By Brecken Branstrator
New York—As the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative celebrates its first graduating class, Bulova has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to support its continuation and growth.

Launched in 2017, VWI is a school for wounded or disabled veterans to learn skills for watchmaking. It claims to be the only technical school devoted to disabled veterans in the United States.

The idea for the school started years ago with Sam Cannan, a retired police officer from Baltimore who trained in Switzerland and has been a watchmaker for decades. He designed it to mirror the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking, which opened in 1946 to train disabled servicemen at no cost but closed in the late 1990s.

There is no cost for veterans to take classes at VWI; it is underwritten largely by the watchmaking industry, grants and private donations.

Bulova has been a sponsor of the initiative since its launch, and even hosted the first graduating class at its offices in the Empire State Building to both celebrate their achievement and officially launch the GoFundMe campaign.

Bulova said it will match up to $10,000 of donations made to VWI via the campaign through June 28.

All funds raised will support VWI as it continues its teaching mission and builds a new campus on four acres of donated land in Middletown, Delaware.

For more information or to make a donation, visit

“Bulova is proud to continue supporting the efforts of the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative that reprises a worthy program from Bulova’s past,” Managing Director Michael Benavente said. “We are honored to support the needs of men and women who have personally sacrificed to protect our nation and develop them into technical experts that will keep our industry strong and moving forward.”

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