Fine wristwatches are tiny, intricate machines. Repair and maintenance of these devices requires the talents of highly skilled watch repairers. While modern battery-operated timekeeping devices are often less expensive to replace than to fix, it’s a different story when it comes to luxury watches, chronographs, and antiques. Instead of batteries, they rely on mechanical movements and manual winding springs. That function from an earlier era is achieved through dozens of minute gears and components. Watch repairers use precision instruments and magnifying equipment to inspect each part, then clean, oil and replace it. They may use special metalworking tools to create new components. The work is quiet and fairly solitary, with much time spent at a workbench. Occasionally, large or delicate clocks may require on-site visits for repairs. Even London’s Big Ben needs attention once in a while! Most watch repairers start out as apprentices and learn the trade by studying alongside a master watch repairer, sometimes for several years. Certification programs are available through professional associations as well. Along with mechanical and problem-solving skills, this is a profession that requires great concentration, a steady hand, and exquisite patience. After all, it takes time to keep watches dependable and accurate.
What they do:
Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks. Includes watchmakers, watch technicians, and mechanical timepiece repairers.
On the job, you would:
Oil moving parts of timepieces.
Repair or replace broken, damaged, or worn parts on timepieces, using lathes, drill presses, and hand tools.
Clean, rinse, and dry timepiece parts, using solutions and ultrasonic or mechanical watch-cleaning machines.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Arts and Humanities
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
put together small parts with your fingers
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Sage Software Sage50
Project management software
Upland Consulting Group Repair Traq
Data base user interface and query software
WatchWare Repair Shop
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.