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"No American Watch" Situation Denounced

From The American Horologist magazine, May 1946

"No American Watch" Situation
Denounced By Reader
Editor, The American Horologist:

It has been six months since the fighting stopped and not an American watch do I have in my store to sell! Now is the time we need them! If we are ever going to be able to make up for sales lost during the war it is now. I say sales are lost rather than merely delayed. Lost because customers have been buying imported watches while our own American manufacturers of watches were devoting their production entirely to war work.

A great many of my customers have gone out of town and bought watches and proudly brought their new timepiece in for me to regulate or something. They tell me they would have liked to buy a watch from me but I did not have any.. However, at So&So's in the next town they got a waterproof, shock-proof, non-magnetic watch for only $49.50 The name was one they never heard of but it must be a good watch for that price. What a shame it is to find that many of these watches are pin-levers or some other junk. Does any watch repairer try to repair these things - I, for one, do not! But some jewelers are making profits on them while others of us are losing sales waiting for real watches by refusing to sell such an inferior grade of time-piece.

I know very little about the problem of reconversion and I have been asKked this· question many' times. "Were not the American watch factories producing men's wrist and pocket watches full blast all during the war? Why are there none of these models available even though ladies' watches are not ready yet?" I don't know the answers.

Let me repeat, we need American watches NOW!

First: Because there is money to buy American watches now that soon will be going for automobiles, homes, new household appliances and even gambling.

Second: Because the sooner we have American watches on our shelves and in our show cases the sooner there will be a decline in the importing and selling of inferior grades.

Third: Because we retailers, who have remained faithful to our own makers of fine watches, deserve all the sales possible, while the money still is available, to help make up for sales lost during the war emergency.

While we are waiting, let us all do everything in our power to hold as large a market as possible for American watches to show our appreciation to the factories for doing what they did to help us win the war.

John H. Merrill, 
New Hampshire.

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