Horology and Watch Repair: An Introduction

For centuries humans have sought how to measure time. The need to understand how it can be measured benefited the development of agriculture, astronomy, business, architecture, and in keeping historical records. The ability to measure time is essential to understanding human development and its history.

What Is Horology

The science and art of horology predates even modern timekeeping. It goes back to 2000 BCE. It used astronomical measurements of the moon, stars, and planets. The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations able to track the hours of the day by dividing it into two twelve-hour periods, by using sundials and studying the movement of shadows cast by the pyramids.

Do you need a degree to be a horologist? There isn’t a formal degree in the study of horology. There are schools for watchmaking, but you may not want to spend the money. It is beneficial to consider seeking an apprenticeship in watchmaking, however. If you decide to take this route, begin by looking online for companies who manufacture watches. They often provide on the job training. You may also wish to get certified. The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWCI) offers certification.

Watch Repair: The Basics and How to Get into It

If you decide to pursue it as a hobby, start by looking at local bookstores and online for the basic skills you will need to begin. Will you be only repairing your own watches or family and friends? If that is the case, you can start inexpensively. Consider buying used equipment first. Also find a good clean, and well lighted workspace. It should be a dedicated space if possible. Make a checklist. Ask around. Talk to other hobbyists who can provide you links online to resources.

If you are considering it only as a hobby, start small. How much can you afford to spend? Start small, buy only the tools needed to do basic repairs. There are websites devoted to sourcing parts and equipment you will need. Also, ask around. There are dedicated blog and community message boards where you can ask.

Starting a Watch Repair Business

After you have been repairing watches for a while, and you feel you want to start a business to make a little money start with a business license. You will need to consult your city, county, and state for requirements. After that, consider if you will specialize in types of watches and repairs. High end watch manufacturers offer in house repair services, and you will have to let any potential customers know about them. You will want to advertise your services and choose a good location. Network with other professionals and establish a good relationship with the industry. They can send business your way. Finally, give yourself enough capital to survive at least two years with very little profit. Secure the best loans.

With these things in mind, you can be sure to enjoy your hobby or business, the art, and science of horology and watch repair.

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