Humans have different ways of telling time, and checking an intricate and interesting little machine on their wrists is the classic way of doing so. Many people wear watches, and knowing how to repair them could be a good opportunity to make money. So, is watchmaking a good career?

Becoming a watchmaker is a great career choice. This profession is in high demand as master watchmakers are retiring, and not enough young professionals are joining the workforce to replace them. Watchmaking is an interesting and challenging craft that can prove profitable.

Of course, there’s more to watchmaking than money. Before considering going down this path, you need to know what a watchmaker does for a living and how hard the work is. More importantly, you must figure out if you should become a watchmaker.

Should You Become A Watchmaker?

Watchmaking is a very interesting career opportunity for people who love watches. It may seem like an ancient craft or something that’ll soon go extinct, but the truth is, watchmaking is in high demand and pays a good salary.

Those who never put any interest in these little machines should take a moment to see every little process that takes place under a watch face. That alone may be mind-blowing enough to get your attention!

Nevertheless, those who don’t care about watches shouldn’t try to pursue this career path. Knowing what a watchmaker does is important to figure out whether you’ll like working as one.

What Does A Watchmaker Do?

A watchmaker builds, repairs, and tests watch and can also work as a consultant for collectors. Some work independently, and others prefer to be employed by big companies like Rolex.

Watchmaking is a pretty self-explanatory term. It’s the art and science of making, repairing, and testing machines. Though it can sound like very repetitive work, it’s an interesting world full of possibilities.

For example, repairing a watch may not be as straightforward as it seems. Sometimes, getting the job done requires patience and out-of-the-box thinking. People passionate about watches who love a challenge will have a blast in this line of work.

How Much Does A Watchmaker Make?

On average, watchmakers gross a little over $42,000 annually. Nevertheless, the demand for this profession is increasing rapidly, while many veteran watchmakers are retiring. That means young watchmakers will probably earn even more in the long run.

Whether you make a lot of money watchmaking is up to you. You can open an independent shop or work for one of the giants, like Rolex. Succeeding on your own or working for others depends on your skills and how much time you dedicate to becoming better at handling watches.

Although $45,000 is the average salary for this profession, the median is slightly higher at $57,000 in certain areas. At the same time, the best in the business make over six figures.

Is It Hard To Be A Watchmaker?

That depends! Making and repairing watches is for passionate people alone. It’ll be hard to go down this path and choose it as a career unless you truly love watches. If you have fun playing around with these little machines, you’ll never find it hard to work.

The cold, hard truth about watchmaking is that it’s not for everyone. It’s a technical field for patient people, and many will find it boring at first glance. Nevertheless, if you stick through it, you may find a very interesting world waiting for you.

These demanding requirements present an opportunity. For every ten watchmakers that retire, only one joins the workforce. That means there’s plenty of work for people who can roll up their sleeves and enjoy their time working with watches.

What Degree Do Watchmakers Have?

There are no college degrees for watchmakers. You can look for an apprenticeship, learn independently, and get multiple certifications.

The best in this business start independently or under a master watchmaker. There are good watchmaking schools available you can attend to get certifications too.

The easiest way to start your journey in watchmaking is to look for someone willing to take you under their wing. You’ll learn by watching first, then by doing. This profession is very old school in that way.

Nevertheless, some schools will give you a certification in a year or a year and a half, like WOSTEP and SAWTA.

What Does A Watchmaker Study?

A watchmaker can learn the craft on its own or under the wing of a mentor. When they start studying, they’ll learn everything there’s to know about watches, from repairing them to testing them and everything in-between. The field dedicated to watches and watchmaking is called horology.

Where can you get a horology degree? Certain schools provide you with that opportunity, though you won’t get a bachelor’s degree. Instead, you’ll become a certified watchmaker. Don’t let that fool you! There are very prestigious schools dedicated to this craft around the world.

Is There A Demand For Watchmakers?

There’s an ever-increasing demand for watchmakers. Veteran and master watchmakers are retiring, and there are fewer people joining the workforce to replace them. People are also buying more watches than before, so the demand for this profession will grow exponentially.

Rough estimates predict buying and selling watches will be a $30 billion industry in 2025, and watchmakers will play a big role in repairing and replacing many of these watches. Collectors often look for savvy watchmakers to inspect pre-owned watches to see if they’re worth the price tag.

So, in simpler words, there’s a big demand for watchmakers that is only getting bigger.

Do Watchmakers Have A Lot Of Work?

Professional watchmakers will probably have more work than they can handle if they play their cards right. As demand for watchmakers increases, these workers will have to pick and choose who to work for.

There’s a lot a watchmaker can do. The obvious role in watchmaking is making, repairing, and replacing watches. Some prefer to use their knowledge to buy and sell pre-owned watches. Instead of putting their money in that market, others prefer to work as consultants and help collectors find vintage pieces for a fee.

The great thing about becoming a watchmaker is that you decide how much you work. Of course, how much work you get depends on your skills.


Watchmaking is a very interesting career that could prove profitable if you’re passionate about the business. Finding someone looking for an apprentice is the best way to start. You can also attend a watchmaking school, although starting independently to see if you like the work is also a good idea.


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