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Board of Examiners in Watchmaking, North Dakota
[Authorized: NDCC Section 43-27]

In 1959 the legislature established the North Dakota Board of Examiners in Watchmaking to regulate, supervise, and license all watchmakers and apprentices (S. L. 1959, Ch. 317).  Watchmaking was defined as repairing, replacing, rebuilding, re-adjusting, or regulating the mechanical parts of watches and clocks, as well as the manufacturing or fitting of parts designated for use in watches. Watchmakers working in the state had to be registered by obtaining a certificate of registration from the board.  The board also established regulations and examinations for all apprentices of watchmaking.

The members of the first board had to be appointed by the governor within a sixty-day period after the effective date of the act. There were to be five members on the board and in order to establish staggered terms of office one member was appointed for six years,  one for five years, one for four years, and one for three years as designated by the governor (S. L. 1959, Ch. 317).  Thereafter, all of the appointees served six year terms and had to be residents of the state and practicing watchmakers for at least five years prior to the time of their appointment. At least two members had to be watchmaking employees. Annually the board chose one member as president and one as secretary who were authorized to use the board’s seal when taking affidavits and administering oaths, and the officers chose the times and places of meetings. The board set up the rules and regulations for conducting examinations and defined the standards of workmanship and skill.

Watchmakers who were interested in certification and in taking the examination had to be at least eighteen years old, of good character, and complete the training and experience as determined by the board.  Exam components included knowledge, practical ability, and skill necessary in repairing watches and clocks.  Applicants had to demonstrate their skill in properly using watchmakers’ tools. The certificates of registration expired on the first day of the January each year. Exemptions to taking the exam were given to a watchmaker in good standing and who had been registered and licensed in another state.  Also exempt were veterans, provided an application was made within one year after discharge from service and accompanied by an application fee of ten dollars.

Apprentices also needed certificates. The board was required to establish “suitable and proper uniform apprenticeship regulations” (S. L. 1959, Ch. 317) and it could also retain administrative or legal counsel if necessary in order to set up this program.  A candidate had to be at least sixteen years old and employed by a registered watchmaker. Certificates of the watchmaker and apprentice had to be clearly displayed.

The board established cleaning procedures that included the proper cleaning of all parts of all watches, clocks, or time recording instruments. Workmanship had to guarantee that the necessary services or parts were used in repair. 

Certificates were revoked if fees were not paid, or because of a board error, or in case of fraud on the part of the applicant.  Certificates could also be revoked if the applicant was grossly incompetent, guilty of unethical conduct, or fraudulently represented the profession. All advertising had to be truthful and not misleading. Certificates of registration could not be loaned to another person. The board settled disciplinary measures for unethical conduct which were specifically defined as misleading, deceiving, or defrauding the public. 

In 1985 the legislature repealed Chapter 43-27 of the North Dakota Century Code relating to the Board of Examiners in Watchmaking and the regulation of watchmakers (S. L. 1985, Ch. 486).

CHRONOLOGY
1959       Creation of the North Dakota Board of Examiners in Watchmaking by the legislature (S. L. 1959, Ch. 317). 
1985       The act repealed by the legislature (S. L. 1985, Ch. 486).

SERIES

31505    Records, 1959-1974

SOURCES
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.
                                        

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