The SSC gets a new board

Michele Fazzone

On the threshold of its centenary, the SSC remains as youthful as ever.  Every three years, the SSC elects a new board, whose personality and commitment contribute to the development of the almost 100-year-old society.

In the midst of the pandemic, the current leadership faces major challenges, including strengthening communication and links with professional institutions.

Study Days, the International Congress of Chronometry, breakfasts, adjustment competitions and the publication of the Bulletin are the main activities of the Swiss Chronometry Society (SSC). On the threshold of its centenary, which it will celebrate in 2024, the SSC wishes to strengthen its communication, especially in relation to young people in training.

The Swiss Chronometry Society was founded on October 5th 1924 with the aim of promoting the expertise of all watch industry professions. In a world where innovation is crucial, it constitutes a genuine platform for information, for sharing and promoting knowledge. It also acts as a link between the various training institutions and the watch industry. Its role is therefore vital for the sector.

With its 1,400 or so members, the SSC mainly encompasses watchmakers, technicians, engineers and professionals as well as companies involved in this field. It is run by an Executive Board and a Committee. The members of these bodies represent the different regions, institutions, watchmaking companies and partners. The regions are divided into four groups: Bern, Jura, Solothurn, Basel and German-speaking Switzerland; Geneva; Neuchâtel; Vaud, Valais, Fribourg and Ticino. The SCC is also supported by various watchmaking partners, such as the ASRH, Centredoc, COSC, CSEM, Haute Ecole Arc, EPFL and FH.

The members of the Board change every three years. At the beginning of this year, Michele Fazzone, Manufacturing Director at Jaeger-LeCoultre, took up his post as the new Chairman. Chosen by the outgoing Chairman, Nicolas Clerc, who completed his term of office at the end of 2020, Michele Fazzone has set up his own bureau: scientific committee, treasurer and secretary. It is composed of members not only from the Canton of Vaud but indeed all from the Vallée de Joux and key figures from this community will thus be at the helm over the next three years. They will notably be responsible for organising two Study Days and an International Congressof Chronometry.

Study Day
The next Study Day, which will be held on September 28th at the Swisstech Convention Center in Lausanne, will have as its theme: “New complications in the watchmaking world?” This day, which is always very technical, is open to all: SSC members, non-members and students. In addition to the topics covered, networking is also a strong point of this annual gathering. Until 2019, this event regularly attracted around some 700 people. While Covid changed everything in 2020, the organisers maintained the event, which was streamed.

Based on new experience, the current board has decided to maintain this presentation mode, even after the pandemic is over. A mixed version is therefore planned for 2021, i.e. face-to-face, with a limited number of people depending on the health restrictions of the moment, as well as live streaming. This hybrid mode thus enables a considerably larger audience, as the number of participants is no longer limited to the capacity of a room. It also makes it easy for people living abroad to take part.

For this autumn’s event, the bureau is targeting a younger turnout. It has in fact contacted around 70 watchmaking schools, universities and training centres linked to the industry. The aim is for each of these training institutions to allow students to follow the Study Day via streaming within their schools. This promising generation represents the next generation. They are the ones who will give fresh impetus to the SSC in a few years.

Adjustment Competition
Involving around 25 training centres, the Adjustment Competition is an annual challenge for students and participating schools. This year, 138 participants are taking part in the ongoing challenge. In accordance with annual tradition, the laureates will be announced during the Study Day or the International Congress of Chronometry. This is an intense moment for the winners, who will be sure to highlight this distinction on their resume upon their graduation.

Watchmaking breakfasts
Organised in turn by the various watchmaking regions, the breakfasts take place once or twice a year. Focusing on a specific theme, they take the form of lectures or presentation-debates. The most recent one, organised by the Neuchâtel section, was held on May 6th this year by videoconference. Its theme was: “flexure (compliant) mechanisms in watchmaking”. In the course of the morning, four micro-lectures dealt with specific subjects such as conceptual theory, underlying material properties and actual watchmaking applications.

Throughout the year
Apart from the key events mentioned above, the SSC makes its presence felt throughout the year through its Bulletin, which is published twice a year. It includes society activities and technical articles.

The SSC also offers direct access to watchmaking know-how through a chronometry database, available on the Internet and through an application. A veritable well of information, the latter contains all the proceedings of the Study Days and International Chronometry Congresses, as well as watchmaking articles from other sources. This technical and scientific reference tool is available by subscription.

Expanded communication
Michele Fazzone and his bureau will implement an enhanced communication strategy throughout their three-year term of office. In parallel to the streamed Study Days, the SSC will be active on social media (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn). This dynamic approach mainly targets a younger audience and this mode of communication enable it to keep in touch with interested parties throughout the year by means of pre-conferences or targeted advertising for upcoming events.

Michele Fazzone, new Chairman
Michele Fazzone has been working for Jaeger-LeCoultre for more than 25 years and has known the Maison since his childhood. His parents worked there for more than 40 years and it was behind the scenes at Jaeger-LeCoultre that his love for watchmaking was born. A student at the Vallée de Joux Technical School (ETVJ), he continued his studies at the University of Geneva where he obtained a degree in finance. Active within the SSC since 1997, he is intensely involved in watchmaking life through his various professional commitments: member of the ETVJ School Council, President of the ETVJ Foundation Board and member of the Employers’ Federation for Professional Training.

With its new bureau, the SSC is keen to expand and welcome new members in order to share watchmaking expertise more widely.

June 10, 2021