Each of us, no matter our race, creed or station in life, is given 24 hours in each day, 60 minutes in each hour and 60 seconds in each minute, time is elemental to life.
The tracking of time is an obsession to some, a hobby for others, and a profession for a few. Watchmaking, besides being an in-demand career choice, is a way to touch upon the infinite possibilities of life, the universe and what lies ahead for the next day, week, year or century.
Few crafts have survived and evolved through the centuries, timekeeping (Horology) is one that has; rooted in the distant past with the first historical records showing the Egyptians using the sun (and the shadows it cast) to measure the passing day, to the atomic clocks of today that keep time so precisely GPS (Global positioning satellites) can plot our position within meters.
The atomic clocks currently in use today would neither gain nor lose a second in 20 million years.
What is it that attracts people to watchmaking? Is it simply a person who has excellent eyesight, a steady demeanor and ability to learn and implement new procedures? Or is there something more…
Faced with new (and often challenging) problems daily, watchmakers must use their skills, ingenuity and craftsmanship to find solutions quickly and accurately.
There are more jobs and opportunities than there are qualified candidates.
We’re often seeing 45 to 50 job opportunities for every 12 certified graduates.Starting salaries (with benefits) range from $45,000 to $55,000 with openings in many major US cities, plus Asia and Europe.
Qualified watchmakers are a breed apart; men and women drawing satisfaction from their job, knowing it was accomplished with speed and precision.
There is satisfaction in understanding the intricacies of a fine watch, to realize that even the simplest mechanical watch contains 130 separate components and the most complex (to date) 1728 parts.
The world is constantly changing but always driven by the tick of each passing second. As technology has advanced, the art and craft of watchmaking has risen in precision and craftsmanship, attracting those who are satisfied with a job 99.9% correct, instead striving for perfection.
If a watch were manufactured to be 99.9% accurate, it would still be off by 1 minute and 27 seconds per day. As there is no “one particular second” that marks a day, there in no “one thing” that attracts people to watchmaking; steeped in history but always keeping an toward the future, watchmaking will be an honored profession as long as time continues to define us.