What Do Watch Repairers Do?
When a person needs their watch repaired, he or she relies on the skills and expertise of a watch repairer to get their timepiece back in working order. In general, watch repairers clean, adjust and repair a host of different timing instruments and mechanical timepieces that most commonly include wristwatches and clocks. Watch repairers are part of a highly specialized and select field and you will need specific, pointed training in timepiece machination to execute the main duties of the position effectively. Annually, there is expected to be a 2% growth rate for this position in the United States, which translates to approximately 100 openings per year.
Watch Repairers Skills and Abilities
There are a variety of intellectual and physical requirements that watch repairers must possess in order to be successful. For instance, you must be adept at critical thinking and be able to perform complex problem solving in order to troubleshoot on the job. You also must have good finger dexterity and be nimble and flexible because much of the work involves delicate and intricate construction and assembly of very small objects. The following are more skills and abilities that are required of the vocation:
- Active listening
- Quality control analysis
- Equipment maintenance and repairing
- Near vision, or the ability to see objects at close range
- Arm–hand steadiness
- Control precision, visualization and conceptualization
Watch Repairers Duties
Watch repairers perform a variety of tasks on the job. Beginning with basic positive customer service and interaction, you will also need to problem solve as it relates to assessing the needs of the customer and your ability to determine what is wrong with a particular timepiece and to fix it. You will also need to effectively market or sell your services to the customer. Other specific duties associated with the position include the following:
- Repair or replace damaged, worn or broken parts on timepieces using hand tools, drill presses and lathes
- Disassemble and inspect timepieces for defective, worn or rusty parts using loupes
- Clean timepiece parts using solutions and ultrasonic watch-cleaning machines
- Test and replace batteries and other electronic components
- Adjust timing regulators using truing calipers, watch-rate recorders and tweezers
Watch Repairers Tools and Technology
As a watch repairer, you will be working with a variety of specialized tools that include mechanical or ultrasonic metal cleaners, pullers and tweezers and utility knives. In addition, you will regularly be working with watch and clock repair kits that include beat setters, escape wheel straighteners and hammer adjusting tools, among others. As such, you will need to have a strong working knowledge of a variety of specialized equipment. You also need to be up to speed on accounting software such as Intuit QuickBooks, database user interface and query software such as WatchWare Repair Shop and project management software such as GrenSoft WorkTracer.
Education and Training for Watch Repairers
Most watch repairers have at least a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is not required for the position. Rather, most in this line of occupation receive their training in the form of formal on-the-job training programs, apprenticeships or specialized instructional watchmaking courses.
Watch Repairers Salary
Salaries for watch repairers can vary based on a number of factors, including demographics and experience. The average annual salary is $35,500, although watch repairers can earn up to $70,000 annually in states such as California and New York. Regardless, you can earn a solid wage in this vocation.
Watch Repairers Jobs by Geography
Not surprisingly, large urban areas in the United States boast the most watch repairers per capita. New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, for example, have high concentrations of these professionals. In less populated areas of the country, watch repairers have been known to travel to multiple locations for work. These are some factors to consider before setting up shop.