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WORLDWIDE Chapter 149 Message Board Forum Index » Pocket Watch Discussions » ANOTHER WATCHMAKING SCHOOL CLOSES
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ANOTHER WATCHMAKING SCHOOL CLOSES
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:31 am Reply with quote
Jon
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Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 25942
Location: Boston, Ma




Oklahoma State University School of Watchmaking, after 72 years of operation, is to Close. (as reported in Hodinkee.com, June 6, 2018) The School of Watchmaking at the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) will close at the end of 2018, after graduation of the current class. OSUIT is phasing out the Watchmaking & Microtechnology program within the School of Engineering Technologies and will no longer be accepting applications for or enrolling new students. The Program is closing due to an overwhelming budget crisis in the state of Oklahoma

Founded in 1946, the Program initially focused on education for veterans. The OSUIT School of Watchmaking was in part funded by the Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance (SAWTA). SAWTA is a program created by Rolex to standardize the curricula of watchmaking schools, as well as the testing and certification of watchmaking students in the USA. With the closure of the OSUIT School of Watchmaking, there are nine full-time watchmaking schools left in the USA.

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Jon "the truth" Hanson
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SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" PW abortions!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:19 am Reply with quote
Neilywatch
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 5324




The other reason they closed is lack of interest in the program.

I suspect many people are passing on watchmaking because they find out they cannot get parts from most companies, and most of the service centers have terrible starting pay.

On top of that 3-4 of the surviving schools are associated with certain watch companies so the programs are not truly independent in terms of what they train or include in the curriculum.

The programs in 2 other watchmaking schools are very dubious in reputation.

Have you all heard about Livesay's of Tampa Florida, closing after 49 years?

The supply houses are in deep doo-doo too.


Last edited by Neilywatch on Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:30 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Neil - Crazy for Walthams!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:53 pm Reply with quote
Jon
Chapter President
Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 25942
Location: Boston, Ma




And you, my friend, MAY be the last man standing..........

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Jon "the truth" Hanson
Founder and President of Chapter 149--the leading horological collectors' club!
American Horologe Co -- America's Most Respected Name
SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" PW abortions!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:53 pm Reply with quote
StephanG
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Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 4788
Location: Melbourne Australia




I agree with Neil.
No point being a watchmaker if you can't get the parts you need.

You don't need much training to change a battery Crying or Very sad

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Jon
Chapter President
Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 25942
Location: Boston, Ma




There are watch repairmen and the are watchMAKERS!

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Jon "the truth" Hanson
Founder and President of Chapter 149--the leading horological collectors' club!
American Horologe Co -- America's Most Respected Name
SUPPORT ETHICAL PRACTICES IN HOROLOGY--Keep watches original--DO NOT SWITCH, PART OUT OR "CREATE" PW abortions!
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:52 pm Reply with quote
scotttzorfas
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Joined: 31 May 2015
Posts: 445




What are all of the expensive Swiss and European companies such as Rolex, Patek, etc. supposed to do if nobody can repair their watches? Aren't they making sure that there are enough watchmakers available to repair their watches?
Scott

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:53 pm Reply with quote
StephanG
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Location: Melbourne Australia




My mate is a properly trained watchmaker.
No schools around here for years so he packed up his life and moved to Switzerland to do his training.
Took years and he had to learn the language as well.
He has all the right papers from all the right schools and he has the skills but he can't get parts.
It appears all the big makers are keen to bring as many repairs as they can back in house to keep their own people going.

Kodak did the same thing with their cameras as the film market shrank but in the end it did not save them.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:39 am Reply with quote
scotttzorfas
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Thanks Steve, that makes sense.
Scott

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Certtiification and parts
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:13 pm Reply with quote
Dr. Jon
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Joined: 29 Nov 2008
Posts: 125
Location: New Hampshire




If you want to make a living at watchmaking you need parts. Watchmakers who make parts barely survive.

To make decent living a watchmaker has earn at least $100 per hour at the bench. There are very few who can turn a staff and finish it in less than an hour so if you can buy one for $5 you do it. Bear i mind that time goes even when doing unskilled stuff like looking for parts.

Watchmakers who go to Swiss approved schools or get AWCI CM2W1 certification are eligible to get parts if they buy enough tools and inventory.

A certified Rolex repair person with a parts account can clear over $1000 a day at work.

Part of the problem is that like most schools graduates lack the skills and judgement to use time efficiently.

The other problem is that certification has to be renewed.

This is why there are so few people who can repair and restore the stuff we love. IN the time a well trained watchmaker needs to clean oil and repair damage to railroad watch they can make several thousand dollars doing Rolexes

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:57 pm Reply with quote
Sangamo
Chapter Member
Joined: 25 Aug 2005
Posts: 1806




Just met a young lady at a recent gathering of old fudds Smile

Tess was introduced as an indentured servant of one of the fellows that is in the trade at Shiffman's

She graduated from this school and was in that last class, Interned at Rolex in Litiz PA.
She was originally from Farmville VA...

Well spoken, and not afraid of these old geezers.... engaged in relevant conversations...

Certainly hope she continues successfully.

Have a friend Charles that is 70+ and couple years ago updated his entire shop to retain his Rolex account.
Amazing what he went through to do this and the reporting that is now required.
He also is required as stated above to keep up with educational requirements and gets this education through AWCI.

There is an AD in the current mart for a watchmaker in Miami, what....82.5K to start? but that cost of living down there will suck that right up.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:13 pm Reply with quote
Neilywatch
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 5324




Your friend Charles did all that for nothing.

The rumors are all over the place that Rolex is closing the accounts of all watchmakers not affiliated with a dealership.


I'm already aware of 3 people who lost their accounts this year.

I am up for review myself, I expect to hear from them next month for inspection, and when I should present myself for retraining.

I feel bad for my boss, who has the dealership. He is expected to underwrite the whole effort, not to mention we will now be responsible for warranty service.

I've resigned myself to the inevitable, I just hope I can still make a living, I've become a one-trick pony and can't really see myself doing anything else~

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:27 pm Reply with quote
Dr. Jon
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Joined: 29 Nov 2008
Posts: 125
Location: New Hampshire




I saw the same ad. I doubt that position is going to get filled.

Jeff Hess mentioned about 10 years ago he had listed the same job and got no takers, for the reasons I mentioned.

OTOH I met the chief watchmaker at a NJ NAWCC meeting. At dinner we passed watches around. His was a 20K Breguet wrist watch. He had to leave dinner early; so we walked him to his Porsche.

I was at AP this last summer and visited their restoration shop. They mentioned their rate is 400CHF per hour of work.

For those at top the pay is very good, If they do American watches it is as a hobby and they like it.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 pm Reply with quote
Sangamo
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Joined: 25 Aug 2005
Posts: 1806




Neilywatch wrote:
Your friend Charles did all that for nothing.

The rumors are all over the place that Rolex is closing the accounts of all watchmakers not affiliated with a dealership.


I'm already aware of 3 people who lost their accounts this year.

I am up for review myself, I expect to hear from them next month for inspection, and when I should present myself for retraining.

I feel bad for my boss, who has the dealership. He is expected to underwrite the whole effort, not to mention we will now be responsible for warranty service.

I've resigned myself to the inevitable, I just hope I can still make a living, I've become a one-trick pony and can't really see myself doing anything else~


I'll be certain to talk with him about this... hopefully he'll go on his terms....

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ANOTHER WATCHMAKING SCHOOL CLOSES
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