Watch and clock making

Watch and clock making in Britain offers exciting careers paths and one of our key objectives is to encourage new talent into our growing sector.

Horology is a uniquely satisfying life choice and it is open to anybody with an interest in timekeeping. There are no barriers and we’re particularly keen to encourage greater diversity within our sector.

As a sector, we can only guarantee our future by nurturing new and existing talent and by providing broad opportunities across our entire cluster of member companies. We’re also keen to encouraging professionals to enter our vital support services from design, engineering, sales, administration, accounting and HR.

Becoming a watch or clock maker

Anyone, from any background, can become a horologist – especially if you are the type of person who is always fascinated by how things work! Ultimately, it is about personality and aptitude. You’ll tend to be technical, detail-oriented, and very methodical.

Whether you have explored that through your hobbies, or from working in a ‘parallel’ world such as engineering, there’s no doubt that watch and clock makers simply love machines!

There’s no academic barrier either. In fact some of our greatest ever horologists struggled in the typical school environments. What they have shared is an unswerving dedication to their craft.

As a practical skill, there are some brilliant watch and clock making schools where you can learn your craft. Watch and clock making is also a vocation where apprenticeships are an important path to develop your skills.

However, once you are skilled, you will find yourself highly sought-after, both in Britain and abroad.

Birmingham City University

The unique BA Horology Course at the BCU School of Jewellery continues to work closely with industry partners to deliver excellence in education and training, with particular emphasis on employability skills tailored to meet the growing global demand for qualified watch and clockmakers. The three year Degree develops specialised Watch & Clockmaking skills alongside a strong historical and theoretical understanding of the developments in movement design and performance.

“We have a strong history of engaging with industry at BCU and very much welcome innovative ways to work with the sector to develop career opportunities for our Graduates and Alumni alike” 

Jeremy Hobbins

Deputy Head of School & Course Leader

British School of Watchmaking

A registered UK charity which offers two industry recognised courses, both with a strong focus on graduate employability. The school’s one year 1800 Hour Course is centred on preparing students to provide routine service of contemporary type products, from simple quartz movements through to complicated automatic chronographs. The longer two year 3000 Hour Course offers similar from a service perspective, however, through additional modules it delves much deeper providing valuable traditional watchmaking techniques, including component manufacture and finishing techniques.

Since 2006, we have provided vocational training to over 80 watchmakers setting out on their new careers in watchmaking. We are extremely proud to be part of the ever growing UK watch sector and for the part we have played in bringing new and highly skilled individuals into our industry” 

James Robinson

General Manager

The British Horological Institute

The centre of learning and expertise, the BHI has clock or watch making courses for every level – from beginner or expert; professional or enthusiast, They offer short, practical courses and longer distance-learning programmes through which you can, if you wish, take exams to qualify as a professional watch or clock maker.

Grants and bursaries – The George Daniels Trust

George Daniels CBE was a watchmaker for more than 60 years and was presented with more of his profession’s highest honours than any other person. His greatest contributions to the watchmaker’s art were to develop his Co-axial escapement, described as the most important horological development for over 250 years, and the seminal texts on the subject, Watchmaking (ISBN 978-0-85667-749-76) and The Practical Watch Escapement (ISBN 978-0-85667-687-1). 

George Daniels was passionate about education, and his legacy, The George Daniels’ Educational Trust, established upon his passing on the 21st October 2011, is a lasting tribute to a remarkable man. It was his wish to support students demonstrating initiative and merit, but lacking the necessary resources to realise their ambitions, so that they might advance their education and further the development of the disciplines of Engineering, Horology, Medicine and Building or Construction.

Endeavouring to realise George Daniels’ aspiration to bring watchmaking back to Britain, The George Daniels Educational Trust will promote horological training through supporting worthy students at Birmingham City University, the British School of Watchmaking and West Dean College.

By actively supporting those wishing to make a career from horology in the UK, we hope to see the development of a closer relationship between the Trust and horological manufacture in Britain, a tie that will hopefully ensure that the Trust, following George’s ethos, can more effectively facilitate progress.”

Mike Blayney


Careers in professional support

Growth of our sector means that there is an abundance of career roles which need people with particular skill-sets and backgrounds: marketing, sales, legal and business affairs, administration, PR, HR… the list goes on.

Our aim is to encourage ever higher standards of professional support into our sector, to help watch and clock makers succeed and flourish as businesses.

Thank you for supporting the Alliance of British Watch and Clock Makers. We are a not-for-profit organisation registered in the UK as a company limited by guarantee with No: 12463247.

Your membership dues support our aims to promote and support British Watch and Clock Making.