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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know similar questions have been posted before, but a fair amount has changed with available programs in the US. I'm Interested in becoming a watchmaker. Always have been. I was invited to come down to Miami and test for admission into the Nicholas Hyaek school. However I notice that now they only have a 1 year program. Can anyone help me wade through what is the best program to obtain employment at for example an AD for a large swiss brand. Is WOSTEP the best? Or for example Gem City College in Illinois offers I believe some type of certification that takes roughly 12-15 months that isnt WOSTEP. There are a few different paths and none clear. I understand further certification may be needed down the line but will any of these programs make it possible for me to find work as a watchmaker? I've read some people have said there are no programs in the US that will give you the neccessary knowledge. Sorry I'm getting close to needing to make a decision and cant find any clear answers. Thank you in advance.
 

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I also noticed that Hayek changed their program.

North Seattle College has a great watchmaking program, as does Lititz, and both lead to SAWTA certification which is recognized in the industry. I've met some great watchmakers from Gem City but I believe the only certification it provides is it's own which isn't widely recognized. Paris Junior College, in Paris .... Texas! has a program which has been around a long time and recently gained a great instructor who has taught at the Institute of Swiss Watchmaking in Dallas (WOSTEP) and at Oklahoma State (R.I.P.), the Paris program doesn't lead to certification but with a quality instructor you could possibly sit for the AWCI CW21 exam when you're finished. The program at Hayek would also be sufficient to land a job, I don't know enough about it to know if there would be a pay difference or not when compared with a two year program.

There are some who say that no program is good enough but most people need to start somewhere.

The irony is that your location, Saint Paul, used to have a great watchmaking program!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the in depth response. Haha when I first read that Saint Paul used to have one I wanted to cry since it was taught about 2 blocks from where I live! Yeah I recently spoke with a woman at Gem City (that would be the easiest choice)and she did mention I would be eligible to take the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute Certification Test after completing the program. Is that the certification you were referring to? If I take and pass that test would that be more widely recognized do you think? It's good to know about the place in Paris I hadn't thought much about that option before.
Thank you again. I never dreamed this would be so confusing.
 

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Wostep from Miami or Dallas will be enough to get you a job for sure, Rolex school too but prepare $8K for their overpriced tools....
I am not sure what you mean by 'AD for a large swiss brand'? ADs are usually seperate companies, except very few boutiques that are brand owned but even fewer of them have a watchmeker on site, your job search will be extremely limited if you want to work in one of them.... Were you can actually work is the official service centers of those brands, Swatch, Richemont, Rolex, or some independent service shop that happen to need help.
 

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Yeah sorry I realized after I wrote that it didnt make much sense. I was trying to give a general overview of the type of position I'd initially be seeking. Which is essentially just a repair center. The only reasoned I mentioned about the Swiss brand is because I'd read that many brands have very specific requirements for their watchmakers and the US schools weren't meeting them.
 

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Yeah sorry I realized after I wrote that it didnt make much sense. I was trying to give a general overview of the type of position I'd initially be seeking. Which is essentially just a repair center. The only reasoned I mentioned about the Swiss brand is because I'd read that many brands have very specific requirements for their watchmakers and the US schools weren't meeting them.[/QUOTE]

Well, this is certainly not true for the schools that the brands operate, like those by Swatch, Rolex, Richemod and Patek, if you get into one of those, I'm pretty sure you can work as a watchmaker somewhere, even if it's not in their repair centers. And the other brands, like Breitling or AP for example, I think will be more than glad to hire somebody from those schools, as they don't have one of their own in the US.
 
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