Interested in Watch Making?

6303 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Wolfdog

Great photo diary of a student trying to catch up to speed in the world of a Watch making. Still several months away from working on Movement assembly too!

North Seattle Community College

Spanning the disciplines of high technology and European craftsmanship, students at North Seattle Community College’s Watch Technology Institute are learning a trade that is in demand around the world. With certification from the Watchmakers of Switzerland Technical Education Program (WOSTEP), graduates can expect to find employment quickly.

That’s because half of the country’s 5,000 to 6,000 trained U.S. watchmakers are expected to retire in the next 10 to 20 years. Yet, North America’s watch training schools only graduate about 80 people annually, according to Jewelers' Circular Keystone (JCK,) the jewelry industry's leading trade publication.

Nine students will take a major step toward earning WOSTEP certification and a good job the week of August 17 as they take an 18 ½-hour final examination administered by a WOSTEP official from Switzerland. The two and a half-day examination tests the students as they overhaul a quartz analog watch, an automatic watch, a chronograph watch and the theory of horology.

NSCC's Watch Technology Institute is one of only three WOSTEP-accredited training programs in this country and the only one west of the Mississippi. The American Watch Association identifies the NSCC Institute as among the country’s top watchmaking schools. The college’s program incorporates 3,000 hours of training over a period of two years. Students can also earn an associate of arts degree by participating in the program. The program begins each fall.

“Success in the examination garners the WOSTEP certification, a jewel in the crown of any aspiring craftsman,” said instructor Elaine Rolf, a former co-manager of the repair division for Ben Bridge chain of jewelry stores.

She adds, “But achieving the jewel does require hard work. This program is rigorous and has high standards. We expect our students to spend at least 40 hours a week in their studies and require potential students to take an entrance exam consisting of a series of tests and an interview. These tests ensure that students can meet the rigorous requirements that are required in the field of watch repair such as eye-hand coordination, steady hands, depth perception, memorizing parts and their position/order.

North Seattle has been a WOSTEP Partnership school since 1994 and enjoys other partnerships with Ben Bridge Jewelers and Rolex, from whom it received a $1 million grant in 2000 to continue to grow and to offer cutting-edge instruction.

“Our responsibility towards the young people of today and tomorrow is to enable them to master a profession, to enjoy it and to be able to offer well appreciated services through their knowledge and skills. North Seattle Community College is helping us meet the needs of the Swiss Watch Industry,” WOSTEP Director Antoine Simonin said.

WOSTEP,an independant and neutral institution located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, is recognized as an exemplary training center in the field of watchmaking and an essential link in the chain of success that Swiss horological products enjoy on international markets. This unique institution is financed by its members, which includes leading Swiss watch brands, watchmaking organizations, other associated sectors and retailers in Switzerland and around the world.

WOSTEP provides services for the Swiss watch industry and its representatives around the world. It has been coordinating the Partnership with watchmaking worldwide since 1992.

The aim of this program is to improve and standardize training internationally within the field of watchmaking. The Partnership offers its services in English, French and German. Students who pass the final examinations in a WOSTEP-approved school are awarded the WOSTEP certificate, which is recognized throughout the world as a superior qualification in watchmaking.

Currently, there are 14 WOSTEP Partnership watchmaking schools in six different countries: USA, China, Japan, Sweden, France and Germany. There are three Partnership schools in the United States, of which NSCC is one. More information on the North Seattle Watchmaking Technology Institute is available by calling Rolf at (206) 526-0169. 7/07/03
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i just saw an recruitment ad in Singapore recruiting people to learn the art of watch making and the shortlisted person will be send to swiss to learn from the "master". Man, if i am 10years younger and not married, i would apply. Just think of all the swiss babe and the hot bod in the cold snow...
Hmm, which recruitment advertisement and was it one of the big local players sponsoring?


Cant remember exactly but recall i seeing hour glass logo there or something...
I generally do not agree with singapore being more educated and sophisticated and commanding higher pay part and thus they buy high/mid range swiss watch. Let just face it, no young people out there know what their branded or expensive watch movement model is. They will only know it is swiss movement. Having strong currency is the main factor why singaporean are buying. Have you been to reputable watch shop mass discount sale? If Singaporean is really spending big time on watches then i guess those mass discount stock would not exist. And have you seem pre-own shop selling PP or UN and etc. It is actually those past middle age professional, the rich man child and the Ah Beng(why cause i am once a Ah bang too) buying high/mid range watches. Another reason why singapore has high watch sale is also because the foreigner exec and tourist are pouring here to buy and man the chinese buy three to four pairs per transcation. I respect those people from manila,malaysia and china. They really enjoy and willing to pay high prices for swiss watch considering that their currency is not so strong.
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Mr Wolf, funny that you mentioned about seagull, i am thinking of getting one of their tourbillon just for keeping sake and you seem to have a great deal at 100USD. You purchase online?. You happen to heard of the company called tourbillion watch or something before(they are base in europe)? I seem their watch in person and believe they supply tourbillion movement to establish swiss watch maker.
No worry, i wont breaks rules here(got banned for a while in other forums once for breaking rules). I saw seagull price in their own website but most likey going down to China in Aug08 to take a look before i plan any purchase. The tourbillion watch company or something is a geniune Tourbillion movement producer in europe. Saw their watch in a shop and surprise to fine it selling there cause the watch sell mostly Rolex. Thanks for your input.Cheers
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