Selecting a School
Many fully online or correspondence programs for watch repair exist and choosing one depends on how long you want to study and whether you want to pay for equipment as part of the program or separately. We will look at two schools with online watch repair programs to give students an idea of what is available. Students considering online watch repair schools must make their decision based on several key factors.
A horologist is an individual trained to repair and restore timepieces, including wrist and pocket watches. Training programs through online watch repair schools can be completed in as little as 3-12 weeks or last as long as three years. Online programs offer courses in watch repair and restoration and other specialties, like restringing beaded jewelry and engraving. Prospective horologists may want to consider factors like tuition, supply costs, and how training is delivered before selecting a school.
In online watch repair programs, courses are often taught through video-guided lessons. These lessons are sent to students on videotape and cover topics like clock repair and mechanical watch repair. Equipment, like soldering tools, may be sent to students along with these tapes.
In some cases, the cost of tools and other equipment is included in the cost of tuition. Some schools do not include these costs in tuition and expect students to purchase these materials independently. Students are also often expected to pay to have repair and building projects delivered to the school for grading. This cost is not usually included in tuition.
Online watch repair programs usually award either a master watchmaker certificate or vocational certificates in watch repair and service. Online watch repair lessons are usually offered by private vocational schools rather than by traditional colleges or universities. These programs may not provide academic credit that would be transferable to another school.
Online Watch Repair Programs
Certificate in Clock and Watch Servicing
Combining theory with hands-on experience, students in this program learn to identify different types of clocks, watches, and mechanical components. Students learn to diagnose and repair defects and faults in watches and clocks. Students must record the steps and outcomes of these tasks. These records must be submitted with completed projects for grading. At the completion of course modules, students are tested to assess their understanding of the concepts in the program. Other skills learned include:
- Pin and battery replacement
- Mechanical part repair
- Quartz movement replacement
Master Watchmaker Certificate
Proper care of mechanical watches is the focus of courses in this certificate. An individual with an interest in how watches work may find this certificate program useful, because it includes instruction on how the mechanical parts of a watch, including chronographs, hair springs, and movements, work. As they complete a variety of projects, students learn:
- Mechanical movement overhaul
- Crystal replacement
- Cannon pinion adjustment
Schools with Online Programs
Online schools for watch repair range in length and cost. Most programs require specific learning tools, such as training videos or soldering equipment. This gear is often provided as part of the program but may require extra expense. For example, the Jewelry and Watch Repair School of New England has a correspondence course that includes a DVD, textbook, and tools. The course includes everything you would need to know about repairing quartz watches.
The British Horological Institute offers two courses of distance learning, including technical grade and combined intermediate grade. The courses include textbooks, which if you live in the U.S., have a large shipping and handling fee. If you want tutor feedback of these courses, the cost is extra.
Correspondence or distance learning courses training students in watch repair are available, making this discipline quite accessible. Whether you find a program that includes books and equipment or requires an extra fee for these items, the program itself will enable you to work in the watch repair industry.