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So you want to be a watchmaker?

by Jordan Ficklin

Some of the most common questions I get from readers of this blog are related to watchmaking school, what the admission process is and how they can become a watchmaker. This is exciting for me because there is a great need for watchmakers and one of my reasons for maintaing this blog is to encourage people to think about the profession of watchmaking. I’ll make an endeavor here to answer some of these types of questions.

Where does somebody study watchmaking?

Here is a list of watchmaking schools in the U.S.A.

How do I apply to a watchmaking school?

Click on one of the links above to go to the schools web page where there will be information regarding application. After filling out the application you may be contacted for a phone interview or a personal interview. You may also have to complete a mechanical aptitude test and a math skills test.

What are the watchmaking schools looking for?

Check out their web pages or read about some of my experiences, be sure to read the comments as well since many questions have been asked and answered there:
The post that started it all
Lititz Watch Technicum
Articles on LWT

I can’t go to school full time, is there any other way to learn the profession?

Learning to become a watchmaker requires thousands of hours of hands on demonstration and practice. This requires either hands on schooling or a lengthy apprenticeship with a master watchmaker. Unfortunately in today’s environment it is very difficult to find a master watchmaker willing to take on an apprentice. Historically apprentices paid for the opportunity to study with a master. In today’s world major corporations pay their apprentices but in the small environment of repair shops with one or two watchmakers the lost income from taking time to instruct makes it very difficult to take on an apprentice. If you want to apprentice with a true master you might consider offering to work for free or marry his son or daughter :) Just kidding!

For those of you looking to talk to some graduates of watchmaking school, or current students you should check out the LWT Students and Alumni page on facebook.

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