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Clocking Out? Watchmaking Industry Faces Shortage of Watchmakers

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The clock might be ticking on the watchmaking industry.

The U.S. could use about 4,000 more people working on watches nationwide, according to the Horological Society of New York.

“Unfortunately, more watchmakers are retiring each year as compared to watchmakers that are graduating each year,” said Nicholas Manousos of the Horological Society.

The Horological Society of New York promotes free two-year programs.

Industry leaders like Tiny Jewel Box in D.C. fund scholarships to help cover student expenses.

We have watchmaking scholarships that we award for schools throughout the country,” Manousos said. “There's about nine schools left in the U.S.”

 “I think there's just a general lack of awareness, you know,” said Matthew Rosenheim of Tiny Jewel Box about the lack of new watchmakers. “I don't think it gets publicized. I don't think many people are necessarily aware of watchmaking as a career path.”

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"There's always something new to experience,” Tiny Jewel Box senior watchmaker Ben Kuriloff said. “Always, always accessing the puzzle-solving aspect of your brain.”

“If you are interested in mechanics, if you are good with your hands and you have good hand-eye coordination, watchmaking could be something that you could excel at,” Manousos said.

"If we don't get more in, I'm not sure for how many generations we can sustain what my family's done for three,” Rosenheim said.

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