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Crowdfunding, Social Media Help
Watch Business Succeed

-Therese Umerlik (PA) 2/3/17

Limited financial resources should not stall the development of new ideas in the wrist watch industry.

 

Microbusinesses and those in the gig economy are looking online to find investors, establish a storefront, and sell their products and services.

 

Among them are Kramer LaPlante and Jake Kassan, both former undergrads in Santa Barbara, CA. They conceived their business in a love for fashion, so-called “wrist candy,” according to Chase.com.

 

However, the prevailing cost for Wow-factor watches goes past the hundreds into the thousands and even millions of dollars, definitely out of reach for most consumers.

 

They wanted to sell affordable watches but first they needed money, so they pitched their idea on IndieGoGo.com that offers crowdfunding for entrepreneurs and raised $15,000. A bank loan also helped.

 

And MVMT was born, pronounced “movement.”

 

After creating their website, LaPlante and Kassan encouraged buyers to post photos of MVMT watches at evocative locations to Instagram and Facebook, sending the message: “dress with intent, and get out and explore the world.”

 

The business still considers itself a startup but it is growing.

 

With 3-D printing and other technical innovations, many individuals can bring their unusual watches to the public through careful planning in the online arena.

Automatons Fit Nicely in Watches

-Therese Umerlik (PA) 2/1/17

Timepieces are all about motion.

 

Hands slowly circling the dial.

 

Movements flittering.

 

What about automatons? Can they fit into watches?

 

Apparently, they can in some watches, according to World Tempus.

 

Automatons are essentially lifelike mechanical figures that move independently. Imagine seeing a flower’s petals open and close on a dial? Or a charming little bird singing?

 

This is the world of kinesthetic horology.

 

Creative Avenues in Watchmaking

 

Making interesting  and quite bizarre watches from unusual parts has grown in popularity with the emergence of steampunk.

 

I trolled around and discovered some interesting examples at Makezine.com.

 

An enigma machine on your wrist.

 

Single battery-powered VFD display for a watch.

 

And a binary POV wristwatch.

 

These watches come with videos and write-ups.

Career Plan B in Watch Repair

-Therese Umerlik (PA) 1/31/17

Speaking as a US citizen, I am a bit trepidatious about the country’s economic outlook. The Great Recession certainly contributed to my anxiety and mistrustfulness. The hemorrhagic job loss definitely crippled the US and the world, for that matter.

 

But I have no plans to allow this turn of events to stop me, so I decided to look into watch repair as a viable career path and the programs that exist to educate those graduating from high school or those considering new work opportunities.

 

Apparently, several schools throughout the world offer program, many of which are between one to three years in duration.

 

The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. and Horological Society of New York provide workshops on watch repair as well.

 

 

But what about outlook of this profession? The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provided information based on 2014-2015 data. Watch repairers are expected to experience a decline in the coming years, but that could change depending on the economy, new business growth, tourism, and disposable income for luxury goods. The median annual wage for 2015 was $34,750.

 

I did a quick search on Indeed.com for job hunters and discovered that quite a few positions were available. As of the date of this post, one company was offering an annual salary of $75,000 for someone with these special skills. LinkedIn listed positions from such heavy hitters as Omega and Tiffany’s.

 

If you have an interest in or aptitude for repairing things, you may want to look into watch repair as a profession or a side hustle. It’s wise today to have a Plan B.

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