Occupation overview

A watchmaker is someone who is able to use their skill and labour to service and repair a range of watches including, quartz and mechanical, both manual winding and automatic. The work is of a very delicate and skilled nature and requires the use of hand and machine tools and complex test equipment to service and adjust the movement and refurbish the case so that the watch meets manufacturer’s standards and is water resistant to the specified pressure. A watchmaker services watches within the range from quartz to automatic, ether as a sole trader, working for a small business such as a jeweller, or part of a team of watchmakers employed by a large service company.


  • Health & Safety and Working Environment demonstrate safe working practices when using tools, equipment and materials to achieve and maintain a safe working environment; identify and minimise hazards and risks in the working environment.
  • Technical Interpretation and Understanding interpret and understand manufacturers’ technical documentation (specifications, drawings, assembly procedures) and other written and verbal instructions for the servicing of watches.
  • Tools and equipment maintain tools and equipment in an appropriate condition to undertake the servicing procedures for watchmaking.
  • Assessment of the Condition Watches select and use appropriate test equipment and use structured observation to determine the condition of watch movements, cases and bracelets; decide appropriate levels of intervention; cost and seek approval for work; record test results, observations and outcomes in accordance with company policy.
  • The Refurbishment of Watch Cases and Bracelets select and use appropriate tools, equipment and techniques to open different types of watch cases; remove / replace watch movements; refinish polished and grained surfaces of the watch case and bracelet; specify replacement components; prepare and reassemble components (e.g. gaskets, glasses, pushers); reseal watch cases.
  •  The Service and Repair of Watch Movements select and use appropriate tools equipment, materials and techniques to service and repair watch movements: dismantle the movement; ensure components are in a suitable condition for re-assembly; specify replacement components; reassemble, lubricate and adjust the movement components; ensure the serviced movement meets the company’s and manufacturer’s specification.
  • Quality work to the appropriate procedures and standards specified by the company and the manufacturer; complete records in accordance with company policy; use the appropriate language when communicating (with both customer and company); manage time effectively; identify learning points from others / self to improve achievement.



  • Health & Safety the application of health and safety legislation (e.g. COSHH, PPE) and company regulations for conforming to Health and Safety at Work Regulations; the benefit of risk analysis to ensure the safety of self and others when using tools, equipment and materials during work processes; the benefit of safe and sustainable disposal of waste materials and cleaning fluids.
  • Tools and Equipment the construction, function, operational principles and maintenance of tools, equipment and materials required for watchmaking (e.g. screwdrivers, tweezers, case opening tools, test equipment for quartz and mechanical watches, test equipment for water resistance).
  • Assessment of the Condition of Watches the procedures for the identification of operational faults in watches using a range of results from test equipment and the visual assessment of the condition and operation of watch movement components, watch cases and bracelets; the principles for determining appropriate levels of intervention, costing and seeking approval for work (with both customer and company).
  • The Refurbishment of Watch Cases and Bracelets the construction and materials used for different types of watch cases and bracelets (e.g. two piece, three piece, pushers, stems, gaskets); the approaches for securing movements to watch cases; the specification of replacement watch case components (e.g. gaskets, glasses, pushers); the standards for water resistance.
  • The Service and Repair of Watch Movements the function, construction and operational principles of quartz and mechanical watch movements; the characteristics of components (e.g. gear trains, springs, jewels); the procedures for cleaning, preparing and storing watch components; the specification of replacement watch components (e.g. mainsprings, wheels, jewels, shock resistant settings).
  • Quality the company’s and manufacturer’s procedures for maintaining quality standards and record keeping.



  • Making It Happen complete tasks; adapt work plans to reflect changing situations; organise work space effectively; identify with environmental and ethical issues; work in accordance with principles for health and safety.
  •  Learning to Learn and Striving for Excellence strive to improve performance and knowledge; reflect on progress and set goals for achievement; share learning with others; keep others informed of progress; keep up to date with new developments; show a passion for watches and the historical and contemporary context of watchmaking.
  • Working with Others maintain good working relationships with others; seek advice and support where necessary; undertake tasks with consideration for others; contribute actively to team / company goals; accept tasks readily.
  • Communication and Presentation initiate communication confidently to further the work process; complete internal documentation promptly and with attention to detail; show appropriate body language and attitude; wear appropriate clothing; present a clean and tidy appearance.


Entry Requirements

Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the endpoint assessment.



Typically the apprenticeship will take 24 months to complete


Professional Qualification / Recognition

This apprenticeship standard is set at Level 3.

Achievement of the standard meets the requirements for eligibility for Membership of the British Watch and Clockmakers Guild.


Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


Recruiting school leavers? We can help