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Meeting looks to set united path for UK horology

A groundbreaking meeting of British horologists is due to take place in Watford next week as the British Watch and Clock Makers’ Guild (BWCMG) looks to set the agenda for the future of British horology.

The Industry Strategy Conference on March 11 is titled ‘Developing a Co-ordinated Action Plan to Support the Growth of British Horology’ and will see the big names in British watchmaking meet at Watford Football Club to discuss the possibility of co-ordinated British strategy for the future.

Topics of conversation will include ‘Uniting the Industry’, which aims to draw a line under ‘past divisions’ and seek a cooperative future; ‘Parts Supply’ which seeks to combat restrictive practices through legal and political means; ‘Education and Recruitment’ to address the limited number of students available to the UK industry and ‘Brand Britain’ which looks to defend British horologic heritage from ‘foreign abuse’.

Around 90 of the most prominent figures currently working in British horology have confirmed their attendance.

The invitation from the BWCMG reads: “The last ten years have seen a remarkable resurgence of interest in British Horology, and a significant increase in sales of mechanical timepieces. There is new investment in education, and a number of companies bringing back manufacturing facilities and increased employment opportunities.

“However, at the same time there is a serious increase in anti-competitive practices from major foreign watch houses, and an equally worrying trend for historic British brands to be used to sell inferior foreign product to unsuspecting consumers.”

The invitation continues: “Unity, openness, common interests and future thinking are the key themes of this conference. Our interest in the past is limited to what we can learn from it, so delegates can be assured that absolutely no time will be wasted looking backwards, all constructive ideas for the future will be welcome, and no debate will be constrained by past methodologies.”

Attendance is by invitation only but WatchPro will be there to cover the conference in full as well as take part in what promises to be an historic discussion.

The BWCMG is a trade association representing 800 individuals and organisations involved in British horology.

James Buttery

Editor of WatchPro, the WatchPro Hot 100 and The Luxury Report.

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