Watchmakers are responsible for the maintenance, repair and setting of digital and analogue watches. Watchmakers receive broken or defective watches, listen to customers' complaints and trace faults.

They dismantle watches, repair or replace broken or worn parts and assemble the watches again. They adjust, set, where applicable, wind them up and test them.

Watchmakers also clean, service and oil clocks. When parts are unobtainable watchmakers may manufacture them. Watchmakers employed in the manufacturing industry, assemble watches, adjust, and set them. Watchmakers may also repair jewellery, silverware and other items.

Watchmakers, who own their own shops, supervise employees, keep records, order parts and supplies and perform other managerial duties.

Watchmakers usually work in quiet, clean and pleasant workshops. They use fine and delicate instruments. They may also work in the workshops of large jewellery manufacturing firms under similar working conditions.

Personal Requirements

  • high personal standards of craftsmanship
  • mechanical insight and aptitude
  • honest in dealing with customers
  • able to concentrate
  • attention to fine detail
  • able to work accurately
  • patient and persevering
  • very definite finger dexterity
  • very good eyesight
  • good eye-hand coordination and orientation
  • excellent depth perception

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 10 Certificate

What to Study

Watchmaking is not a designated trade. A training course is run at some FET Colleges. Practical as well as theoretical training is provided. After completing the full-time training, trainees write a trade test and if successful, receive a Trade Training Certificate.

Experienced watchmakers may also train aspirant watchmakers. Further training is available for workers who are interested in management and who show leadership qualities.


  • jewellers
  • manufacturers of watches
  • wholesalers of watches
  • self-employment, a skilled and entrepreneurial watchmaker can start own workshop

Getting Started

  • go to watchmakers’ shops and talk to them about this type of career and ask to observe them work
  • visit a watch manufacturing firm and observe watchmakers on assembly lines

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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