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Buying Material By Metric System

From The American Horologist and Jeweler magazine, April, 1942

Buying Material By Metric System 

By DONALD M. HITCHCOCK, N. Y.

Through these pages I would like to make a proposal that has been in my mind for some time, and one that is in use in many of the trades that seem too be far ahead of the watchmaker.


For some time I have had the thought of abolishing the ancient and awkward "dozen" and more awkward "gross". This old bug-bear has been around long enough. Why not become modern and streamlined, and adopt the metric system of buying material in the lot of ten or hundred, or fraction thereof. It is most convenient in not only determining price but also odd quantities.

Very recently I had an opportunity of talking this idea aver with several material houses in this section of the country and they are only waiting for, and hoping that, some one will make the proposal.

The idea strikes me as this is a most opportune time in that the material houses, as well as the manufacturer's stocks are so far down on the supply list that it would not be too much of a job when this emergency is over, to begin packing in lots of tens or hundreds. The optician, the diamond merchant, the War Department, the Government, some drugs use the metric system. It has been in use for Centuries in Europe, and you, a watchmaker, use it yourself daily but in such small quantities you do not recognize it when you see it.

I do believe that if you will stop and look this idea over you will agree that the metric system is the most convenient method of calculation. Someone may object to the idea in that it will cause confusion in the packing and boxing of some items.

That is what I mean by the time being most opportune. From what I can gather from material houses they are pretty much out of dozen quantities, and so is the factory. This shows there is going to be a chance to start with a new "slate" when this war emergency is over.

I would like to suggest that this packaging begin with the close of the present war, and that the manufacturer be given time to adjust himself to the change-over. As for there being any great expense to this I fail to see from what angle he sees it.

This is an idea for which there can be some discussion, and I would like to see it proposed at the several state conventions of watchmakers, material dealers, manufacturers. Let's see some opinions in these pages.


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