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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so im sure you guys think you have heard every watch related question but i think i got a new one.
I am a junior in highschooll and i want to obtain a job that i will enjoy for the rest of my life. I would(like most of us would) like to have a career or job in the watch industry. So i was wondering what jobs there are and how would i go about researching them? Now i know that it is not likely that i will get a job very easily but i feel that i should keep it as an option. So what do you think?
 

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Watchmaker, and then the retail side of it (AD shop floor kind of job).
However, if you make a hobby into a career, you could start to loose the enjoyment factor, and it may become too job like, so just be careful.

cheers,
Jake.
 

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I have to say, I envy you! Being willing to go into watchmaking is a decision that I wish I had the balls to make. I think that retail would be a good place to start, then learn a TON and off to watchmaking school!
 

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I'll echo Spit161 a little bit. It takes a special person to take a hobby, turn it into a job, and still love it as much as you did to begin with. Do some soul searching, you're the person who knows you best and begin laying down the foundation of your chosen profession. It certainly wouldn't hurt to get a summer job at a jeweler/retailer to get a basic understanding of the field or to speak with individuals in the industry.

It is a good thing you're considering this at your age, many get through college and still don't know what they want to grow up to be. :-!
 

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I wonder if any of these giant watch making companies need business people in other countries. I imagine they must. That could be an opportunity too.

In general, I think the best way to stay close to a hobby is to get a job, any job. that makes quite a bit of money and do it in your spare time.
 

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On a local level most jobs will be in retail selling watches, or in the back shop doing repairs and other technical work on watches.

On a larger scale you have options like national level sales, design, manufacturing and so on, but those will be a lot harder to get into without a lot of groundwork.

Horology in general I would expect to be a hard industry to become established in, being very established and also a luxury market - so unlike days gone past when mechanical watches were the standard, and well cared for, today I see them being a lot more high end and specialised luxury items, so things like watch repair is going to be much more of a niche market. I guess the best advice would be to learn everything you can now, get as much experience as you can and see where it leads - learning basic watch maintenance for example would be a great precursor to looking into an apprenticeship in watch repair, and any work in the field such as part time jobs in relevant shops (even if it is the more unexciting high street store rather than the fine boutique) would be helpful and give you an idea what you are in for.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow thanks Ray a lot of info i wish i had known about this ^^ before. Thanks for the other comments as well.
My main goal was to go to college(maybe under ROTC if available) and get a doctorate for orthodontics witch i am slightly interested in but mainly because they make a lot of money. I know its terrible to get a job for money but i cant help it. So i figure why not find a job that i love that also makes a lot of money.
 

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Addicted, firstly, congratulations on thinking about what it is you'd like to do for a career whilst still in high school--as others have said, many go on to college only to graduate and then try and figure it out. Good for you!

I echo many of the comments here, there being many good ones when it comes to hobbies vs. career, though I am not one necessarily to subscribe to that view. One of my siblings who was into cars, an amateur race driver, went into the retail side of the business and cars became a thing, a product, thus killing the hobby side if you will, but then, that's retail. One of my aunt's however turned her love of fashion, art and design into a small string of boutique shops catering to affluent women, and she loved what she did thoroughly. Some customers are terrific, others not so much. Like all things--and every career--it depends. Apart from retail, there's also the business and design side, as CitizenM says. Every business-whether they make watches, automobiles, sound recordings or widgets--needs i.e. HR professionals, engineers and designers, marketing and advertisers, business managers and lawyers. But if you want to be a bit more "hands on" and/or have the desire to be a bit independent even, having an entrepreneurial spirit so to speak, with the desire to "roll up your sleeves" and work on actual watches, then going to watchmaking school so as to become a watchmaker might be something you would enjoy. (Starting out perhaps with a brand or as a watchmaker's apprentice, learning the ropes and gaining the experience, then moving on to your own shop down the road: hey, why not!).

Curiously, there is a very old and well regarded school in Quebec which teaches the watchmaker's art, and it was about to close its doors on account of the fact there simply wasn't much work after the quartz crisis for watchmakers; they held on, however, having a hard time attracting students (see, for e.g., Welcome to the school of watchmaking | Macleans.ca - Education - PostSecondary ). However, there is renewed interest and therefore demand in the marketplace for good watchmakers, in turn meaning you should have no trouble finding good, steady work if you decide to go this route, with the possibility of being able to open your own repair shop down the road (hey, the sky is the limit at your age: enjoy it!).

Might want to speak about all of this with your high school guidance counselor (they give career advice, etc., at least, they used to), and of course your parents, but as you can see, there are a great many roads which leads to you being able to make a living out of your hobby, depending only on which angle you which to approach it by. Oh, so many doors by which you can travel through, ... how very exciting, and good for you!

Cheers.
 

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If it's something you really want, then go for it!
I would say at your age it would be best to try and find a PT retail job now in an AD.
There will be /is a big demand for Watch Makers even with the big companies like Swatch.
 

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Personally...the reason I'm into watches and spend countless hours on this forum is to GET AWAY from work. There's no way that I would be able to work with watches all day long and then look forward to logging on to WUS or browse for new watches. WUS and watches are my little escape from reality.

My watchmaker wears the same watch all the time and doesn't collect them...he tells me that after servicing them all day long the last thing he wants to see is more watches (which works out in my benefit because he has sold me a lot of pieces that I will keep in my collection forever).

My advice...get a degree that will land you a job that will give you the financial means to enjoy this hobby.
 

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One of our best contributors here is a scientist who fixes watches as a hobby. My watchmaker friend reads scientific philosophy in his spare time. I think it's pretty hard to combine hobby with gainful employment and still enjoy the hobby. Maybe when you're retired but that'll be a few years in your case.
It sounds like you are one who likes working with your hands. If you are good in school and good with your hands dentistry sounds like a good career path.
However making all the money in the world won't make you happy if you don't enjoy your job.
 

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I'd concentrate on finding the right balance of money to afford watches and free time to learn about watches. As the economy continues to go pear-shaped I'm not sure it's going to support MORE watchmakers than before.
 

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Wow thanks Ray a lot of info i wish i had known about this ^^ before. Thanks for the other comments as well.
My main goal was to go to college(maybe under ROTC if available) and get a doctorate for orthodontics witch i am slightly interested in but mainly because they make a lot of money. I know its terrible to get a job for money but i cant help it. So i figure why not find a job that i love that also makes a lot of money.
If you become a military doctor, you won't be rolling in the same kind of cash as your civilian counterparts. For the rest, here's my $.02, and take them as you will. Whatever you do, DO NOT choose a career path strictly for earning potential. Too many become doctors/lawyers/whatever for the love of money and not for their field and become sorely disappointed. Additionally, I don't want a guy taking out my spleen only because he's looking forward to his next timepiece, but would rather have someone working on me that is in the field because he wants to be.
 

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Maybe a good place to start to learn about how a mechanical watch works is the Timezone.com on line watch repair school. It's only $50 for Lesson One and $50 for Lesson Two. The tools you would need are extra of course. I studied these lessons and I am now by no means an expert, but I now have a good basic understanding how mechanicals work. Lesson 1 covers manual wind and lesson 2 the automatic. For lesson one you would learn to overhaul this ETA 2804-2 IMG_1896.JPG
 

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Young padawan, it is said that advice, like youth, is wasted on the young, but I still strongly recommend that you give yourself time before you decide upon a career.

When I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. And looking back, what I thought I wanted to do seems so ridiculous. Today, what I do seems infinitely more interesting than I could have imagined, even a decade ago.

To paraphrase Mary Schmich's essay popularized by Baz Luhrmann's sunscreen song, the most interesting people I know didn't know at 16 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 70 year olds I know still don't.

So, give yourself time, and in the meantime, do things that challenge and elate you. Keep your options open, but remember, do not settle for something less.
 

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^ M., I agree with this to a large extent, and this is rather excellent advice.

That said, some of us in the professions (law and medicine in particular) come from a very long line of same, meaning, when we are born, no one says: "oh, look at the cute, healthy baby" but, rather, "oh, look at the cute, healthy lawyer or doctor to be, etc." I was groomed for it since birth, and that's okay. That's not to say there's no choice in what one does in the profession into which one is born, as that is not the case at all. Whilst I started out for e.g. in securities and regs, etc., I found my passion in Intellectual Property (putting my love of the arts and entertainment, and innovation/patents together with my insight and experience into securities, banking and finance, et voila, I am a very happy lawyer -- we all start as generalists, but eventually specialize: even bankers etc. get to choose their clients, with some investment bankers for e.g. preferring IT/innovative companies, whereas others enjoy and understand "traditional" companies such as manufacturing, mining and oil, etc. Regardless, a path we choose for ourselves along the way, such that it's all good, yes? Indeed, experimentation is the name of the game, I agree ;)

Addicted:
OK, see that you're interested in Dentistry, assuming that's what your father and/or mother do, and as such perhaps you're being groomed for same? If that is the case, that's cool, and I understand as such (hey, I wanted to be a musician but my own parents and grandparents wanted none of it, even although I have Conservatory training; no problem, I am now a lawyer who specialises if you will in IP and entertainment, and even teach the course, thus helping to bring talent to the world, etc., not to mention my flocks of students (I wish ;) who do the same; like I said earlier, the sky is the limit, and many ways to skin the same onion, if you catch my meaning).

I also happen to know for a fact that, if you wish to enter into dentistry these days, they look favourably on those applicants who have experience with hands-on jobs and experience showing not only the ability to focus on what one is doing, but also physical dexterity. Working and/or apprenticing as a watch maker goes a long way towards this, so far as the ability (focus, dexterity, patience, etc.) to work on all the little pieces that make up a movement is not dissimilar to doing corrective surgery etc. on teeth, etc. I know this because my spouse is a dentist, a Ph.D., DD.S with post-doctoral training in the field, and just happens to not only train dental surgeons, but also sits on various academic committees, including interviews with prospective dental student applicants, meaning, your experience (if you choose to go this route) in learning about watchmaking, from a repair etc. point of view (not retail, but actual "roll sleeves up" and get down to the repair and/or restoration of pieces, if you will) bodes exceptionally well for you if you should decide to apply to dental school, where you can then go on to learn about surgery and/or crowns, etc. Wonderful, really. Then, medical students (MDs) practice carving on onions, so chef school if you will has its benefits there, too. Just saying.

Hope this helps and once again, good for you for thinking about all of this whilst still in high school. Myself, I love what I do even although as said I was born into it, but made my own path so far as my specialisation matches my interests as said. Plus, in terms of money, NOTHING wrong with that, at all. WE EARNED it, STUDIED for it, the wheat separated from the shaft as they say, and no need to apologise for it, at all. To have actual job experience prior to entering a profession, so as to be humble and gain (for lack of a better term) actual "bed side manners" is not just a plus in my books, but a wonderful thing. I mean, who wants to pay good money to a brat with no experience, right? But a young, charming professional who actually cares about the client/patient's problem, different story, as Steve said and with which I agree entirely. Those go on to become proper professionals, whereas the other kind tend to drop out and do something else, typically around the 5 year mark if not sooner (then, one can ask if they ever belonged in the profession in the first place; like Steve says, there is a difference and I assure you that paying clients/patients know the difference, but that's not the job of the academic institutions to sort out, about which I'll say no more else I'll digress). Again, though, you'll want to discuss all of this with your guidance counselor (who knows or SHOULD know your grades, aptitude, interests, etc.) and your parents, but if your parents should balk at the idea that you want to be a watchmaker, having in their heart of hearts that you should be a dentist, well, be sure to tell them that learning about watches leads to modeling of teeth etc., so as to bode well for your entrance into dental school, which has changed over the years.

Besides, there's no such thing as bad work experience, seriously; learning what you don't like will help you narrow down your choices, so as to find out what it is you do like. But in the end, should it be dentistry (good hours compared to i.e. doctors who deliver babies and/or criminal lawyers who get a call at ungodly hours etc. too) well then, just means that you make sufficient funds to not only keep watchmakers in business so far as you can buy some nice watches for them to service, repair, etc., but remember, watchmakers and their children need to have their teeth cleaned and fixed, etc. too. All good, yes?

Otherwise, and again, if unsure and no shoes to follow so to speak, then M's is rather excellent advice, as said. (Oh, to be young again and have to do it all over again; I'd still do the same, don't get me wrong, just specialise a bit sooner than I did so as to make it "mine" and thus enjoyment all that much sooner, but hindsight is always 20/20 as they say, right?). All the best, and again, if dentistry is where it's at for you, then simply can't go wrong learning about watchmaking period, for reasons said.
Cheers.
 

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Thank you, D. I'm full of such profundities.

Good advice, btw. If anything, if I were to go back, I'd have had more fun and unleashed my snark at a much younger age, and to a wider audience. I must be doing something right if I'm pissing so many people off.
 

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I like the online course suggestion...

...You ought to read about guys like George Daniels, He recently died, but his accomplishments show what's possible when talent, passion, intelligence and persistence find their way into a single person's existence. It may be just a hobby for you now, but you never know...here's his obituary:

George Daniels | The Economist

Oh, and be honest with yourself. If you really like the profession and are willing to work hard enough to be good at it then it's "damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!" If not, accept that your interest is limited and move on to the next thing. My best advice would be to see if a local watchmaker or watch shop owner needs someone to sweep-up a few times a week; everybody's got to start somewhere and the bottom is as good a place as any. If you show up when you're supposed to and dedicate yourself to excelling at even the most mundane tasks good things will eventually happen. Maybe not the first time (or the second or the third) but interesting opportunities will come your way.
 

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Watchmaker, and then the retail side of it (AD shop floor kind of job).
However, if you make a hobby into a career, you could start to loose the enjoyment factor, and it may become too job like, so just be careful.

cheers,
Jake.
I have known may people who tried to turn their hobby into a career and each one ended up loathing it. I say the best idea is to get a job that you can stand that pays well enough to fund your hobbies. Very few people can merge them and still enjoy themselves.

How many of you know a mechanic who is good at his job, ejoys the work, makes decent money, but drives a busted beater? I know more than one. They all say "The last thing that I want to do after work is work on my own car"...

RS
 
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