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SGUS Watch Maker Exam (OWME)

07 Jul 2015 7:24 AM | Justin Shiver (Administrator)

Earlier this year Swatch Group U.S. (SGUS) announced the new Watch Maker Exam (OWME) program. I contacted SGUS to learn more about the OWME, and Christopher Peterson the OWME Technical Trainer was kind enough to provide the following information to be shared with the members of The Chronometer Club.


As you review the official documents below describing the program, please know that currently the OWME requirement only applies to new accounts, but in the near future existing account holders will begin receiving notices informing them of the need to meet the OWME requirement. A time frame based on the issue date will be assigned to each notice. 



January 2015


Thank you for your interest in obtaining spare parts to service watches for the applicable brands of Swatch Group U.S.


For almost a decade, our technical training department has been working with watchmakers to ensure that they have the equipment and instruction to meet the service needs and requirements of our brands.


Thanks to exciting innovations in manufacturing processes and design, the technology of the timepieces from our brands continues to rapidly advance. As a result, it is vital that our partners keep up with these specialized developments to maintain the high level of service that consumers have come to expect.


In an effort to promote these service quality standards, Swatch Group U.S. has revamped the former Service Provider Training(SPT) module. We are now offering supplemental technical training, along with mandatory testing for service providers wanting to obtain spare parts for the applicable brands of our group.


In order to qualify for spare parts purchasing privileges there must be a watchmaker on staff who has passed our recognized Watch Maker Examination (OWME).


This examination, which is based on the Omega caliber 1120(2892A-2), is offered free of charge as part of a 5 day modular skills course designed to expose the candidate to the watchmaking standards and techniques of Swatch Group U.S.

Successful completion of this program is the prerequisite for taking part in future trainings provided by and for our brands.



OWME 1120 Overview

Each candidate will be given a movement, dial, hands and case to perform a basic service. A variety of obvious faults have been introduced into the movement that the applicant is expected to correct. Additionally, the watch will be evaluated for cleanliness and adherence to other service criteria, including dial and hand setting, casing, and timing.


After the Test

An important part of the training is feedback and constructive criticism from the trainer. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the exam results are given in person during the week of training. During this time participants will also be advised of necessary equipment or upgrades to meet group requirements. Please note that if your service facility is not equipped with the proper water testing or timing equipment a restriction on certain spare parts will still apply.


To be considered for participation in our training program, please complete the included forms and return them to our service department for review. We will come back to you with the next available dates of this required training so you may plan your travel accordingly.


We thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Sincerely,

Peter Foster

Vice President, Customer Service



In order to ensure that the service partners of Swatch Group US are able to meet the needs and requirements of our brands we require every independent watchmaker and service center meet a minimum criteria in each of the following categories.


Staff

Experience and training of the technical team is very important to provide quality service to our clients. Therefore, the candidate(s) must have training from a formalized school or a recognized certification program, such as the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute(AWCI).


Workshop Premises

There must be proper and adequate space allocation for the watchmaker and equipment. A separate area for polishing and cleaning equipment is required, as well as a general upkeep, organization and cleanliness of the overall facility.


Technical Equipment

General and Specific required equipment that must be present include: Movement Cleaning Machine

Vacuum and air pressure water-resistance tester

Measuring device for quartz movements

Measuring device for rate and amplitude of mechanical movements

Microscope

Final test rotation units(cyclomats)

Demagnetizer Staking tool Case opener

Crystal and case back press

Printer for timing and water-resistance results

Mainspring winder

Jewel Press

Movement holders with jewel supports

Additional brand tools and equipment may be required to purchase specific watch components. In all cases the individual brand distribution policy for spare parts will be respected by SGUS.

Therefore the components for certain brands of the Group will not be sold.


General

A computer with high speed internet access to support specific Swatch Group brand extranet and CD nomenclature, proper repair tracking software with statistical information capability and proper repair boxes/envelopes for watches in process are highly recommended.

After review of the information above, if you would like to request a site visit by one of our representatives to assess your location and verify that it meets our requirements, please complete the form on the following page and submit to Swatch Group US directly.



Technical Information Form                                    


Company Name: ……………………………………………………………………………              

 SGUS Acct. #…………….………………………….. Contact………………………………………………………………………………………..               

 Tax ID#.....................................................

 Address…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 

City:……………………………………………………………..       State:…………………                                           Zip   Code………………………………….

Telephone: ………………………... ………….     Fax: ………………..…….…………      

 E-mail: …………….…………………….. ………………………………….


Please provide names and background of watchmakers (one page for each watchmaker):

-      Formal training and certifications

-      Experience

-      Specialized brand training

-      Copy of Tax ID and/or Resale Certificate


Please indicate the  manufacturer name and model number for the following important technical equipment;


Cleaning machine (Movement parts)……………………………………………………………...…………………

Mechanical timing equipment …..…………………………………………………………………………..………

Quartz timing equipment …………………………………………………………………………………………..……

Water resistance tester (Air pressure/vacuum) ...………………………………….……………..……….…

Water resistance tester (Water) .…………………………………………………………………….………………

Polishing equipment ………………………………………………………………………………………………….……

Ultrasonic cleaning unit (Cases & bracelets) ..……………………………………………………………………

Case opening/Closing unit (Screw back/press back) ..……………………………………………….…………

Rotation tester for automatic watches ……………………………………………………………….………………. 

Other relevant equipment ………………………………………………………….……………………………………..

Signature………………………………………..……………….….………Date: ………………………………….………


Please forward this completed form and relevant documents to Swatch Group, US by one of the following methods.

Mail   SGUS - 55 Metro Way - Suite #1 - Secaucus, NJ - 07094

E-Mail   SGMAT@swatchgroup.com

Fax   201-558-5099 – Attention Roseann




My thanks to SGUS and Christopher Peterson for allowing this information to be shared with The Chronometer Club. I believe it will be beneficial to many members.


Justin Shiver, CW21

President

The Chronometer Club

Comments

  • 11 Jul 2015 10:11 AM | Anonymous
    Hi
    I am in the UK and Swatch group have already introduced this scheme for accreditation, it has been running for about 1 year or so.

    The pass rate for the exam I think is set at 80%. The course takes about 8 candidates at a time and it would seem that the watch repairers in the Swatch retailers are being tested first. I am an independent workshop and waiting my turn to arrive. Several of my watch friends who work for major retailers have already attended and say the success rate varies wildly from group to group. In some groups none or just one will pass and in others 7 - 8 will pass.

    Best wishes to everyone

    Robert Reeves
    Link  •  Reply
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