Want a Career in Watches?
The good news is that this number is expected to increase byabout 30% in the next couple years.So if you've been trying to think of ways to turn your watch obsession into aprofession, now may be your chance. Sales of fine Swiss watches havefinally adjusted to the introduction of the Japanese-made quartz movement,and are increasingly finding a new place in our culture as essential luxury items.But in order for this trend to continue, we are going to need people who can repairthem.Rolex,Swatch, Alarmed by Watchmaker Dearth, Spring for SchoolsLititzWatch Technicum.According to thisarticle on Bloomberg.com, the US if facing a very dangerousshortage of watchmakers. Brands like Rolex, Breitling and Omega are sellinglike crazy, but there are fewer and fewer people around who are qualified towork on them. It seems that while appreciation for fine Swiss mechanical and automaticwatches is on the rise, interest in a career as a watchmaker is clearly waning.Swiss watch companies have responded by investing millions of dollars in US watch***schools and programs: Rolex, Swatch Group AG, Breitling SA, Audemars Piguet and other Swiss companiesare spending millions of dollars on schools to make sure the watches they sellin the U.S. can get fixed. The U.S. now needs about 4,000 watchmakers in additionto the 7,000 it has, says Jim Lubic, executive director of the American Watchmakers-ClockmakersInstitute. As many as 4,000 will retire in the next 10 to 20 years... By contrast,about 140 students are now in U.S. watch*** programs.To help attract would-be watchmakers, Rolex is waiving $40,000 worth of tuitionfor their two-year program in the Amish town of Lititz, Pennsylvania. The schoolteaches 24 people at a time to diagnose problems with mechanical and automaticwatches, repair them, and to make parts by hand. The bad news is that watchmakersof this caliber are only looking at pulling down about $38,000 a year after graduation(ok for those just getting started, but not overly attractive for people lookingto switch careers).