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The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) this week launches the Grace Fryer Scholarship for Female Watchmaking Students, adding it to financial aid options for those who study watchmaking at a full-time watchmaking school in the United States.

HSNY derived the name of the new scholarship from Grace Fryer (1899 – 1933), a dial painter in New Jersey who was poisoned by radium during her work in dial-making companies in the 1920s.

Grace Fryer

The women at these companies, which were located in Connecticut, Illinois and New Jersey, were instructed to point the radium-lined brushes using their lips. The Radium Girls, as the women would later be called, suffered horrific side effects from radium poisoning and many lost their lives.

Fryer spent years fighting for the Radium Girls and their case would go on to gain national media attention and establish legal precedents, having tremendous labor rights impacts and ushering scientific advances.

“I believe Aunt Grace would view this scholarship, which the Horological Society of New York has graciously named after her, as a symbol of progress for women,” says Art Fryer, Grace Fryer’s nephew. “I feel Grace would be honored to be associated with HSNY in helping to welcome women into the horological craft.”

The Grace Fryer Scholarship joins HSNY’s additional financial aid opportunities in watchmaking, which include:

  •  The Henry B. Fried Scholarship for Watchmaking Students
  •  The Benjamin Banneker Scholarship for Black Watchmaking Students
  •  The Oscar Waldan Scholarship for Jewish Watchmaking Students
  •  The Howard Robbins Award for Watchmaking Schools

Students can apply now until March 1.

Any female student who has been accepted or is currently studying at a full-time watchmaking school in the U.S. is eligible to apply to the Grace Fryer Scholarship. Prospective students may also apply, with the understanding that the scholarship is contingent on their enrollment at a full-time watchmaking school. Financial aid is awarded every April with awards up to $5,000 in 2022.

 

 

Horology in Art, the second exhibition of the Horological Society of New York (HSNY), opens at HSNY’s library at 20 West 44 Street in Manhattan starting Tuesday, November 23.

On loan from HSNY Exhibit Curator Bob Frishman, the sixty artworks depict how clocks and watches have been displayed and referenced in artwork around the world.

Edgar Allan Poe at work.

Among the original artworks are a circa-1830 folk-art portrait of a mother and child holding a pocket watch; the preparatory watercolor by Anatol Kovarsky for a 1961 New Yorker cover showing a watchmaker in his shop; and a portrait miniature on ivory, circa 1840, in which a young woman’s watch and chain are visible.

Ad poster by Hugo Laubi for Turler Watches and Jewelry, Zurich, circa 1960. .

Salvador Dali, Jan Steen, Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, and Giovanni Piranesi are Among the artists represented in the exhibit. Vintage photographs include two rare mid-19th century daguerreotypes, cabinet cards, cartes de visites, glass lantern slides, and several examples of Mathew Brady Civil-War-era portraits.

“Curating these artworks for my personal collection, and now for the public to view, has been a two-decades-long passion project for me,” says Frishman, who has been a clock restorer and writer-lecturer on horology for more than 30 years. See Frishman’s first Horology in Art exhibit here.

Clockmaker, an original cover of ‘The New Yorker’, March 11, 1961, by Anatol Kovarsky.

“Thanks to today’s technology, I am happy to share my archives of over 2,000 examples of timepieces displayed in artworks through a continuous slideshow exhibition. The different depictions of watches and clocks in art help us earn about how time was perceived in the past while helping to advance the art of horology today.”

Visits are free of charge and timed tickets are required to visit the Horology in Art exhibition, currently on display starting November 23 until April 2022. To visit, please schedule an appointment here. HSNY is located at 20 West 44th Street.

The cover of the HSNY exhibit catalogue.

Independent watchmakers Laurent Ferrier and Christian Ferrier will present “The Natural Escapement” as the October lecture of the Horological Society of New York (HSNY) on Monday, October 4. Scheduled for 1 pm EST, the virtual seminar (via Zoom) will include Laurent  Ferrier’s personal interpretation of horological theories on the escapement as proposed by his peers.

Laurent Ferrier is co-founder and creative director at Montres Laurent Ferrier in Geneva, where his son Christian Ferrier serves as movement creator.

Christian Ferrier and Laurent Ferrier

The October lecture will take place via Zoom and has been scheduled to accommodate local time in Switzerland. There will be no in-person gathering for this HSNY October lecture.

The Ferriers will discuss how their watchmaking company successfully updated Abraham-Louis Breguet’s natural escapement. As the HSNY explains, Breguet was unable to ensure the escapement’s reliability because of the manufacturing techniques and materials available at the time.

“Two hundred years later, Laurent Ferrier gave the natural escapement a new lease on life. At the October 2021 meeting of the Horological Society of New York, Laurent and Christian Ferrier will discuss the principles of the natural escapement and how they succeeded in manufacturing it,” according to the HSNY.

The Zoom Webinar will begin promptly at 1pm EST and registration is required. All lectures remain free and open to the public.

To accompany the lecture, Montres Laurent Ferrier will hold an exhibition of timepieces, including some with natural escapements, at the Horological Society of New York, during the afternoons of October 5 and October 6. HSNY members and the general public are welcome to attend. Timed tickets are required, as well as proof of vaccination. Masks are optional but strongly encouraged. Additional details for the lecture and the exhibition are available at the HSNY website. Click here to register for the exhibition, and here to register or the lecture.

 

The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) last week launched its Chronometer Certification Program, a new testing service for watchmakers and watch manufacturers that seek to have their watches chronometer certified.

The organization, one of the oldest continuously operating horological associations in the world, will conduct testing protocols that exceed the international standards outlined in ISO 3159. Testers will only utilize visual testing procedures, which typically result in more reliable results than the sound-based testing found on traditional watch timing machines, according to HSNY.

An example of the Chronometer Certificate from HSNY.

The new testing service joins those offered to watchmakers by the widely used Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and Geneva Seal, as well as those developed in recent decades from the Fleurier Quality Foundation, METAS, Besancon Observatory and a few others.

All watch tests will be conducted referencing a range of temperatures and positions over a fifteen-day period. If a watch passes the tests, HSNY will issue a physical HSNY Certified Chronometer certificate with specific test results. For more details about the testing protocol, see chronometer.org.

“Independent chronometer testing and certification is a valuable service for both watchmakers and watch collectors,” said Nicholas Manousos, executive director of HSNY. “With a certificate from HSNY, watchmakers can advertise their chronometers with confidence, and watch collectors can be assured that their watch is indeed a chronometer. I look forward to welcoming many brands from around the world to test their watches in New York.”

The Massena LAB Erwin LAB03.

HSNY reports that Massena LAB, a New York-based company founded by watch expert William Massena, is the first brand to offer a HSNY Certified Chronometer for sale. That watch, the Habring2 x Massena LAB ERWIN LAB03, features a movement from Habring2 with a dial designed by Massena and created by dialmaker and watchmaker Joshua N. Shapiro.

The Massena Lab ERWIN LAB03 movement is stamped with the HSNY Seal.

“HSNY plays a pivotal role in expanding and educating the public on the artistry and craftsmanship that is fine watchmaking,” says Massena. “This new program continues the organization’s mission of providing best-in-class resources for both watchmakers and watch collectors alike.”

HSNY’s Chronometer Certification Program is available to watchmakers and watch manufacturers worldwide, and only new, cased-up mechanical watches with a spring balance oscillator are eligible for testing. These watchmakers and watch brands may then use the HSNY Certified Chronometer certification in their marketing programs. HSNY says it will not guarantee that any watch submitted will pass the testing requirements.

 

The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) raised $81,396 at its online Timepieces for HSNY: 2021 Charity Auction, presented by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo from June 7 to June 14. The 2021 figures nearly doubled the $45,000 raised by HSNY in 2019.

All seven of the auction lots sold, either at or above their estimated prices. HSNY reports that more than sixty horological enthusiasts were placing bids from around the world.

Highlights from the auction include HM Horological Society New York, a unique timepiece made especially for HSNY by Arnold & Son, which sold for $30,240, well above its high-end estimate. Additional lots included watches made by Rolex (pictured at top), Patek Philippe, Grand Seiko, Ulysse Nardin and Greubel Forsey.

This specially made Arnold & Son watch sold for $30,240, well above its high-end estimate.

“The incredible results from Timepieces for HSNY: Online Charity Auction 2021 will enable HSNY to further expand our annual financial aid programs, including scholarships for watchmaking students and grants for watchmaking schools,” said HSNY executive director Nicholas Manousos.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit HSNY in its ongoing mission to advance the art and science of horology, which includes offering financial aid to watchmaking institutions and full-time watchmaking students in the United States.

In 2021, HSNY offered four financial aid opportunities, and introduced the Benjamin Banneker Scholarship for Black Watchmaking Students and the Oscar Waldan Scholarship for Jewish Watchmaking Students. In all, HSNY awarded $70,000 in scholarships and awards in April 2021.

 Click here for more details about the auction.

 

After the Horological Society of New York appointed its former president Nicholas Manousos to a new position as the Society’s Executive Director (succeeding Edwin Hydeman), and with the addition of actor and horological designer Aldis Hodge as its newest Trustee, we thought it might be a good time to catch up on the latest news from the Society.

Below you’ll find our recent interviews with both Manousos and Hodge.

Nicholas Manousos
Horological Society of New York Executive Director

Nicholas Manousos, Horological Society of New York Executive Director

What issues have been the most challenging for the Horological Society of New York during the COVID 19 pandemic?

The necessary cancellation of all our in-person events has definitely been the biggest challenge for HSNY. HSNY has a reputation for holding standing-room-only lectures, sold-out watchmaking classes, and a packed annual gala. Very quickly, COVID-19 made our consistent ability to attract large crowds into a problem.

Our annual Gala & Charity Auction was canceled, as well as our May and June lectures and all of our watchmaking classes. Although our Gala was canceled, HSNY still awarded its Henry B. Fried Scholarships, Howard Robbins Awards, and Working Watchmakers Grants ($155,000 in total).

Even with these difficult cancellations, HSNY remains a resilient organization. Looking back at history gives some context. HSNY was founded in 1866 and has survived through the 1918 flu pandemic, the Great Depression and both World Wars. HSNY will continue to serve watchmakers, clockmakers, and the interested public during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.

David Walter speaks at an HSNY event in 2019 at the General Society Library at 20 West 44th Street in New York.

How has HSNY been keeping in touch with its members?

HSNY has an amazing marketing and Public Relations director (Carolina Navarro) who has been doing a great job communicating with our members and the public, even through the most difficult part of New York’s lockdown. Our monthly newsletter, The Horologist’s Loupe — which began publishing in 1936 and is one of the oldest continuously running horological publications in the world — has continued publishing throughout the pandemic, keeping everyone up to date on HSNY’s activities. HSNY maintains an archive of vintage copies on our website offering a fascinating look back at watchmaking history in New York.

Watchmaker Joshua Shapiro speaks at HSNY in 2019.

Are the virtual tutoring classes working out for HSNY?

HSNY’s new Virtual Horological Tutoring classes are working out really well! Our instructors are all professional watchmakers who teach for HSNY on a part-time basis, and all of them had their day jobs affected by the lockdown. This left a lot of time for our traditional in-person class curriculum to be adapted to online classes.

The multi-camera setup that the instructors use is impressive. It allows for students to look at the instructors as they explain certain topics and also get a close-up view of the movement as it is being worked on. The Virtual Horological Tutoring classes complement our in-person New York classes and Traveling Education initiative allowing HSNY to reach anyone in the world with an internet connection who wants to learn what makes a mechanical watch tick.

Our instructors are based throughout North America allowing us to accommodate people in different time zones and we even offer courses in French upon request.

Can you tell our readers about the Working Watchmaker’s Grant program?

In April, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak in New York, I began hearing stories of watchmakers around the country who had been furloughed or lost their jobs, and it made me think about the origins of HSNY. HSNY was founded as a guild by and for watchmakers, similar to what we today call a union. Benefits were offered to help colleagues in times of need, and no one was turned away.

With this in mind, I approached HSNY’s donor network with the idea of giving grants directly to working watchmakers in the U.S. who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a few days, $100,000 was raised, and the program was announced. In one day, all grants were reserved, and HSNY staff began the large project of issuing one hundred $1,000 checks to working watchmakers.

Today, HSNY has evolved into a non-profit organization that welcomes enthusiasts and collectors, but the spirit of generosity and support of professional watchmakers from our early years is still there. The Working Watchmakers Grant is today’s version of the altruism that led to the founding of the Society in 1866.

Are the newest goals of the HSNY based on necessary evolution?

I think of it more as an accelerated evolution. For example, we had been looking into offering virtual classes and live-streaming lectures for quite a while as we now have members from all corners of the world.

Watch fun at the Horological Society of New York.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the timeline for these now very important projects. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of financial assistance HSNY distributed in 2020 was over five times what it was in 2019 ($155,000 in 2020, versus $30,000 in 2019).

Behind the scenes, HSNY is working on a number of other projects that have also been accelerated due to the pandemic, and I look forward to sharing them with everyone soon.

When do you expect to start scheduling events again?

Luckily, HSNY has only experienced one true month of inactivity. On March 2, we held our last lecture before lockdown with François-Paul Journe and Osama Sendi lecturing on the Phenomenon of Resonance.

I remember that night vividly; it was a great lecture and a good note to pause on as New York entered lockdown later in March. In late April, HSNY started offering its Virtual Horological Tutoring classes and on September 9, our world-famous lecture series will resume in an online format.

As far as in-person events, only time will tell. Not only are we complying with New York City and state guidelines, but we are also seeking our members’ feedback on how they envision HSNY reopening.

Watchmaker Bernhard Stoeber addressed the HSNY in January about the Omega Calibers 321 and 861.

Are any HSNY classes nationwide (or worldwide) currently in operation?

No, all in-person classes are on hold for the foreseeable future. New York is doing well with the coronavirus at the moment and its reopening plan is moving forward. We will continue to monitor the situation and will restart our in-person classes only when it is safe.

Our traveling education classes will likely take longer to restart because of travel restrictions in place around the world. Our Virtual Horological Tutoring classes are filling in the gap quite nicely during this time.

What opportunities from HSNY are available to any International Watch reader eager to expand his or her knowledge about horology?

HSNY’s YouTube channel is a great resource for anyone interested in expanding their horological horizons. Our lecture series has been running continuously since 1866, attracting the world’s brightest minds to share their expertise.

For 150 years, the only way to experience a HSNY lecture was to attend in person. In 2016, HSNY started video recording its lectures, and we now have 33 lectures available to watch for free. Lectures cover technical, historical, collecting, business, and cultural topics so there is something for everyone.

What are the benefits of an HSNY membership?

Joining HSNY as a member shows that you care deeply about advancing the art and science of horology. HSNY’s vast membership is what allows our non-profit to offer such a wide range of educational programs and deliver its critical financial assistance every year.

In terms of tangible benefits, all HSNY members receive an exclusive lapel pin. Members also receive priority access to lectures and special events, immediate access to video-recorded lectures, and library access in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.

What have been some of the highlights of your tenure as the President of HSNY, and how does your role now change?

Every year in late March, I make a number of phone calls to watchmaking students across the country to let them know that they have been awarded the Henry B. Fried Scholarship. These phone calls are a definite highlight for me, as I know how difficult it is for students to balance studying and paying their bills.

Every year in the U.S., more watchmakers retire than graduate. HSNY will continue to do everything possible to help watchmaking students, including expanding our financial assistance programs. I also greatly enjoy meeting the lecturers that travel to New York to speak at HSNY. I have learned so much from our world-class speakers, and I am very much looking forward to restarting our lecture series in September (in an online format).

As Executive Director, my responsibilities will now include all of the operational aspects of the organization. This year has been very challenging for the entire watchmaking industry. I am looking forward to meeting those challenges with HSNY, and making a positive contribution to the art and science of horology.

 

Aldis Hodge, HSNY Trustee

How did you initially learn about the Horological Society of New York? 

When I began teaching myself how to design watches at around nineteen years old, I sought every way to self-educate. I started studying the history of horology, which is how I stumbled upon HSNY.

Aldis Hodge,HSNY Trustee

 

I would fly back and forth to New York City often for work, and whenever I was there I’d try to attend the meetings to learn. I wanted to begin establishing my own connective community within the city so that every time I went there, I’d be able to maintain a constant state of educational growth.

I knew of Nick Manousos and his accomplishments, and as I remember it, I met him at one of the meetings. I approached him really as an admirer of his prior and current work. We kicked up a conversation, which turned into a friendship and the rest is history.

What has your involvement with the Society been up to this point? 

I’ve been a proud member of HSNY since 2016. My travel schedule is demanding but luckily requires me to be in New York City often, so I attend lectures whenever possible. I remember the day I received my membership lapel pin and I still wear it proudly today.

How will that change now that you are a Trustee? 

Now that I’m a Trustee, I have the opportunity and responsibility to directly impact the Society. I can use my voice to represent HSNY and contribute to its growth. I’m excited about the challenges that lie ahead and I’ve already discussed several of my ideas with the board. I’m determined to accomplish the goals set forth within the time frame of my tenure.

What do you see as the Society’s responsibility to the watchmaking industry? 

Education, education, education! As a seasoned designer, I’ve realized that the primary challenge of maintaining the validity of traditional watchmaking is obtained through education.

I love having conversations with people that may spark a newfound interest in horology or a new way to appreciate our artistically mechanical world from a refreshed perspective.

I really enjoy teaching people about ways to understand value and quality regarding the many difficult techniques that we as horologists apply when creating our work. And my joy is equally matched when I get to introduce someone to the world of “independent watchmaking”.

I also see a great opportunity for HSNY’s continued efforts to be a major asset towards the resurgence of American horological manufacturing. This, I would dare to say, is the potential accomplishment I’m most ambitious about being a part of.

My mind overflows with ideas about the jobs and opportunities we could create, the horological wonders we could develop, and the history that we could establish. There was once a time when America was known for great watchmaking and that time has come yet again.