In consideration of yesterday’s declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) constitutes a global pandemic, and at the request of local health officials, we are saddened to announce the postponement of Time-Con and the American Timepiece Fair.
Yesterday Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio issued an executive order requesting the cancellation of all large gatherings. We have been discussing the impact of the coronavirus on our event with local health officials for several weeks. Yesterday, Hamilton County Health Officials determined that “because the majority of Time-Con attendees are traveling from out of state, the best decision for the health and safety of attendees and the people of Ohio is to cancel or postpone the event.”
We will work as quickly as possible to determine new dates for Time-Con. Smaller classes offered by AWCI are not affected by this cancellation and most of them will continue to go forward as scheduled. This is, however, a constantly changing situation and we will communicate any further changes as they happen.
Before we announced the postponement of Time-Con, I received the following note from one of our members who would have been unable to attend Time-Con because of a compromised immune system and the fear of the coronavirus:
“The Time-Con conventions have been a huge part of the watch industry and have improved every year. I think it’s important that people are attending the educational classes. I really enjoy talking and working with Tom Schomaker and Bernhard Stoeber, along with David Lindow.”
“I was really looking forward to “Practical Gear Cutting for the Horologist,” but unfortunately, my heart and diabetic doctors do not want me to fly anywhere because of the coronavirus and my underlying conditions. I was looking forward to working with David on some of the watch gears, and pinions. And yes, I said pinions; I’m cutting one and it’s driving me nuts, so was looking forward to discussing it.”
I would agree. Although our membership numbers are smaller now than at any time in our 60-year history the quality of our education continues to improve. Our conventions are amazing experiences. For those of you who have attended a recent convention, I invite you to share your experience with every watchmaker and clockmaker that you know because the one thing I can promise is we continue working to make each Time-Con better than the last!