• I want to become a watchmaker, what is the best way to start my career?
There are three main ways to start learning watchmaking: through an apprenticeship, formal training, or self-teaching. Whichever option works best for you we strongly recommend finding the support of an experienced master watchmaker to help you. If you are able to study full-time then we strongly recommend applying to the British School of Watchmaking. As there are very few British watchmakers using heritage hand skills; traditional apprenticeships are very rare. To follow any opportunities, we recommend regularly checking the jobs page of the British Horological Institute.
• Do you offer workshop tours and experiences?
Unfortunately, due to the size of our workshop and time restraints, we are not currently able to offer tours or experiences. We do, however, occasionally exhibit at events where you are able to meet the watchmakers and see more of their work. To be notified of any future events please subscribe to our mailing list.
• I’m researching a watch, can you help me?
We are only able to assist with research enquiries for watches coming in for restoration or service. Depending on the level of detail desired, and whether you would like printed documents provided, there may be an additional charge for this.
• I’m designing a watch/looking to start my own business, can you give me any advice?
As we only make our own watches using traditional hand skills and have a very small team we are currently unable to help with production and consultancy for other companies or individuals.
Servicing and Restoration Questions
• I would like my watch servicing or restoring, where do I begin?
In order to give you a fully comprehensive quote we need to physically inspect your watch in our workshop. We are able to give approximate guidance by email if you are able to send us a brief description of the watch, any faults or damage you are aware of, and preferably a few photographs. To receive tailored advice on your watch please contact us.
• Do you service or restore any watch?
Struthers Watchmakers specialise in the servicing and restoration of pre-1960s mechanical wrist and pocket watches. We work on a wide variety of brands, from those whose value is purely sentimental to rare and complicated pieces. Our approach is that if your watch is valuable to you, then it is valuable to us, regardless of the price tag attached. For a greater indication of some of the watches we have worked on, please visit the case studies section of our servicing and restoration page.
• How much will it cost to have my watch serviced or restored?
Every watch will have its own unique set of requirements. Our basic service of a manual-wind time-only watch starts at £435 (including VAT) and some of our most complicated restoration work has cost several thousand pounds. We provide unique tailored quotes for each watch detailing the exact nature of the work required. For more information on our price structure please visit our servicing and restoration page or contact us to receive more personalised advice.
• How long will my service or restoration take?
The turnaround times for servicing and restoration very much depend on the complexity of the watch, repair, and waiting list at the time. We advise on timescales when we supply our estimates. For basic servicing these usually start at 4-6 weeks. For more complicated work this may increase significantly. Please contact us for specific advice about your watch.
• Do you give a guarantee?
We guarantee all of our servicing and restoration work for 12 months from completion.
Questions about Commissioning a Watch
• I would like to commission a watch, where do I begin?
The best way to start your journey towards commissioning a timepiece is by contacting us with any ideas you have, either by email, or over the phone. We have worked with clients who have had very specific requirements, and, for others who were happy for us to lead on the design and finishing. We can work around an existing design which we tailor-make to order or we can produce something completely unique. For ideas and to see some of our recent work head to our tailor-made and bespoke case studies pages.
• How much does commissioning a watch cost?
The prices of our tailor-made watches start at £16,500. Bespoke pieces start at £36,000. The cost of our in-house movement is available on request.
• How much of the watches do you make yourselves?
For our first in-house movement, Project 248, we will be making almost every component of the watch (wheels, escapement, shock setting, plates, case, dial et cetera) ourselves using traditional hand skills and heritage machinery. The hairspring and mainspring are being sourced and we will be using vintage and antique jewels for the train and escapement. We also offer a tailor-made and bespoke service based around restoring vintage and antique watch calibres that we strip back to bare bones and rebuild from the ground up; making modifications and improvements as we go. We always complete all or the majority of our case and dial making in-house; occasionally working with local and international artisans to provide specialist skills such as engraving and enamelling.