I just got a great email from J. Peter, who was kind enough to fill us all in on what it’s like to be a watchmaker. There are some great links in this post, and I especially encourage you all to find out more about the watchmaker’s curse…body cheese. If you’ve got questions about what makes watches tick, J. Peter is definitely your “go to guy”. Without further ado, I present his views on his cool job:
I have a cool job. At least I think I do, which is the best part about it. I love what I do. I am a watchmaker. I don’t regularly make watches, I usually repair them, but I have the skills to make watches and as I become more established in my career I plan to do more on the creative side. I work for Beauchamp Jewelers in Albuquerque, NM. For more about my job you can visit my blog at ticktalk.wordpress.com.
I love my job because it is a lot of fun. I spend my day solving problems. Probably the best part is I can usually see having accomplished a complete task from start to finish at the end of every day. I love that sense of accomplishment. There isn’t a whole lot to hate about my job. Some people might find the repetition somewhat monotonous but I think that is one of the things I actually like. If there were something to really dislike it would be body cheese.
I am a graduate of the Lititz Watch Technicum a school fully funded by Rolex teaching the art of swiss watchmaking. There are two ways to become a watchmaker. You could apprentice with a master watchmaker or go to a school or both, but a good school can prepare you for working on your own without the apprenticeship. The demand for watchmaking is really high right now, since the average age of a watchmaker is about 47. There are about 4000 watchmakers in the U.S. and about half are expected to retire in the next 10 years. As a watchmaker you would be able to work in any sizable community in the U.S. or even from home, but I would recommend you get some experience somewhere else before starting your own workshop.
If you are interested in a career in watchmaking visit my blog, ticktalk.wordpress.com, and feel free to comment and I’ll gladly respond. You can also contact the American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute and www.awci.com. If you are looking for a watchmaker in your area try the AWCI Referral Directory at www.watch-clock-makers.org.