How To Become A Horologist Or Watchmaker

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Are you passionate about watches and want to know how to become a horologist? The world of horology is a very fascinating field but how can one get into it and become a horologist?

If you are wondering about the same questions then you are reading the right article! In this article, I will tell you exactly how you can become a horologist and I will also tell you what is a horologist, what exactly a horologist does, and what are the career options after you become one.

So, without wasting much time, let’s get into it!

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What Is A Horologist?

Before we look at the ways of becoming a horologist, let us first understand who exactly is a horologist and what exactly they do in their everyday life.

What Is A Horologist

Horology is the study of time and a horologist is the one that is skilled in the theory or practice of horology. In simple words horology is the art of designing, making, and repairing a watch or a clock. And a horologist is the person that studies horology and then designs, makes, and repairs a watch or clock.

What Does A Horologist Do?

Let us now look at the tasks that a horologist has to do in their day-to-day life so that you can be sure whether you want to be one or not!

The main tasks of a horologist are as follows:

1) Designing A Watch

The top of the line horologists are the ones that design a watch. Designing a watch needs a lot of expertise and experience and only a few of the horologists around the world could reach this level. As it is needless to say the design of the watch can either make it an exquisite timepiece or an absolute nightmare.

2) Making A Watch

After the design, the main part is actually making the watch. This process is all about bringing the design of the watch to real life. It also requires a lot of experience and expertise because it does not matter how great the watch design is, if it is not implemented well then the overall watch could turn out to be a worse product.

Nowadays this process is handled by machines while making cheap and affordable watches. But the luxury watches these days are still made with bare hands and the machine intervention is actually very little.

3) Servicing Or Repairing A Watch

Like any other man-made thing, maintaining a watch and keeping it running needs servicing and repairs. This process also requires good knowledge and experience however many watchmakers start their careers with this process after learning horology.

How To Become A Horologist?

Now that we know what a horologist is and what they do, let us now look at the ways of becoming a watchmaker.

Like any other profession, there are actually 2 ways of becoming a watchmaker. One is by completing a horology course from a school, college, or university, and the other is by working as an apprentice under an experienced and skillful watchmaker.

How To Become A Horologist

Let us look at these options one by one in detail:

1) Going to Horology School

You can go to horology schools that offer a watchmaking course and get certified as a horologist. Horology courses are generally of 3 years duration and there are many good colleges and universities around the world that are offering horology courses these days. Some of the best horology schools in the world are situated in Switzerland. Therefore, if you want to learn from the best in the world then you should definitely consider moving to Switzerland in case you do not already live there.

The drawback of opting for a horology course is that not every one of them offers a practical and hands-on experience, which is very essential if you are really serious about being a good horologist. So, before enrolling in any horology course do enquire about the practical knowledge that they will be providing.

However, the good thing about opting for a horologist course is that you get certified once you complete the course. This certification can be really important if you are considering to be working for a reputed watch giant in the world.

2) Working As An Apprentice

If you do not want to spend or do not have the money to afford a horology course then you can work as an apprentice under an experienced watchmaker and learn the nuances of watchmaking. Gaining hands-on and practical experience is the best way to learn anything, especially horology.

But there are some drawbacks of working as an apprentice. First of all, in today’s world, it is very difficult to find an apprenticeship if you do not have any prior knowledge. Secondly, if you plan to switch to multinational watch-making companies in the world then they might not consider your experience as an apprentice without any certification.

What Are The Options After Becoming A Watchmaker?

So now that you know how to become a horologist, the next question that must be arising in your mind is what to do after becoming a horologist?

Career Options For A Horologist

You have two options once you get certified as a horologist:

1) Work For Somebody

You can get a job in any of the watch-making companies around the world or you can work for a local store that makes and repairs watches.

2) Start On Your Own

Once you know the know-how of watchmaking then you can start on your own. You can start your own little watch-making and repairing store and then can take it further. If you look at the history of the major watch manufacturers around the world then one thing that you will find common in all of them is that they all got started as a small watch store somewhere in the world.


How Long Does It Take To Become A Watchmaker?

All the horology courses around the world are generally of 3 years. So, it takes around 3 years to become a horologist.

How Do People Become Watchmakers?

People become horologists by either going to a horology school or by working as an apprentice under an experienced watchmaker.

What Is A Watchmaker Called?

A watchmaker is called a horologist.

Do Watchmakers Still Exist?

Yes, watchmakers do exist. How do you think new watches are getting made?

Where Can I Study Horology?

You can study horology in a horology school.

Tom Nielson

Tom's love for watches started when his grandfather gifted him his Rolex watch when he turned 18! Being a teenager it was a big deal for him. Later when he got his first job he bought Fossil Palm Pilot back in 2003 which was a smartwatch. Since then smartwatches have come a long way and so is Tom's love for them. His experience with watches inspired him to start Wearholic and share his knowledge of wearables including watches, smartwatches, smart glasses, & smart clothing.

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