Keeping everything running like clockwork
A watchmaking machine operator assembles the various components that make up a clock mechanism, which is then mounted in a mechanical or automatic watch. An expert in the intricacies of watchmaking, the machine operator handles the very heart of the watch, along with its mechanisms and main elements. Their tasks include winding the watch and setting the time, configuring the mainspring, adjusting the gears and much more.
They must also deftly position the dial and hands on the movement. The watchmaking machine operator is responsible for assembling the timepiece, placing various components in their housing and attaching the strap. In some cases, they may also be required to calibrate the movement itself, which includes assembling and adjusting the components and making sure that everything is working accurately.
At every stage on the production line, the utmost precision is required in order to guarantee the highest quality. This profession requires the ability to follow instructions to the letter at all times. The machine operator's years of experience in the trade give them the dexterity they need to complete their tasks within the required time limits.
Their role also includes maintenance of the machines and tools they use to assemble the components of the movement. They are familiar with the safety rules and environmental standards for waste disposal, and apply them consistently. They create simple sketches and are able to read and interpret technical drawings. After every step in the production process, they make sure that all the components they have handled are working correctly and meet the aesthetic standards.
As employees in the watchmaking industry, watchmaking machine operators are supervised by watchmakers and watch manufacturers. They work in a team which comprises other watchmaking machine operators. Practitioners of this skilled profession work in workshops or watchmaking production stations, which are well-lit and relatively quiet environments. Depending on their place of employment, their working hours may fall during the day or they may work shifts, such as a 2x8 hour pattern.
Skills required: interest in micromechanics – discipline – precision – concentration – patience – manual dexterity – visual acuity – meticulousness – flexibility – team spirit – speed