Let us look at choices
An independent watchmaker is put on a pedestal because of what he creates and not because of what he can repair.
If collectors are to repose greater faith in these creations and part with their large sums of money to obtain those creations, the service issue is the elephant in the room and indeed is to be addressed.
Two ways ;
The watchmaker has enough apprentices that learn the craft from him ( eg RW.Smith and Daniels) that can continue to develop further and maintain the legacy pieces.
Or; the watchmaker can ensure that someone like AHCI becomes the custodian of the designs and certifies via a postWOSTEP ( or similar) course that certain brilliant graduates are competent to handle the independent masterpieces. Perhaps the AHCI can design a course and a committee of AHCI can certify the candidates fit for independent watch repairs
To assume that other trained watchmakers may mishandle or destroy a watch would be unfair as even many independent master watchmakers have gotten to what they are now, by virtue of their skills being sharpened by WOSTEP or ETVJ; or Kelloseppakoulu Finland; or Ecole Horlogere de Paris etc..
If I recall right, Dufour did go to ETVJ and Kari Voutilainen to Kellosppakoulu and then to WOSTEP, Vianney Halter went to EdHP as did FPjourne. Peter Speake Marin, Stephen Forsey ( greubel forsey), Guilio Papi ( Renaud et Papi) and Sarpaneva went to WOSTEP
As long as we have these top schools, and good graduates coming out of those, the AHCI can create a viable center of excellence for independent watch repairs.