Representatives from the watch company came to shoot footage for a video commissioned by Bulova about the veterans watchmaking school in Odessa

Two days before Veterans Day, representatives from the Bulova Watch Company and a team of videographers visited the watchmaking school for military veterans in Odessa, a town with a history of watchmaking dating back several centuries.

Founded by Sam Cannan, a Swiss-trained, internationally-certified watchmaker, the school provides tuition-free education to teach veterans the skills of watchmaking under the supervision of professional watchmakers. The school recently celebrated its first anniversary.

The program is based on the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking created in 1945 by Joseph Bulova's son Arde Bulova in an effort “to repay in some small measure, the sacrifice and service of returning disabled veterans after the Second World War,” for disabled veterans. It trained a generation of American watchmakers.

Cannan lives in Dover and makes the daily commute to the school to work with six students nearing graduation. His expertise is in the repair of high-end mechanical watches, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Baume & Mercier, Ebel, Panerai, Tag Heuer, and Breitling. He designed, developed, constructed and equipped state-of-the-art watch labs used as today’s industry standard and has been recognized by the international watch industry. The school has been funded by donations and grants.

On Nov. 9, crews filmed footage for a video commissioned by the Bulova Watch Company about the school.

While the program can only accommodate six at  a time, it has a long list of applicants from across the nation. In addition to the Odessa facility, future plans include the construction of a handicapped-accessible building on four acres of donated land in Middletown that will accommodate as many as 25 veterans who can be trained in various aspects of watch repair and watchmaking.

For more information on assisting in or donating to the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative, see the website www.veteranswatchmakerinitiative.org, email scannan@vwmi.org, or call (302) 465-2421.

A portion of the interview done during the Bulova visit can be seen at www.Bulova.com by clicking on Veterans Watchmaking Initiative.