May 2020 NAWCC NEWS & eBlast
This May 2020 edition of your NAWCC eBlast is all about the online offerings you are entitled to as members but, I would be remiss if I did not take a paragraph to thank all of our member who responded to our recent appeals. Since April 13 we have received just over $10,000 from members who have elected to let us keep their 2020 National registration fees. We have also received just over $15,000 in donations most of which will be matched from other generous members. So, thank you very much and now on to the main topic of this newsletter.
Since a lot of us have been cooped up at home for quite a while and since a lot of our physical NAWCC events have been canceled, I thought it might be timely to highlight one of the best of our NAWCC online resources. The NAWCC Message Board has been around for years and is used by both members and non-members. That said, our analysis of the usage shows that most members don't take advantage of all of its many resources.
I thought the best way to talk about this great and under-used NAWCC resource would be to interview our new Senior Message Board Administrator, Dave Coatsworth. Dave is a longtime member and officer of Chapter 190 in Ventura, CA. He is both a watch and clock collector. I hope you will all take the time to read what Dave has to say and to visit your NAWCC Message board. Dave has provided some links below.
As Dave notes, very soon, hopefully by the end of May or the beginning of June, you will be seeing a completely new NAWCC website. The new site will make finding our treasure trove of online assets much easier. Anyway, it was my pleasure to talk with Dave and I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I have.
NAWCC Board of Directors
NAWCC Development Committee Chair
John: Congratulations and thank you for becoming the new Senior Administrator of the NAWCC Message Board. I think it would be helpful for the members who do not know you to know who Dave Coatsworth is. Could you tell us a bit about your life, how you got interested in Horology and what you collect?
Dave: I was born in Southern California 60 years ago and, like most kids, had a keen interest in taking mechanical objects apart. After high school, I went to UCLA where I earned a degree in Mathematics/Computer Science. I then went to work at Lockheed as a software developer. A key theme here is that I always enjoyed problem solving and this education and career track satisfied that need.
I also enjoyed working with my hands and took up woodworking as a hobby. All of this life experience seemed to coalesce when I reached my late 30's and discovered antique clocks. Here was something mechanical that I could take apart, figure out what was wrong with it, fix it and put it back together. I even designed and built my own clock!
It was during this period that I discovered and joined the NAWCC. This collecting phase went on for about five years until I discovered pocket watches. Here I found my passion. I started selling and trading to fuel this passion and soon started Dave's Watch Parts and Tools as a selling venue. I taught myself how to repair watches and soon added repair services to my business offerings.
I recently retired from the software business so that I could dedicate full time to my watch business. Today my focus is collecting and researching private label watches, especially those produced by the Illinois Watch Company.
John: How long have you been a participant and or an admin on the message board?
Dave: I joined the message board in 2005. A few years later, I had developed a fairly significant knowledge of horological tools and noticed that the Horological Tools forum did not have a moderator, so I volunteered. About three years ago, I became moderator of the American Pocket Watch forum. Last year, I was promoted to Forums Administrator and now to Senior Administrator.
John: I too have been a long-time active participant on the MB. I have learned so much from my interactions there. However, I have always been amazed at what a small percentage of our membership participates in what I think is one of the most important NAWCC assets. What do you think are the benefits of MB participation and what can we do to stimulate more participation?
Dave: The benefits are twofold. First and foremost, we have over 20 years of acquired knowledge represented on the MB. If a member has a question, it's probably been answered, or there will be another member online who knows the answer. That's the practical benefit. The second is the camaraderie. The MB is a community and, like any community, provides members with the opportunity to interact with other members. This might be an especially important benefit given the physical restrictions of the COVID-19 environment today. With all of the physical meetings being cancelled, the MB is one place where members can still gather to discuss their horological passions.
John: Do you foresee any changes or new features for the MB in the near to medium future?
Dave: The first change everyone will see in May will come with the newly redesigned nawcc.org website and corresponding changes to the MB. There will now be a much tighter coupling between the two in order to clearly identify them as a single brand. Secondly, we have some ideas in the works to make the message board more approachable to new members.
Today the message board represents an incredible wealth of knowledge, unparalleled in cyberspace. This has been developed by hundreds of members who give willingly of their time and vast knowledge. This can, at times, be intimidating to the new collector. We are working to become more welcoming and friendly to the new collector and casual user and hope that all existing members join us in this endeavor. It is these new members that represent the future of the NAWCC. I am confident that an initial positive experience on the MB can lead to membership in the NAWCC for many.
John: Could you list links to a couple of your favorite forums on the MB for new users. Maybe one or two for each for clock and watch people and perhaps a link for general NAWCC information.
Dave: Here's a thread that has become sort of a virtual Chapter meeting show-and-tell in response to the COVID-19 epidemic: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/i-got-a-right-to-sing-the-covid-blues-but-lets-talk-about-interesting-items-in-our-collections.167420/page-3#post-1364140. All sorts of wonderful horological items are being shared in this thread.
If you are interested in Jerome clocks, this is a particularly comprehensive and interesting thread: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/some-jerome-clocks-for-viewing.38723/
As a collector of private label watches, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the jumping off point for private label research: https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/private-label-research.149213/
Finally, if you have any questions or need help with anything, please do not hesitate to contact a moderator. https://mb.nawcc.org/moderators/. We are here to help.
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