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Old 20.12.2010, 11:44
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Training in Watch Manufacturing

Greeting to all,


I'm a black South African who is interested in being trained in wrist watch manufacturing and I know that Switzerland is on top of the list when coming to the best watches that has ever and still being produced in the world. So I would appriciate it if you can assist with answering the following questions honestly -


1. Is there training of foreigners in watch manufacturing and if so are there classes which are conducted in English?

2. On average, how much will it cost and how long odes it take for one to qualify as a wrist watch manufacturer especially mechanical watches? If possible please refer colleges or training institute you might be knowing.

3. I have never heard of any racially serious racial insults in Switzerland but would honeslty like to know if I will have racial problem if I come study there as a black person.

4. Will I feel comfortable in talking English? Are there people there friendly?


Thank you in advance.
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  #2  
Old 20.12.2010, 12:43
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

Welcome PuleZa to the Forum.

Yes there is a watch making industry, and apprenticeships are fiercely contested. The industry is based in the west of Switzerland from Geneva to Yverdon to La Chaux de Fonds, Neuchâtel to Biel/Bienne. In this area they all speak French and would expect you to be very well spoken in French as well: enough to explain for example the differences between a Lion and a Tiger.

In Switzerland there are often racial problems. Many, many, black Nigerians enter Switzerland as refugees and then become criminals mainly robbing and selling drugs. This has not helped any law abiding decent black skinned people here at all.

As far as I know you would need to apply to one of the technical schools for a place now, for courses starting in August 2011. This website looks to be a good place to start your searches http://www.fhs.ch/en/ it is the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry.

Technical schools in the area,
  • Centre intercommunal de formation - École technique des montagnes neuchâtelois, Le Locle CIFOM-ETMN
  • École technique CPLN, Neuchâtel CPLN-ET
Ecole d'Ingénieurs du Canton de Neuchâtel -- Haute Ecole Arc - Bern, Jura, Neuchâtel

Ecole d'Ingénieurs et d'Architecture Fribourg -- University of Applied Sciences of Fribourg - Fribourg

ESIG -- School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD) - Yverdon-les-Bains

To be honest with you, unless you are living here with rich parents, it is going to be very difficult to get the correct training. There are not many places, and Swiss children will have priority.
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Old 20.12.2010, 13:59
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

Don't forget Fleurier - where Vaucher Manufacture/Parmigiani train their own watch-makers at their own school. But as said, it is very difficult to get a place. I know a guy in Fleurier who has a private watch-making school- but no idea of his prices and availability. He does not speak French, but I could offer support as I am bilingual French/English. If you are interested at all in looking into it- get in touch again the 2nd week in Jan, as I shall be too busy until then make enquiries.
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Old 20.12.2010, 14:01
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

Thread moved from Politics / News to Other / General, and welcome to the forum!
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Old 20.12.2010, 14:19
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

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Welcome PuleZa to the Forum.
Thanks buddy.

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Yes there is a watch making industry, and apprenticeships are fiercely contested. The industry is based in the west of Switzerland from Geneva to Yverdon to La Chaux de Fonds, Neuchâtel to Biel/Bienne. In this area they all speak French and would expect you to be very well spoken in French as well: enough to explain for example the differences between a Lion and a Tiger.
I guess this means i need to learn French in which I have less than a year to do so if I'm looking into starting August 2011.

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Many, many, black Nigerians enter Switzerland as refugees and then become criminals mainly robbing and selling drugs.
We facing the same problem in South Africa which ended up resulting in xhenophobia and if the government here do not address it as a matter of urgency the our kids won't have a bright future because they are lured into drugs by some of those hooligans. I have to agree with you that even the descent working guys suffer the consequences.

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As far as I know you would need to apply to one of the technical schools for a place now, for courses starting in August 2011. This website looks to be a good place to start your searches http://www.fhs.ch/en/ it is the Federation of Swiss Watch Industry.



Technical schools in the area,
  • Centre intercommunal de formation - École technique des montagnes neuchâtelois, Le Locle CIFOM-ETMN
  • École technique CPLN, Neuchâtel CPLN-ET
Ecole d'Ingénieurs du Canton de Neuchâtel -- Haute Ecole Arc - Bern, Jura, Neuchâtel

Ecole d'Ingénieurs et d'Architecture Fribourg -- University of Applied Sciences of Fribourg - Fribourg

ESIG -- School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD) - Yverdon-les-Bains
Thanks again.

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To be honest with you, unless you are living here with rich parents, it is going to be very difficult to get the correct training. There are not many places, and Swiss children will have priority.
I will possibly be sponsored by our government as that's one of the skills we lack in the country but only time will tell. I wouldn't even mind to come over in 2012.

Last edited by vwild1; 21.12.2010 at 02:09. Reason: fixed broken quote
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Old 20.12.2010, 14:20
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

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Don't forget Fleurier - where Vaucher Manufacture/Parmigiani train their own watch-makers at their own school. But as said, it is very difficult to get a place. I know a guy in Fleurier who has a private watch-making school- but no idea of his prices and availability. He does not speak French, but I could offer support as I am bilingual French/English. If you are interested at all in looking into it- get in touch again the 2nd week in Jan, as I shall be too busy until then make enquiries.
Is the course recognised by the Certification of Switzerland?
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Old 20.12.2010, 14:39
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

Not trying to put you off Switzerland, but there are other good places to learn - this is a course in Birmingham, UK, which would mean you don't need to learn another language. It's a two year course but it's pretty pricey - this is the link from a webiste for Indian students looking to study abroad.
http://www.uniguru.com/studyabroad/u.../programs.html

Below is the direct link to the uni course from which you can find the other relevant info. (The price on here which is much lower is for UK students.)
http://www.bcu.ac.uk/courses/horology

I don't know this course specifically but the university (formerly University of Central England / Birmingham Polytechnic) is okay. It's also the only one that the British Horological Institute has on their website as a full time course. The ex-polytechnics are great places for learning more practical specialised skills.
http://www.bhi.co.uk/education.html#Colleges

There is a whole load of info on the BHI website which will be useful for you even if you do decide to come to Switzerland, including some good articles in English.
http://www.bhi.co.uk/Documents/HH1-30.pdf

As I said, i don't want to put you off Switzerland, but if you're concerned about people here judging you based on what you look like, Birmingham is a vastly more multicultural and friendly place to live.

Cheers,

Ali.

Edit: This is another forum member, who as his name suggests, could be worth asking. It doesn't look like he's still active on the forum (join date 14.11.2010, last visited 14.11.2010) but you could try sending him an email through the link on his contact page.
http://www.englishforum.ch/members/6...atchmaker.html

Last edited by ali_the_nomad; 20.12.2010 at 15:01. Reason: more info
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Old 20.12.2010, 16:48
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

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Is the course recognised by the Certification of Switzerland?
I have no idea- he is just an old school friend of mine and I am not in the trade. If you are still interested, get back in touch 2nd week in Jan and I'll phone him and ask him for the details, certification and costs. No time to do so before Christmas, sorry.
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Old 21.12.2010, 02:03
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

Thanks Ali and Odile for all your assistance.
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Old 21.12.2010, 18:16
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

The best course for you could be the course at WOSTEP. www.wostep.ch It is held in English and is a 2 year course. WOSTEP is in Neuchatel in the French speaking part of Switzerland. If you are WOSTEP trained you will work very hard but if completed successfully you will be ready to move on to be a very well trained watchmaker. The course is very intense and you must be over 23 years old.

The next one due is from August 2013 - May 2015.
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Old 21.12.2010, 18:31
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

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The best course for you could be the course at WOSTEP. www.wostep.ch It is held in English and is a 2 year course. WOSTEP is in Neuchatel in the French speaking part of Switzerland. If you are WOSTEP trained you will work very hard but if completed successfully you will be ready to move on to be a very well trained watchmaker. The course is very intense and you must be over 23 years old.

The next one due is from August 2013 - May 2015.
This one looks quite nice. If you are resident in CH it will cost you around 20k SFR accommodation not included. I live in Lausanne, which would be OK to commute I guess. I wonder what are the career possibilities, salary range and career future for such a qualification.
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Old 21.12.2010, 18:45
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

Throwing in the German alternative: In Glashütte, a town in Saxony famous for watchmaking is a state owned school for watchmakers with a nationally accredited degree. They have the website for their 2 year fulltime course in English, which is very unusual for a school that is not on university level and in Eastern Germany - I could not quite find out if the course is in English as well, but if they offer the course info already, you could ask... (click on "Uhrmacher" on the right hand side) http://www.bsz-dw.de/
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Old 23.12.2010, 04:46
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

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The best course for you could be the course at WOSTEP. www.wostep.ch It is held in English and is a 2 year course. WOSTEP is in Neuchatel in the French speaking part of Switzerland. If you are WOSTEP trained you will work very hard but if completed successfully you will be ready to move on to be a very well trained watchmaker. The course is very intense and you must be over 23 years old.

The next one due is from August 2013 - May 2015.
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This one looks quite nice. If you are resident in CH it will cost you around 20k SFR accommodation not included. I live in Lausanne, which would be OK to commute I guess. I wonder what are the career possibilities, salary range and career future for such a qualification.
The WOSTEP program is very good and the only option for English speakers here. The school is funded by the watch industry, and students who want to stay here after training typically have jobs well before the end of the course. Entry level positions for an horloger complet (fully trained watchmaker) range from around 4k to 5K CHF. 6-7K CHF would be about the cap for a watchmaker working on high end and complicated watches; to go further would mean getting more into management and away from the workbench. There are exceptions and depending on the company and the region I've heard of salaries for bench watchmakers up to 8-9000 CHF- but again ~6-7K is the norm for high end and complications, with lower salaries up in the mountains around Le Locle for example and higher in Geneva. (5kCHF goes further in Le Locle than 7K does in Geneva by the way).

As the original question is regarding manufacturing- no schools have an actual program for this. There is a qualification of constructeur, which is for the design of the movement itself, but this is offered only by the state schools and will be in French or German. As a WOSTEP student you would tour a number of factories from small to very large, which would give an insight at least as to what is involved in going from A to Z.

If you consider the UK as a geographical option have a look at The British School of Watchmaking, which is a partner school with WOSTEP and teaches the same course material.
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Old 23.12.2010, 18:45
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

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If you consider the UK as a geographical option have a look at The British School of Watchmaking, which is a partner school with WOSTEP and teaches the same course material.

Unfortunately this school in Manchester only takes 6 students per year and they tend to take trainee watchmakers who are already employed by watch companies.
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Old 06.01.2011, 19:11
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Re: Training in Watch Manufacturing

Check out this website

http://www.mauricedemauriac.ch/sites/eng/portrait.html

The owner manufactures his watches himself maybe he would offer you a job and you would learn as you go along. Hes a very nice guy.

his email address is info@mauricedemauriac.ch

best of luck
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