In Summary - Horologist
Horologists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos on the Web
- Horologist- from: Youtube Search
- Watchmaker - from: YouTube Video
- Watch or Clock Repairer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
The Work - Horologist
A Watch and Clock Technician repairs, services and maintains all kinds of watches and clocks, from antiques and mechanical models, to the latest quartz electronic models. Although new parts are mostly imported, a trained repairer should be able to make parts if necessary.
The trade requires wide experience of the various types of watches and clocks, intensive training and a high degree of skill.
The wide range of skills that watch and clock repairers gain often leads them to specialise in a particular area. For example, a watch repairer will be expected to have gained the skills necessary to repair both mechanical and quartz watches but may decide to specialise in one area.
Some repairers specialise in electrical/electronic work. Other areas of specialisation include the restoration of antique watches and clocks.
Watch repair involves cleaning, oiling and fitting replacement parts. Repairers also fit and alter watch straps. The repair and maintenance of antique clocks is a very specialised job. Repairers would need to know how to manage all the original inner workings of such clocks.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Assemble and install components of timepieces to complete mechanisms, using watchmakers' tools and loupes.
- Observe operation of timepiece parts and subassemblies to determine accuracy of movement, and to diagnose causes of defects.
- Test operation and fit of timepiece parts and subassemblies, using electronic testing equipment, tweezers, watchmakers' tools, and loupes.
- Replace specified parts to repair malfunctioning timepieces, using watchmakers' tools, loupes, and holding fixtures.
- Disassemble timepieces such as watches, clocks, and chronometers so that repairs can be made.
- Clean and lubricate timepiece parts and assemblies, using solvents, buff sticks, and oil.
- Examine components of timepieces such as watches, clocks, or chronometers for defects, using loupes or microscopes.
- Bend parts, such as hairsprings, pallets, barrel covers, and bridges, to correct deficiencies in truing or endshake, using tweezers.
- Change timing weights on balance wheels to correct deficient timing.
- Adjust sizes or positioning of timepiece parts to achieve specified fit or function, using calipers, fixtures, and loupes.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interests - Horologist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Repairers need to be patient, practical people with good hand skills and good eyesight. You must be able to work with accuracy, precision and an eye for detail. It is also necessary to be able to measure and calculate correctly and, in some cases, produce technical drawings. A mechanical aptitude is essential.
Self-employed repairers need selling skills, a well-developed business sense and the ability to get on with many different types of customers. Repairers who visit customers in their homes need a pleasant, cheerful manner. You would need to be able to relate to customers and help them with their problems.
Some repairers need to be able to spend long hours sitting at a workbench. All repairers must have good concentration and the ability to work on their own.
Entry Requirements - Horologist
There are no specific entry requirements to get into horology.
One option is to find a trainee position with a watch/clock repair company who would then put you through their own training programme.
You could also start with a course in watch and clock repair. [The Irish Swiss Institute of Horology was the main training ground in Ireland, but unfortunately it is no longer in existence].
A UK college remains an option for accredited training. After completing a basic repair course, you could move on to a more in-depth training like the Level 3 Diploma in Clock and Watch Servicing, which can take up to 12 months. The Diploma may be offered by the same training provider that offers basic courses.
It is also possible to do this by distance learning through the industry’s professional body, the British Horological Institute (BHI). The BHI also offers a number of short introductory courses.
Last Updated: October, 2014
Pay & Salary - Horologist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 20k - k
Last Updated: March, 2011
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Horologist
Useful Contacts - Horologist
Irish Antique Dealers Association
Design & Craft Council of Ireland
Irish Horological Craft Forum
The British Horological Institute (BHI)