A guide to becoming a watchmaker


Watchmaking is a trade that requires great amounts of knowledge and expertise in order to do it correctly. For that reason, it is not a job that you can just jump into. Watchmakers start off with a degree in watchmaking or micromechanics, and then go on to pursue an apprenticeship with a master watchmaker or a major timepiece company, such as Rolex or Omega.

After the proper training and experience is obtained, the apprentice may get certified and go out looking to start his or her own watchmaking shop, work in someone else’s, or find a job repairing watches.

detail of clockwork

The degree in watchmaking covers a wide variety of skills. One thing that needs to be learned is how to manipulate the tiny metal pieces found inside the watch. The metal has to be cut, filed, threaded, and polished to precise measurements if the parts are to work as planned. Another import part of the learning process has to do with the gears, assembly, and setting of all of the components, so that the watch keeps time accurately. Then, casing and polishing need to be learned to produce a finished product. Of course, this short list is a brief overview of the main parts of a learning program, and there are training courses in the UK that offer classes for all of these skills.


To find an apprenticeship, there are a couple of options. It is best, of course, to find a master watchmaker and work under his or her guidance, but it is also possible to do your training at one of the big-name timepiece companies.

Working for a large company can give you access to more state-of-the-art equipment and tools, and they always have a very specific way of doing things. Working for the master watchmaker, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to learn more from the personal experience of the master, while at the same time developing a personal style with the craft.

If you have an eye for detail and enjoy working on intricate mechanical devices on an extremely small scale, watchmaking just may be the career for you. It is a highly respectable job that will always be in demand.

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