In 2001, Rolex established LWT as their contribution towards addressing the major challenge that concerns the entire watch industry – the shortage of watchmakers who are qualified to service the high-end brands.
The shortage originated in the 1980’s when the quartz watch debut threatened the future of the mechanical watch and the demand for highly-qualified watchmakers. The result was a dramatic drop in the number of watchmaking schools in the U.S. (from 40 twenty-five years ago to less than 10 today).
However, in the 1990’s, sales of high-grade mechanical watches began to rebound and continue to grow. Since mechanical watches require routine servicing to clean, lubricate and calibrate, the industry is faced with a large and growing number of high-grade watches that will require skilled maintenance.
Over the years our curriculum evolved in many ways to meet the current need for full-fledged watchmakers in the United States. The encouraging results of this evolution did not go unnoticed in the industry; resulting in the creation of a new certification body – SAWTA…Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance.