Industry / Watches

Horological Society of New York Celebrates at Gala and Awards Ceremony


With the need for trained watchmakers rising, finding a way not only to celebrate this profession but also to raise funds for watchmaking students and organizations is one of the goals of the Horological Society of New York (HSNY).

Having fun in the process is one more goal for HSNY—one of the world’s oldest continuously operating horological associations. It recently awarded $100,000 in financial aid to watchmaking students and institutions at its April 9 gala and awards ceremony.

The 2022 gala, which was held at the Harvard Club in New York City, had 200 guests in attendance, including watchmaking brands, HSNY members, and even Shark Tank celebrities, says Carolina Navarro, deputy director of HSNY.

Shark Tank at Gala
Among the attendees at the 2022 Horological Society of New York Gala and Awards Ceremony was Kevin O’Leary (middle), the entrepreneur and businessman known as Mr. Wonderful on the television series Shark Tank.

In total, HSNY was able to award scholarships and awards to 15 watchmaking students and three watchmaking institutions across the country, by way of five financial aid opportunities including the society’s new Grace Fryer Scholarship for female watchmaking students.

A bidding war also took place at the gala, where Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo auctioned off HSNY’s first-ever Lifetime Membership Card. The auction ended with a hammer price of $18,000, the proceeds of which will benefit HSNY’s ongoing financial aid initiatives. (HSNY’s full charity auction will be held online in June.)

JCK spoke with Navarro about the event, its scholarship efforts, and what’s next.

Why did you want to support these young watchmakers through your programs/fundraising?

Providing financial support to watchmaking students and schools is a major way HSNY helps further its mission of advancing the art and science of horology. Nurturing future generations of watchmakers will ensure the industry continues to evolve, diversify, and innovate. HSNY’s financial aid opportunities make it possible for any and every watchmaking student to apply, with some specialized scholarships such as our new Grace Fryer Scholarship for female watchmaking students and our Henry B. Fried Scholarship, applicable to all full-time students in the United States.

What is the need for young watchmakers in general?

Most watchmaking schools in the U.S. are free, as tuition is covered by a sponsoring brand. For most, however, tools are not covered and neither are living expenses, which can be a challenge for young students attending full-time two-year programs. HSNY’s scholarships aim to alleviate that issue and focus on helping watchmaking students succeed in every way.

How great was it to come back together after two years? The mood seemed ebullient!

Resuming one of HSNY’s longest traditions was truly magical! We received incredible support from our sponsors and members throughout the pandemic and vowed to return bigger and better than ever. We finally feel that we’ve found a home for our galas at the Harvard Club of New York City, and now it’s just up to us to make each gala better than the last.

What else is happening now or in the future at HSNY?

The gala may be our biggest night of the year, but the work continues! We will be resuming in-person lectures on May 5, another 156-year tradition for us, and our Traveling Education classes are starting up across the country. All year long we focus on raising money for scholarships and awards and hope to be creating even more financial aid opportunities in the near future. Lastly, we are currently working on a big project that will be unveiled later this year, which will make horology even more accessible to people worldwide. Stay tuned for more!

Top: Robert Younger, a student of the Patek Philippe Institute in New York, accepts financial aid on behalf of all 2022 recipients. A giant check was issued by HSNY director of education Steve Eagle (at left); photos courtesy of the Horological Society of New York.

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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