A watch repairer performs a number of tasks to restore antique and modern watches of all types to their original, working condition. A professional uses many different precision hand and electric tools to make delicate repairs, lubricate parts, and clean a watch. He or she might specialize by working on a certain type or brand of watch, or offer general repair services for a wide variety of timepieces. Most watch repairers work at jewelry stores and private repair shops, though a professional might choose to allow clients to mail or hand deliver their watches to his or her home business.
When a favorite timepiece stops ticking, an individual can locate a respected watch repairer to clean and fix it properly. Many repairers only work on specific kinds of watches, such as pocket watches, antiques, or expensive brands. Repairers usually focus on the mechanical and electrical components of watch compartments, though some experts will also clean or replace damaged bands and clasps. In addition, some professionals offer similar repair services for other small mechanical devices, clocks, and jewelry.
An expert watch repairer employs several small tools to work on tiny, fragile gears, hands, and screws. He or she frequently uses screwdrivers, picks, pins, magnets, and magnifying glasses. When a band or other metal piece of a watch must be replaced or repaired, a professional uses metal shears, soldering guns, and precision torches. A watch repairer might lubricate gears and small parts by applying a tiny amount of synthetic oil using an eye dropper or a similar device.
The popularity of digital watches has created a demand for watch repairers with expert knowledge of electronics. Instead of tweaking hands and gears, a watch repairer who works on modern digital watches may have to crimp wires or adjust tiny electrical motors. A repair job may entail a simple adjustment, such as changing a battery, or a series of complex tasks, such as reassembling a display piece or a minuscule capacitor.
Most watch repairers learn the trade by working as apprentices to experienced professionals. An apprenticeship can last anywhere from three or four months to several years depending on the new watch repairer's skills, abilities, and level of expertise he or she wants to attain. Individuals interested in finding out more about watch repair, and learning how to do it themselves, can perform an online search or use a phone book to find experts in their area. Some mechanically inclined people are able to successfully learn the basics of watch repair by studying instructional books and videos.