Lititz Watch Technicum is now considered to be one of the top-notch schools when it comes to learning how to craft a high-end, luxury watch, but also how to properly care and maintain such timepieces.
LWT was created in 2001, by Rolex in response to a major concern the watch industry has been facing: a shortage of qualified watchmakers. This shortage of horologists has been linked to the quartz watch boom in the 1980’s. Roughly around the same time there was a sudden decrease in the number of watchmaking schools as well as enrollment, especially in the United States.
Soon after in the 1990’s, sales of high-end mechanical watches began to rise once again and so did the need for trained specialists to build and maintain such items. Unfortunately, the need has not yet been met. With only an accumulative 50 graduates per year nationwide, the watch industry is faced with a limited number of watch specialists currently working in the field. Most of whom are at retired age and no longer willing to take on an apprentice.
Many seasoned watchmakers and instructors acknowledge there is dire need to turn expose the problem and work together towards spreading the word that this specialized training does exist.
At LWT, North Seattle Community College (Rolex donated $1 million in 2001 in efforts to support the watchmaking program), and many other qualified schools around the nation, students go through the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program (WOSTEP), which helps track training worldwide.
The curriculum developed by LWT, Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance (SWATA), which focuses on the evolution of the industry with an emphasis on high-end watch maintenance, has been noted and warmly acknowledged by the leaders in the industry.
Collectively, the watchmakers of the world are hopeful for a dramatic increase in awareness of their schools and craft as they continuously look for new ways to stay ahead of the curve within their industry.
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