AWCI is the premier professional international organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the highest standards of workmanship in the horological crafts. It is the role of AWCI to set the standard of excellence to be applied to the quality of instruction for both the repair and restoration practices that are taught worldwide to watch and clock makers.
Formed out of the watch industry, AWCI was organized in 1960 as the American Watchmakers Institute (AWI) as this nation's first unified horological organization. It combined the members of the United Horological Association of America (UHAA) with those of the Horological Institute of America (HIA) to form AWI. However, with the continual influx of clock related interest into the organization, a name change was recommended by the Affiliate Chapters in 1992 and was formally changed in 2003 to American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute.
AWCI is currently located in Harrison, Ohio (suburb of Cincinnati) including headquarter offices, training class rooms, research library and museum.
Watch & Clock Makers Referral Directory
AWCI provides a valuable service on its web site called a Referral Directory where you can find experienced and certified watch and clock makers in your area who can repair your timepiece if that is the purpose of your inquiry. You can also find member dealers who are dedicated to supporting the horological industry and sell quality timepieces to the public. Finally, watch and clock makers can find associates of the trade here.
The history of AWCI began with the early guilds and watchmaker associations that laid the foundation upon which AWCI is based. America's first watchmakers society was probably the New Yorker Uhrmachers Verein, organized on March 26, 1866, by German immigrant watchmakers located in New York City. In the 1930s it was reorganized as the Horological Society of New York. Next, a group of Chicago watchmakers formed the American Horological Society in June of 1892. On August 13, 1917, the Associated Watchmakers of America was formed. The Horological Institute of America was established on October 20-21, 1921. In the time when the country was in a devastating economic depression, the United Horological Association of America was formed in May 1934. This was when the National Recovery Act with its industry codes on hours and wages was causing much confusion in the watchmaking industry. Formal discussions of merging UHAA and HIA began in May 1957, culminating with the formation of AWI in June 1960.
During the years 1965-1967, the Research and Education Council (REC) was created to strengthen the relationship between AWI and those schools throughout the country which gave instructions in timepiece repair. Nine of the country's most progressive horology schools joined to start the group.
At the 1969 annual meeting, for the first time AWI's Affiliate Chapters were given an opportunity to discuss their mutual problems in advance and then offered suggestions to the AWI Board. It was felt that this approach would enable AWI to be more responsive to the needs of all members. This practice continues today.
On September 28, 1971, AWI established a separate branch of the Institute to be known as The AWI Education, Library and Museum Charitable Trust (ELM Trust). The purpose of the trust was : 1) To lend all practical assistance to schools who engage in the teaching of horology. 2) To establish a horological library. 3) To establish a horological museum. 4) To encourage and assist students in their horological studies.
In 1975 AWI purchased their first headquarters building, a former bank building on a corner in Cheviot's business district (suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio). It was a fine dignified granite and stone structure. It was refurbished and occupied in 1976.
In January 1977, the first monthly issue of Horological Times (HT) was published. It replaced the previous bimonthly AWI News. HT featured original technical articles written by leading horologists, timely articles on trends in the industry, editorials and association news.
In 1995, AWI moved its headquarters to a new building at its current location in Harrison, Ohio.