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Horologists specialize in working with watches, clocks, and chronometers. They may be involved in the research of timepieces or be historians of horology. In other instances, horologists design, create, and repair a wide variety of timepieces, including both antique and contemporary pieces.
While the majority of today’s watches are mass-manufactured in factories, the watchmaking profession still exists. However, it's an aging profession and a younger generation of watchmakers isn't coming up to fill in the gaps. The latest statistics show that there are only around 2,100 watchmakers in the United States today.
Watches can stop working for a number of reasons. If your watch has stopped or isn't keeping time accurately, you may need to replace the battery. Another common problem is when buttons stop working. Resolving these issues may be as simple as cleaning away dirt or dust that has accumulated around the controls.
Most manufacturers recommend that a watch be serviced every 4-7 years. However, you should also get your watch serviced if it's been damaged or it starts to lose accuracy. If you can, take your watch to a repair expert who specializes in the particular brand of watch you own.
Never attempt to open up your watch yourself, especially if it's an analog timepiece. You could damage the fragile parts that make up the mechanism. A watch repair expert will be able to diagnose and fix the problem. Very often, problems are easy to solve, such as a dead battery or a lack of lubricant on the mechanism or controls.
The cost of watch repairs can vary based on the brand, the age of your watch, and the specific problem. Repairs to a modern watch average about $200 while repairs to a vintage watch may cost $1,000 or more. Many watches come with a warranty period of one to two years during which the manufacturer covers the cost of any repairs.
Your watch will almost certainly be worth fixing if it would be expensive to replace, is a collectible piece, or holds sentimental value. Timely and professional repairs can help protect your investment and ensure that you get many more years of accurate timekeeping from your watch.
Some watch repairs, such as battery replacement, can be completed while you wait. However, some watches may need to be sent away to the manufacturer for repairs and this could take a number of weeks. A watch repair expert should be able to give you an accurate time frame based on the specific repairs your watch needs.
Rolex watches, especially vintage and limited edition models, tend to retain some of their value even if they're broken or damaged. Many collectors will repair them or use their parts to repair other Rolex watches in their collection.
The cost to repair a Rolex watch depends on a variety of factors, such as the specific problem, the cost of parts, and the skill and expertise required to complete the repair. The average cost to repair and overhaul a Rolex watch ranges from $400 to $800.
The ring around a watch, otherwise known as the bezel, can be used to calculate movement based on time or allow a diver to track elapsed time underwater and the amount of oxygen remaining in their tank. Some bezels rotate while others are stationary.
The geared clock was invented in the third century B.C. by the great mathematician, engineer, and physicist, Archimedes. His astronomical clock featured birds singing and moving every hour and included a series of weights and strings regulated by water.
The first modern-day clock was invented by a German locksmith, Peter Henlein, in 1510. He became world-renowned for his clockmaking expertise and designed beautiful timepieces for clock towers and palaces across Europe.
One of the most common reasons that a grandfather clock stops working is because the pendulum disk isn't configured properly. This can cause the clock mechanism to go "out of beat." You can speed the clock up by moving the pendulum disk up or slow your clock down by moving the pendulum disk down.
The cost to repair a clock or grandfather clock can vary based on the exact type, manufacturer, age, and the cost of replacement parts. The cost to repair a grandfather clock can be as high as $2,500, while repairs to a wall or mantle clock can cost up to $400.
There are two ways to get into the watchmaking profession: You can enter an apprenticeship with a professional watchmaker or enroll in a watchmaking school or program. Both can give you the hands-on knowledge and experience required to build a career in this fulfilling, high-demand profession.
On average, watchmakers in the United States earn between $36,000 and $53,000 a year. Luxury watchmakers can make $62,500 to $100,000 a year or more depending on the company they work for.