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New watchmaking curriculum

by Jordan Ficklin

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I reported a while back about the interesting development at Oklahoma State where they dropped their WOSTEP recognition. It appears they will be getting it back under a new program developed by Rolex. National Jeweler and Via Luxe report today the creation of a new standardized watchmaking program created by Rolex to be implemented at four watchmaking schools in the United States. It looks like it is an exciting time in watchmaking education. Today’s watchmakers will likely be the best prepared of any time in history. Let us just hope there will be enough of them to fill the void.

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  1. Tony
    Posted November 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Yep, we actually had a discussion about this the other week at school. SAWTA!

  2. Posted November 20, 2008 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    You beat me to the punch J.Peter. This is great news! I caught both of those headlines today as well. I think that the best part of the new implementation is the standardized accreditation across the board. The students receive their SAWTA, AWCI21, and WOSTEP certificates in fell swoop. Consider yourself quite blessed Tony. I look forward to hearing more about when they will open up the testing to post-graduates.

  3. Posted November 21, 2008 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Is there still the shortage in watchmakers people were writing about several years ago? Are the schools still being underwritten? I’ve seen watchmaker job boards with few jobs and many job seekers.

  4. J.Peter
    Posted November 21, 2008 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Tony, we all look forward to any additional insight you feel you could give us on SAWTA.

  5. J.Peter
    Posted November 21, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Permalink


    The fact that Rolex and Swatch Group are operating full time schools speaks volumes to the fact that they feel the need for watchmakers is great. Richemont is also scheduled to open a school soon. In addition to their own school Rolex contributes millions to help fund three other schools in the U.S. and at least two others around the world.

    My personal experience is that there is plenty of work for many more qualified watchmakers and the demand will only rise in coming years as many watchmakers retire and the 647 swiss watchmaking companies continue to sell watches.

  6. Tony
    Posted November 21, 2008 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    I’ll give everyone a little more in depth insight on SAWTA in a few days. It’s actually really neat and my class (2010) is the first class to incorporate this. We’re actually more of a hybrid if anything.

  7. thomas
    Posted January 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I am currently enrolled at OSU. I started in January for a two year program. The SAWTA curriculum is demanding but is designed to make a more well rounded watchmaker, not just a person to work at a service. I am excited and proud to say that the OSU facility is top notch, along with the instructors. There are ten students in my first year class and six in the second year class, who will be graduating in december.

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