Tribute to Harry Wysong

1917 - 2007

I would like to dedicate this page to pay tribute to Harry Wysong. Harry Wysong and Cecil Mulholland were the most senior watchmakers in Austin, the most respected and revered members of the Austin Watchmakers' Guild.

Harry was born in 1917 in Indiana, where he lived until he left high-school to study at the Bowman Technical Institute, where he earned a two-year Diploma in Watchmaking. At age 19, in 1936, he was hired by the Hamilton Watch Company, where he was involved in the timing and casing of new watches, and in hairspring vibrating.

Harry took three watchmaking certification exams offered by the Horological Institute of America. In one exam he had the highest score in the entire United States that year, which caught the attention of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, resulting in a good job for him. He worked for them until the end of WWII in Cumberland, MD. Railroad inspectors were required to have their watches checked and adjusted for timekeeping every month, and overhauled every year, plenty of work for Harry.

After the War, Harry went to work for Rogers Jewelry in Akron, OH, soon becoming their head watchmaker. He left to open his own store in 1948.

Harry earned the Certified Horologist qualification in 1948. This qualification was higher than the Certified Master Watchmaker offered today because the former required the making of replacement watch parts by hand (such as the balance staff) as part of the exam.

In 1960, Harry became a Certified Bulova Accutron Technician. He decided to specialize in Accutrons, and today he receives Accutrons for repair from all over the United States because of the desperate shortage of craftsmen who can repair Accutrons.

After owning several stores and living in Ohio, Vermont, and Florida, Harry moved to Austin, Texas, in 1979, opening his store on Anderson Lane, just East of Burnet Road. Health problems forced him to close his store in 1989, when he moved his repair shop to his home and left the sales and retail end of the business. He has been working out of his home since then.

At age 89, Harry still repaired Accutrons, quartz watches, antique and modern mechanical watches, and clocks. If it ticked, Harry could repair it!

Does the photo of Harry remind you of the Norman Rockwell "Watchmaker" painting below?

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