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Becoming a watchmaker



Hi all

I am looking for some advice please, I'm 40 years old now and some recent events have made me look at what the future holds and I know I have to make a change.

Watchmaking has been something I've been interested in for many years and I play with movements etc at home but I want to take it more seriously , as a new career. 

I'm struggling to find any clear information of exactly what my first steps should be to start getting training/qualified/on the job training?

Has anyone else changed careers to be a watchmaker and how did you make a start?

I'm a newbie on here and within this industry so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks


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If you did go down this route you will find plenty of work.  Many watchmakers are at retirement age, and too few trained during the quartz years to keep up with demand now many people want mechanical watches.

I have done courses at the BHI and would recommend them.  They also do distance learning courses.  As well as the cost of the course do factor in coming away with a list of tools you will want to buy that will run into several hundred pounds.  Many things can be bought used, such as staking sets, which will save you hundreds of pounds.  But you can easily burn £200 on just screwdrivers and tweezers.  And oils cost a small fortune!

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We now have a sub-forum here dedicated to the British Horological Institute, and I would suggest that the BHI is your first port of call. They can be found online, of course, and I wish you all the best with your pursuit of a watchmaking career. I'm also sure that certain members of the Watch Forum will also be able to give you some advice  - hopefully on this thread - as the Forum has a pool of talent always ready to help with enquiries. 

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