The Veteran’s Watchmaker Initiative (VWI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that teaches watchmaking and repair skills to wounded and disabled veterans and restores their sense of dignity and purpose.
When Swiss-trained master watchmaker Sam Cannan founded the VWI, he patterned it after the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking founded in 1946 in New York to provide disabled veterans with training and rehabilitation. The school is free of charge to students, and VWI relies on donated funds and equipment to operate.
Please join Bulova in supporting the efforts of this vital school for veterans. During our launch period, Bulova will match donations made to VWI through this site.* All monies raised will support the VWI as it carries on its teaching mission and builds a new campus on four acres of donated land in Middletown, Delaware.
The school’s first class graduated in April 2019 after a six-week watch repair class, followed by intensive 14-month period of study at its campus in Odessa, Delaware. The new graduates have received offers at prestigious companies, and one will remain to teach the next class of watchmakers.
Along with the opportunity for a well-paid career—the unemployment rate for disabled veterans is 83 percent—the students have achieved a sense of camaraderie they’d not experienced since being in the military. “It’s giving a lot of vets a new lease on life,” says graduate Giancarlo Russo.
“I was in the military, and I was injured. When they told me that I was unfit for duty, I felt like I was broken,” says Jason Adams. “The Veterans Watchmaker Initiative brought back a light in me.”
There are hundreds of disabled veterans who are eager to receive this valuable experience. “There are so many vets out there that don’t have this career path,” says Adams. “It gives you drive and motivation—a whole feeling again.”
We salute the new graduates for their service to our country and for the hard work that enabled them to join the time-honored profession of watchmaking.
Bulova is a founding sponsor of the VWI, and is launching this fundraising effort to share the remarkable story of this micro-technology vocational school. Please watch and share these videos and consider making a donation to the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative.
The Veterans Watchmaker Initiative Inc. is the only watchmaker training school exclusively for our veterans in the USA. All Veterans attend the program free of charge.
To learn more about the VWI, visit bulova.com
*From May 24th through June 28th, Bulova will MATCH donations dollar for dollar (up to $10,000).