Where Have All the Watchmakers Gone?

The decrease in trained timepiece technicians ("watchmakers") in the United States is getting worse, and the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWI), the world's largest professional horological organization, has called on the U.S. watch industry for support and advice. "This is a critical point," says AWI executive director Jim Lubic, citing low enrollment at watchmaking schools and training programs' lack of financial resources. "We need to work together [with watch brands and retailers] to find ways to communicate the need for more watchmakers and for the trade to support watch training." Only a few thousand U.S. watchmakers remain, many near retirement age. The Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program (WOSTEP), which tracks watch training worldwide, says the United States should produce at least 450 to 500 new watchmakers annually to keep pace with the r

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