AWG launches watch collectors’ society

The American Watch Guild (AWG) has launched the “International Watch Collectors Society” (IWCS) to generate more sales and after-sales business in fine watches for jewelers who are AWG members. The AWG is a group of fine watch retailers and manufacturers committed to ethics and in the fine watch business and high standards for products, service and salesmanship. It has 310 members, with 75 percent of them retailers.

Meetings of the IWCS, where collectors would meet guest speakers from noteworthy watchmakers, and other IWCS events will be held under the auspices of participating local AWG jewelers, says AWG. IWCS members will also be informed of new models and limited editions from major watch firms, whose authorized dealers include AWG jewelers, and of new watchmakers and their creations. Other member benefits will include a question and answer service by watch authority Stuart Unger; a calendar of major watch sales and auctions, plus follow-up reports; an annual meeting at AWG’s “Concourse d’Elegance” at the yearly Jewelers of America summer show in New York City; a book club, and free booklets on watch collecting topics.

Participation is free for AWG members. For consumers, there are two levels of IWCS membership, says AWG. A regular Member ($65 first year, $120 the second) receives the benefits, plus IWCS’s own publication. A Master Collector member ($120 first year, $220 the second) receives the above, plus a discount from IWCS’s book club and rebate coupons from watch manufacturers, useable at authorized dealers such as AWG jewelers.

An IWCS advisory board, which includes Unger, watch collector and actor Eli Wallach and several leading jewelers, has been set up. IWSC ads have been placed in consumer magazines, and regional IWCS chapters are being established, says the AWG. Contact the AWG at 244 Madison Ave., #258, N.Y., N.Y. 10016. (516) 295-2516. (Fax) 516-374-5060.