional watchmakers add to the prestige of a fine jewelry store. A watchmaker in a retail store is truly an asset, but even stores who use a watchmaker’s services who doesn’t work on site should seek out a highly skilled watchmaker who will provide high quality service which meets the standards set forth by AWCI and the watchmaking industry as a whole.
AWCI has been attending some of the industry trade shows and I think we need to continue to do this but the real way to help retail store owners understand the value of using the services of a highly skilled AWCI watchmaker is for the customers to demand it. AWCI should broaden its retail marketing to reach more of the consumers who are seeking the services of a watchmaker or clockmaker. AWCI represents professional watchmakers. While AWCI should continue to provide education to the watchmaker it is time for them also to act in the watchmaker’s interest and promote our services to employers and consumers.
Educating the Watchmaker
Over the past few years many watchmakers have achieved the CW21, yet most of the courses offered by AWCI are still geared towards preparing more watchmakers to meet these minimum standards. While this is an important facet of our organization I would like to see more classes which focus on preparing watchmakers to become the master watchmakers of tomorrow. There are many masters in our organization. I will encourage these individuals to share their vast knowledge with the next generation of watchmakers. These master watchmakers should be teaching courses in restoration, complications, finishing techniques, and more.
Question posed to Candidates for the BOD
With membership declining, and thus revenue’s declining, what course of action do you think the AWCI board of directors should be taking to revitalize the needs of current AWCI members that would also entice new members? We realize we have an improved Horological Times and a new website, but what besides that, could we do as an organization?
Though I promote AWCI and try to be an ambassador for an organization from which I receive great value, others believe that the organization acts against the interests of its members. I believe the best way to attract more professionals to join AWCI is simply by continuing to be professional. The board needs to communicate freely with the entire horological community and listen to their needs. I want to represent YOU and advance YOUR cause. I want AWCI to help retailers understand the value of choosing a professional horologist for their repairs and to help employers understand the needs of a watchmaker or clockmaker who is going to perform the highest quality repair. I want to help consumers understand what to expect from a professional watchmaker or clockmaker. How will this increase membership? When somebody wants quality watch repair we want them to look for the AWCI logo. When consumers, employers, watchmakers, and clockmakers associate AWCI with the best in timepiece repair, membership will be an essential tool in every horologist’s chest.
If you have any questions for me regarding any of the issues watchmakers, clockmakers, and AWCI face today please feel free to leave a comment on this page and I will do my best to clarify my position and address your concerns.
Vote for Jordan P. Ficklin for AWCI Board of Directors.