Watch Repairers Career Video
Description: Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks. Includes watchmakers, watch technicians, and mechanical timepiece repairers.
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.