I discovered the world of watchmaking in a roundabout way. Here’s my little story about it.
I should have known way back in high school that making watches is where I wanted to be when I started painting cogs in art class. I thought they were interesting, but somehow I never painted watch or clock mechanisms which maybe would have piqued my interest in watches sooner. Off to university I went.
I discovered jewellery making throughout my education and made it a focus of my studies as I acquired my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. After university, it all got dropped. I had to make ends meet while my wife was finishing school(and had to pay off my student loan), so I worked at a call centre(not fun) for 3 years. I dabbled a bit with jewellery, but it didn’t stick with me until we moved back to Ontario.
I knew that I didn’t want to work in a call centre anymore once we moved back, so I started looking for a job in a field where my only other experience was…jewellery. So I ended up working at a small jewellery repair shop that also did watch repair.
I didn’t think much of the job at first(it was a boring sales job), so I started bugging the watchmaker to teach me. It was like pulling teeth because the watchmaker thought I was just there to man the desk and talk to customers(which was what I was supposed to be doing). Slowly, he opened up(with a lot of pestering) and started showing me how to repair watches. By the end of my employment there, I was the store manager and also doing most of the watch repair.
Throughout my employment there I also started making my own jewellery on the side, acquiring tools and setting up my own little studio at home…well really just a bench in the middle of our living room. I started doing shows around town selling my wares when I was able.
At this point I was really getting interested in watches and started doing some scouting for suppliers of parts and making some prototypes. This process went on for 2 or 3 years until I finally decided that making watches was what I really wanted to do.
And so, I’ve been at it for a couple years now and have loved every minute, whether it be frustrating(quite often), or if I’m having an epiphany(not often enough). I’m building on my watchmaking skills through extra self study(through the British Horological Institute) and hopefully I’ll be able to continue designing and making watches for a very long time.