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Where I live in Australia, there is one watchmaker that comes up in an inter web search. There are a fair few in Melbourne, and none south of Geelong that I could find.

I made some enquiries about watch making courses that would be the technical lesson part of a four year apprenticeship. And yep, I would have looked at it if I could have.

The only place in Australia that came up was in Ultimo in Sydney. And they have just suspended their course.

A phone call to the Watch & Clock Association of Australia was even more demoralising. On top of them saying that a lot of companies will not even supply their parts to independent watch makers (which I have also read about on here), they are beginning to see a lot of people just buying something, running it into the ground and then buying something else.

It appears now that the only option is living in Switzerland for 3 years and parting with $50k AUD for the WOSTEP course.

Even doing Mark Lovick's course would not aid in getting any sort of employment here as everyone wants a traded watch maker and I completely understand that.

So along with all car industry leaving our shores, it appears that watch making is fast following it up.

Maybe I can win Lotto and then I'll take the lovely wife, go live in Switzerland, do the course and be able to stop working for a manager that if I saw on fire I would bite a fuel tank open on a car to assist the conflagration.

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Hi   I am afraid your summary is just about right and the similarities between the Auto industry and the Watch industry ane right,  But on the plus side by doing Marks course you may reach a level in watch repair of that of a independent trained watch repairer and as such still be able to operate as a watch repairer.

The industry will reach the level where all watches except the hand made luxury ones will be made with replaceable modules build of siliconised materials and are unable to be repaired, Similar to some quartz watches today, the frames are welded and not able to be opened.

So by distance training and learning you may yet achieve you goal. There will still be a lot of mechanical watches to be repaired and a lot of parts to be had, albeit on the second user market. SWATCH have already closed its doors on the parts market, but there are alternatives the likes of the Seiko/Epson corp who produce Hattori and miyota, citizen, pulsar etc.

Start as a hobbyist and people will soon find out that you "do watches" and rake out the drawers for long forgotten watches.   Be posative .                  Cheers

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1 hour ago, Michael1962 said:

It appears now that the only option is living in Switzerland for 3 years and parting with $50k AUD for the WOSTEP course.

I don't think it is, you really want to take a WOSTEP certification (which by all means it's not an absolute need to become a good repairer, to find a a job, or be an independent) these are offered in other locations too, as discussed in a recent thread here. Still expensive and difficult to enrolls anyway.
However if the year in your nickname is the one you were born I think that realistically it's too late for a formal school while you can still learn properly without it, and Mark's course is one of the best way to start.

1 hour ago, Michael1962 said:

Even doing Mark Lovick's course would not aid in getting any sort of employment here as everyone wants a traded watch maker and I completely understand that.

I think that is mostly an excuse. Once the customer demand is there AND they are actually hiring, any independent or official service center will evaluate any candidate that can demonstrate the needed skills as well the other qualities that make a good employee.

1 hour ago, Michael1962 said:

So along with all car industry leaving our shores, it appears that watch making is fast following it up.

Sorry but I think there's an important difference, Australia had produced automobiles but never watches. I think that Australia will continue having excellent repairers for both products.

 

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I had actually tried to post a reply on my phone last night.

Note to self:

Don't write posts after having a day that was an absolute PITA.

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You are right and I am going to pursue Mark's courses as this is something that I wholeheartedly believe that I can do and I could work from home. The ridiculous pressure that is placed on people where I work is now becoming real annoying.

At the moment, I don't have anywhere in the house that I could dedicate to a workshop. Garage is out as it is too dusty in there. All of the bedrooms in our house are taken up by daughter and grandson still at home at the moment. They plan on moving out as soon as they can, but I am not about to ask them to get out earlier than they can.

I just asked my wife what she thought about this and she said she has never known me to be interested in this sort of thing.

Now I just have to work out the logistics and go from there.

 

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On 9/4/2020 at 10:27 AM, Michael1962 said:

On top of them saying that a lot of companies will not even supply their parts to independent watch makers

Yes, it's truly demoralizing, and a true PITA. I'm servicing a friend's Omega SeaMaster dress watch calibre 268 right now, and the fear of loosing a part and/or not being able to replace it in case it needs to be replaced is very intimidating and almost takes the fun out of it.

On 9/5/2020 at 7:19 AM, Michael1962 said:

I had actually tried to post a reply on my phone last night.

Note to self:

Don't write posts after having a day that was an absolute PITA.

No need to apologize, the situation truly sucks! Even parts for modern Japanese movements still being manufactured, and in the millions, such as Seiko are or are near impossible to source, even a simple barrel complete. :(

Edited by VWatchie
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6 hours ago, Michael1962 said:

Well that’s good news. 

Just don't assume that an individual can easily get any part for any past or present Seiko, surely it's not like that either.

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welcome to forum and  well, yeh thats enough of the welcome to you wanna learn watch making in Australia, you can't really.

first up, do you want to do vintage pieces or modern pieces ?

if its vintage, I can send you a copy of the Chicago Watch Makers college course which was designed for distance learning.

Do Mark's course, its one thing reading about it, its another thing seeing it done, especially when your starting out.

as to starting out,  I started on the dining room table and got one of these from kmart, it raises your work height and all your tools go under it when your done and the dining room table is clear of your "watch crap". 

image.thumb.png.443b3abfb32eb038a86e98238ee3eeda.png

in terms of tools, stay away from the cheap stuff on ebay, I've already replaced mine. 

theres two supply places I use in Australia for tools that I can recommend and with the shipping delays from Covid, your better if you can get them locally.

so start with Mark's course, its money well spent and ask questions.

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1 hour ago, Michael1962 said:

Ebay wasn't my first port of call. It is just inundated with cheap rubbish unfortunately.

I presume that the kit from Esslinger is similar in quality as the Ebay alternative?

Ebay / AliX / material houses/ anything else kits and cheap tools are ALL made in China, except some that is made in india (not the kits).

They are essentially ALL made to the same lowish standards, which doesn't mean they don't work.

If you pay more for a Chinese kit or tool  you have no guarantee you will get anything better, but likely just gave money for nothing to the seller, so just look at the pictures to see what's in there, how it looks, and if it has been reviewed on this forum.

When you "upgrade" from a Chinese tool to a Swiss one you won't be paying 1.5x, o even 3 more times, but more like 5x sometime 20x. And in some cases the item will be still made in China and perform similarly.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 9/4/2020 at 3:27 PM, Michael1962 said:

Where I live in Australia, there is one watchmaker that comes up in an inter web search. There are a fair few in Melbourne, and none south of Geelong that I could find.

I made some enquiries about watch making courses that would be the technical lesson part of a four year apprenticeship. And yep, I would have looked at it if I could have.

The only place in Australia that came up was in Ultimo in Sydney. And they have just suspended their course.

A phone call to the Watch & Clock Association of Australia was even more demoralising. On top of them saying that a lot of companies will not even supply their parts to independent watch makers (which I have also read about on here), they are beginning to see a lot of people just buying something, running it into the ground and then buying something else.

It appears now that the only option is living in Switzerland for 3 years and parting with $50k AUD for the WOSTEP course.

Even doing Mark Lovick's course would not aid in getting any sort of employment here as everyone wants a traded watch maker and I completely understand that.

So along with all car industry leaving our shores, it appears that watch making is fast following it up.

Maybe I can win Lotto and then I'll take the lovely wife, go live in Switzerland, do the course and be able to stop working for a manager that if I saw on fire I would bite a fuel tank open on a car to assist the conflagration.

As has already been mentioned in this thread, I would also encourage you to take a look at the British Horological Institute's correspondence course. It is excellent and the qualification is recognised if you complete and pass the exams. The only downside for you I guess is that (and I could be wrong) the exams need to be completed at the BHI HQ near notts, England. But most of the work is distance learning and you do get access to a tutor I believe. On the plus side, it could be a nice little vacation when you do need to complete the exams :)

 

 

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Email sent to the BHI.

Thanks for everyone's input and replies.

As for a kit, I have now seen enough replies to not follow that path. I will now get some prices from the three places that I know of in Australia that sell equipment and go from there.

I will also use Mark's information in my other thread for tools required to get started.

Thanks again.

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    • Introduction from me.  I'm a lifelong lover of watches starting when back in the 70's I got my first Timex. So now I'm well on my way into watch repair but with many questions and much to learn. I've enjoyed watching Mark Lovick's many repair videos and l thought it time to join the forum. I hope I can contribute to the forum and further this great interest of ours. Cheers Mark.
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