Watch or Clock Repairer

Job Description:

Watch and clock repairers mend, service and restore items that tell the time.

Job Category:
Professional Services

What you will do:

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • take apart and inspect watches or clocks to identify faults
  • replace batteries
  • clean and oil parts
  • make new parts to replace worn ones
  • check items are working accurately
  • fit new watch straps
  • etch or engrave designs onto a watch face
  • maintain and repair equipment and keep the workshop clean
  • talk to customers directly or to sales staff about what work needs to be done


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to repair machines or systems
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • the ability to work well with your hands

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination (ambition/drive)
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • analytical thinking skills
  • problem-solving skills (creative skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a watch repairer, you’ll need a combination of technical and manual skills. While there are no specific subjects that are mandatory for this career, certain subjects can provide a foundation for skills and knowledge that may be helpful in your future studies and career as a watch repairer. Here are some subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Design and Technology: This subject can help you develop practical skills, including working with small components, tools, and machinery. It can also foster an understanding of precision and craftsmanship.
  2. Mathematics: Basic mathematics skills are important for measurements, calculations, and understanding technical diagrams or schematics.
  3. Physics: Physics can provide you with a foundational understanding of mechanics, which can be relevant when working with watch movements and components.
  4. Art: Art courses can help you develop fine motor skills, attention to detail, and a sense of aesthetics, all of which are valuable in watch repair.
  5. Business Studies: If you plan to run your own watch repair business or work in a retail setting, understanding business concepts can be beneficial.
  6. Craft or Hobby Courses: Consider taking courses related to crafts, hobbies, or repair work to gain hands-on experience and develop your manual dexterity.

Ultimately, becoming a successful watch repairer requires a passion for precision, attention to detail, patience, and a commitment to honing your skills through ongoing learning and practice.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by private training organisations

The following courses are available at a very small number of universities:

  • a degree in horology
  • a foundation degree in historic craft practices – clocks

You can also study for a postgraduate qualification in clock conservation.

You could start by doing a part-time course in watch and clock repair at a local college. After completing a basic repair course, you could move on to more in-depth training like:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Clock or Watch Servicing
  • Level 4 Diploma in the Servicing and Repair of Clocks and Watches
  • Level 5 Diploma In the Repair, Restoration and Conservation of Clocks and Watches

Apprenticeships relevant to this role include:

  • clock maker advanced apprenticeship
  • watchmaker advanced apprenticeship

You could try to find a trainee position with a watch or clock repair company.

Other Routes
You could take training through your national Horological Institute. They may offer short courses for beginners along with more advanced qualifications.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you’ll work 42 to 44 hours a week, and could occasionally work weekends.

You could work in a workshop.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could manage a workshop or retail jewellery outlet, or run your own business repairing or designing watches.

You could specialise in working for luxury clock and watch maker brands.

If you specialise in antique clocks, you could work in a museum conserving antique clocks, or work at an auctioneers as a valuer.