Clock and watchmaker

A clock and watchmaker


Clock and watchmakers make mechanical or electronic clocks and watches. They use precision hand tools or automated machinery to assemble the timing devices. Clock and watchmakers may also repair clocks or watches. They can work in workshops or in factories.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to clock and watchmaker:

watch maker
mechanical watchmaker
mechanical clockmaker
electronic watchmaker
maker of watchers
electronic clockmaker
clock maker
maker of clocks

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a clock and watchmaker.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Clock and watchmaker is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Clock and watchmaker career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to clock and watchmaker.

watch and clock repairer
precision mechanic
precision device inspector

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of clock and watchmaker. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of clock and watchmaker with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

precision mechanics supervisor
microsystem engineering technician
electronics production supervisor
aircraft maintenance engineer
product development engineering technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of clock and watchmaker.

  • Time-display methods: Types of time-display methods of clocks, such as those of analog clocks, digital clocks, word clocks, projection clocks, auditory clocks, multi-display clocks, or tactile clocks.
  • Watches and jewellery products: The offered watches and jewellery products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Components of clocks: Components present in clocks and watches, such as the wheelwork, battery, dials, and hands.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of clock and watchmaker.

  • Inspect clocks: Inspect clocks and watches and their components for any defects, deterioration or damage. Check electronic timepieces with measuring and testing instruments.
  • Repair clocks: Identify problems on clocks or watches, check for deterioration, disassemble parts, regulate, adjust, and replace deficient components.
  • Inspect quality of products: Use various techniques to ensure the product quality is respecting the quality standards and specifications. Oversee defects, packaging and sendbacks of products to different production departments.
  • Use watchmaker’s tools: Use tools commonly used for watchmaking and repairing. Common categories include band tools, watch battery tools, cleaning tools, screwdrivers, brushes, flex shaft, loupes or magnifiers, tap and die sets, watch testers, watch repair kits, watch crystal tools, watch back openers, gauges, glues, demagnitisers, hammers, oils, watch movement tools, bergeon watch tools, horotec watch tools, watch hand tools, soldering tools, watch polishing tools, and tweezers.
  • Perform product testing: Test processed workpieces or products for basic faults.
  • Oversee quality control: Monitor and assure the quality of the provided goods or services by overseeing that all the factors of the production meet quality requirements. Supervise product inspection and testing.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear: Wear relevant and necessary protective gear, such as protective goggles or other eye protection, hard hats, safety gloves.
  • Attach clock cases: Attach clock or watch case to enclose and protect the clockwork or module.
  • Mount clock wheelwork: Mount the wheelwork components of clocks and watches and attach with screws.
  • Attach clock dials: Attach dials or clock faces to clocks or watches.
  • Attach clock hands: Attach the hour, minute, and second clock or watch hands to the clockface using hex nuts and wrenches. Ensure that the hands on the clockface are parallel and aligned.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of clock and watchmaker. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Electric clocks: Clocks and watches that use electrical power to measure the passing of time, such as electric, electronic, digital or quartz clocks and watches.
  • Precision mechanics: Precision or fine mechanics is a subdiscipline in engineering that focuses on the design and development of smaller precision machines.
  • Conservation techniques: The procedures, instruments, techniques, materials and chemicals used in conservation and archiving.
  • Mechanical clocks: Clocks and watches that use a mechanical mechanism to measure the passing of time.
  • Timing devices: All mechanical and electric instruments that indicate time, such as clocks, watches, pendulums, hairsprings, and chronometers.
  • Characteristics of precious metals: Variations of precious metals according to density, corrossion resistance, electrical conductivity, light reflectivity and quality.
  • Electronics: The functioning of electronic circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including programming and applications. Apply this knowledge to ensure electronic equipment runs smoothly.
  • Micromechanics: The design and production of micromechanisms. Micromechanisms combine mechanical and electrical components in a single device that is less than 1mm across.
  • Types of watches: Types of wristwatches, such as mechanical and quartz, their features and functions, such as calendar, chronograph, water resistance, etc.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of clock and watchmaker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • Engrave patterns: Engrave and print designs and patterns onto a variety of surfaces.
  • Monitor machine operations: Observe machine operations and evaluate product quality thereby ensuring conformity to standards.
  • Advise customers on jewellery and watches: Provide customers with detailed advice on watches and pieces of jewellery available in the store. Explain about different brands and models and their characteristics and features. Recommend and provide personal advice on pieces of jewellery, according to the customer’s needs and preferences.
  • Apply restoration techniques: Select and apply appropriate restoration techniques in order to achieve the required restoration goals. This encompasses preventive measures, remedial measures, restoration processes and management processes.
  • Change watch battery: Change the batteries of customers’ wrist watches.
  • Estimate value of clocks: Estimate the market value of new or used clocks based on professional judgment and knowledge.
  • Advise customers on clocks: Provide customers with detailed advice on clocks. Explain about different brands and models and their characteristics and features.
  • Assemble electrical components: Assemble switches, electrical controls, circuit boards and other electrical components by using hand and soldering equipment.
  • Operate precision measuring equipment: Measure the size of a processed part when checking and marking it to check if it is up to standard by use of two and three dimensional precision measuring equipment such as a caliper, a micrometer, and a measuring gauge.
  • Attach pendulums: Attach clock pendulums to the pendulum guide behind the face of the clock.
  • Use specialised tools in electric repairs: Use of a variety of specialised tools, instruments and machines, such as presses, drills and grinders; employ them to carry out repairs in a safety manner.
  • Read standard blueprints: Read and comprehend standard blueprints, machine, and process drawings.
  • Operate engraving equipment: Operate mechanical engraving tools and machines, set controls of cutting tools. Make adjustments if necessary.
  • Apply precision metalworking techniques: Comply with precision standards specific to an organisation or product in metalworking, involved in processes such as engraving, precise cutting, welding.
  • Use precision tools: Use electronic, mechanical, electric, or optical precision tools for precision work.
  • Use cad software: Use computer-aided design (CAD) systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimisation of a design.
  • Develop production line: Develop the production line of a designed product. This corresponds to a sequence of mechanical or manual operations involved within a production process of a manufactured product.
  • Estimate cost of jewellery and watches’ maintenance: Estimate the total cost for the maintenance of watches or pieces of jewellery.
  • Operate metal polishing equipment: Operate equipment designed to buff and polish metal workpieces, such as diamond solutions, silicon-made polishing pads, or working wheels with a leather polishing strop, and others.
  • Maintain jewels and watches: Use cleaning equipment to properly care for jewellery and watches, as per customer request. This might involve cleaning and polishing watches and pieces of jewellery.
  • Operate precision machinery: Operate machinery used for the making of small systems or components with a high level of precision.
  • Estimate value of used jewellery and watches: Assess used metal (gold, silver) and gems (diamonds, emeralds) based on age and current market rates.
  • Maintain clocks: Clean and remove grease from clock and watch components, apply oil to hinges, adjust components, and store them in a waterproof space.
  • Repair electronic components: Repair, replace or adjust damaged electronics components or circuitry; use hand tools and soldering and welding equipment.
  • Sell clocks: Sell clocks, watches, or related accessories according to the customer’s preferences.
  • Perform resource planning: Estimate the expected input in terms of time, human and financial resources necessary to achieve the project objectives.
  • Develop product design: Convert market requirements into product design and development.
  • Design clocks: Design and develop the artistic design of clocks and watches and its mechanisms and components.

ISCO group and title

7311 – Precision-instrument makers and repairers

  1. Clock and watchmaker – ESCO
  2. Featured image: By watch-school –, CC BY 3.0
Last updated on September 28, 2022

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