A versatile master of time
The job of a clock maker is to manufacture, repair or sell all types of timekeeping devices, such as watches, timepieces and alarm clocks. An age-old discipline, clock-making nonetheless has an eye on the future and places great importance on electronic components.
Clock makers must be able to adapt their working style to small items (such as mechanical or electronic watches, or watches with complications), as well as to large items (pendulum clocks, alarm clocks or even clocks on buildings). A clock maker has to be both a micro engineer and an electronics engineer.
Clock makers design, construct and assemble the high-precision mechanisms and their various components. They mount the hands and dials, and encase the movement in its housing using traditional equipment and tools as well as sophisticated new apparatus. They use powerful optical instruments and precision tools that are specially designed for handling tiny, feather-light components.
Clock makers are familiar with IT tools and use computer-aided design (CAD) applications. An integral part of the clock maker's work is inspecting the finished product, including the movement. If a clock or watch malfunctions, the clock maker must find the faulty components, repair them and check them. They must also be able to reproduce damaged mechanical parts for the refurbishment of old timepieces. This profession requires a great deal of versatility as it blends creation, maintenance and repair.
Clock makers may work alone or in a team – but they are most often found working alone in manufacturing workshops, jewellery and watch shops, repair shops in shopping centres and in the after-sales service teams of clock and watch brands. Sometimes, they may need to travel for work – for instance if they are working on a large clock mounted on a building. When working in a boutique, clock makers also have to put their business hat on and assist customers.
Skills required: patience – precision – discipline – creativity – concentration - dexterity – meticulousness – visual skills – manual skills – team spirit – autonomy – customer rapport