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 The current offerings available to curious watch collectors are insufficient and outdated in providing what many collectors strive for.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:
Bands and Bracelets
Construction and materials of bracelets and bands
How bracelets and straps are attached
Removing/Adding links to bracelets
Adjusting and replacing clasps
Case back types, removal, and reinstallation
Crystal types, removal, and reinstallation
Crown and case tube types
Bezel types, removal, and reinstallation
Movement ring types
Water Resistance Testing
Explanation of depth ratings
Wet Vacuum testing
Helium valves and depth indicators
Dial and Hands
Dial construction, removal, and attachment
Hand types, removal, attachment, alignment
Types of luminous material
History of quartz
Electronic testing functions
Diagnosing and troubleshooting
Overview of functionality
Grades of movements
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
Movement bench block
Dust cover with tray
Bracelet bench block
Buff stick leather 6.0 mm wide with plexi-cover
Lint-free Cloth Selvyt or Micro-fiber
ETACHRON regulator adjusting tool
Hand or flat File with handle, cut # 4
Hand removers or Levers
Vinyl protection for dial/hands
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
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
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