top of page

HSU Educational Vision

The Board of Directors has approved this ambitious but possible vision for the future of horological education in Utah and the United States. 

From the Horological Society of Utah Board of Directors:


It is a key goal of the Horological Society of Utah (HSU) to be an innovator in the field of beginner watch repair and watchmaker education. The current offerings available to curious watch collectors are insufficient and outdated in providing what many collectors strive for. There are countless people within this hobby that are hungry for an organization that can provide professionally produced curriculum that goes beyond just gaining an appreciation for the inner workings of a watch but also does not rise to the skill level or expense of a course designed to prepare someone for a career in the field. There is a vast middle area that has yet to be explored by any professional organization. 


The plan for HSU’s educational platform will be to implement basic lesson plans geared towards practical applications and hands on skills that an ambitious collector will be able to gain confidence over a low demand series of courses to safely perform basic interventions on their own timepieces. Each course will be a part of a series that will culminate in a final assessment and personal watch project that only those who have completed the entire series will be eligible to participate in. Upon successful completion of the personal watch project, the candidate will be granted the title of HSU - Basic Watch Tech I. The long term plan is to develop multiple series of courses that would each culminate in the next level of certification. 


The following outline is the initial series of courses that will be offered before the first personal watch project. Each course will include hands on practice with each element to go along with the in person instruction:


  1. Bands and Bracelets

    1. Construction and materials of bracelets and bands

    2. How bracelets and straps are attached

    3. Removing/Adding links to bracelets

    4. Adjusting and replacing clasps


  1. Case Construction

    1. Case back types, removal, and reinstallation

    2. Crystal types, removal, and reinstallation

    3. Crown and case tube types

    4. Bezel types, removal, and reinstallation

    5. Movement ring types


  1. Water Resistance Testing

    1. Explanation of depth ratings

    2. Dry testing

    3. Wet Testing

    4. Wet Vacuum testing

    5. Helium valves and depth indicators


  1. Dial and Hands

    1. Dial construction, removal, and attachment

    2. Hand types, removal, attachment, alignment

    3. Types of luminous material


  1. Quartz movements

    1. History of quartz

    2. Electronic testing functions

    3. Cell changing

    4. Diagnosing and troubleshooting


  1. Mechanical movements

    1. Overview of functionality

    2. Grades of movements

    3. Rate adjustment


Personal Watch Project - This project will be the culmination of all 6 courses. It will consist of receiving disassembled components for 2 complete watches including cases, bracelets, movements, dials and hands. Utilizing all the skills learned in the previous courses, the candidate will be responsible for assembling all the components into complete watches that are functioning and wearable at the time of completion. The watches will be graded for functionality and aesthetics using industry standard quality control procedures. The final assessment will determine the candidates eligibility for certification as Basic Watch Tech I.


The Horological Society of Utah has been given a headquarters with classroom space by a generous member. There were also donations of height adjustable workstation benches. At this point, the only thing we are lacking is the tools and equipment necessary to provide the level of professional courses that will make this educational program a lasting success. 


The goal for capacity of each class will be 8 people per class. That means we will need 8 sets of many tools while big pieces of equipment will be shared and we will only need 1. The following lists have been broken up into the quantities needed based on a full class. 


8 items needed from the following list:


Bench riser with drawers

Bench lamp

Movement bench block

Dust cover with tray

Bracelet bench block

Pin punch


Buff stick leather 6.0 mm wide with plexi-cover

Casing cushion

Lint-free Cloth Selvyt or Micro-fiber

Rubber Dust-blower

ETACHRON regulator adjusting tool

Hand or flat File with handle, cut # 4

Hand removers or Levers

Hand pushers

Vinyl protection for dial/hands

Loupe 5X

Loupe 10X

Dial side movement holders, 11 ½ ligne round, 16 ligne, etc.

Movement holder adjustable


Rodico or Rub-off

Set of Screwdrivers, with stand

Sliding pin vise


End nippers

Tweezers, bronze

Tweezers, antimagnetic, No. 3

Tweezers for hands,  type F

Tweezers, plastic for battery

Jaxa style case back remover

Lever case back remover

Knife case back remover

Fomblin grease dispenser

Gasket lubricator


4 items needed from the following list to be shared between 2 students:


Simple Timegrapher for minor watch adjustments

Hand pusher press


1 item needed from the following list to be shared between the entire class:


Micromat C automatic timing machine

Standing screwback case opener/closer with friction dies

Case press with set of dies

Dry pressure tester with compressor

Wet pressure tester

Wet Vacuum tester


Quartz movement tester


Case tube press


This set of tooling will allow us to perform our initial offering of courses in addition to the personal watch project. The estimated cost to purchase most of the necessary tooling at a non-profit rate is $25,000. We are ready to pilot the courses in the fall of 2024 as long as the project can be fully funded by then. 


We are requesting donations from the local Utah horological community first and foremost before selling the opportunity to watch brands or other companies to maintain the independence of our education and certification. 


We’d like to thank everyone who has already contributed to make this project a reality to become the only current organization providing this type of watchmaking education in the United States. 


The Horological Society of Utah Board of Directors


Aaron Recksiek

Greg White

John Liley

Josh Alfaro

Bruce Williams

Bruno Olivera

Jason Woods

Robert Day

bottom of page