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A Chat With H. E. Anderson

From Horology magazine, December, 1937

A Chat With H. E. Anderson

Much has been said in the jewelry business in regards organization. In fact, the business is very inactively over organized today. By this I mean we have within our business many organizations that function or rather exist with a benefit for only a few.  These do not have a general appeal to the trade. May I cite a few.

We have within our trade the Retail Jewelers' Association and a number of Trade unions. Each of these organizations have an individual aim the essence of which is protection against any encroachment by one another. There has until recently appeared no organization that was dedicated to the welfare of the entire trade.

Under the leadership of men trained in the commercial as well as the scientific end of the business the United Horological Association of America was formed in May of '34, in Washington, D. C.
The purpose of this group was to enhance the value of those engaged in the practice of Horology, which is in itself the cornerstone of a successful business.  Gathered from all corners of the land, these men planned an Association that would inspire in our business a confidence such as is enjoyed by other businesses.

It was apparent to all present that the Horological end of the jewelry business could go further to re-establish this than any other branch of the business.  Therefore, with this in mind, these men set about to lay tentative plans that could be placed before a convention or congress of watchmakers at a later date for their consideration. This was held in St. Louis in April, 1935. There, before hundreds of representatives of this business, men who own their own stores, men who work for others and men who conduct trade shops, these plans were laid. They were subjected to the severest scrutiny and revised to the requirements necessary to fulfill the motive of the organizers.

The United Horological Association of America affords a common ground upon which the thoroughly trained man and those whom are less enlightened, may review the requirements of a real Horologist. Its prime function is to better educate the man and train him to serve his public with greater efficiency.  To eliminate incompetency in this work will go a long way toward restoring the confidence of the customer. Honesty in reporting estimates to the customer and taking time enough to properly explain the work necessary also, begets confidence. Explain the intricacies of the modern watch and the unusual skill necessary to the proper care of the tiny pivots and the hairspring. Call attention to the fact that on account of these it is quite a different problem from the ordinary hammer and tong mechanic.

However, it is not only a necessity to gain the confidence of your customer through proper explanation but after the repair is left the responsibility rests with you to see that that confidence remains inviolate. Execute your end of the contract. Do the work you stated was necessary and if you are not capable of properly fulfilling your end of the deal, don't pass it by, but send it to a tradeshop that can complete the job.

The U. H. A. A. is establishing through its member associations a course of illustrated lectures that if attended and given· the proper attention will in themselves be virtually a course of instruction to the man who desires to really know.

These instructions and lectures are being planned by such men as Mr. Samelius of the Elgin School of Horology, who together with the others of the technical staff of the U. H. A. A. are devoting a great deal of time to this work.  It is the hope of these men that every watchmaker in America avail himself of the opportunities this affords and become more skilled and competent, to the end that the public that are our severest critics may be better served.

To this end it is suggested that every watchmaker join with his fellow craftsman in his community and together they band themselves into local guilds, with the object of availing themselves of these wonderful lectures. For further information in this respect, you may address National Executive Secretary. 

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