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Apprenticeship?

by Jordan Ficklin

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about my watchmaking school experience but is it the only way to become a watchmaker? Well, no. If you can find a master watchmaker in your area you could apprentice (assuming he is willing.) In today’s world this may be a great opportunity because the master watchmaker is probably well past retirement age and you may just be able to take over his shop and clients. Watchmakers in the western United States are few and far between and since that is where I want to live the apprenticeship thing just wouldn’t work for me.

I would caution anyone wanting to take this approach to be sure and seek out a Master watchmaker. The word master comes from the latin word meaning teacher. You want a watchmaker who has high quality skills both as a watchmaker and as a teacher. You might contact AWCI for a recommendation and ask around at different jewelry shops but be sure and check some references.

Sometimes I wish I worked with a master watchmaker, but alas, I do not. Lucky for me I do have an ever expanding network of watchmakers I can reach out to when I need a little extra help. Communication is key for aspiring watchmakers. When a trade is perceived as a potential lost art there should be no secrets. Share and share alike.

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