OSU Watchmaking

The University of Oklahoma has revamped it’s watchmaking program. It is unclear to me if they remain a WOSTEP partner school or not, it looks like they are focusing on AWCI-CW21 recognition instead. That would be a bold move, but I believe it would be a smart one.

A press release on the school’s web page touts their new 5 year commitment to Rolex with $1,000,000 in backing. A similar move which Rolex has taken with North Seattle Community College & St. Paul.


2 Responses to “OSU Watchmaking”

  1. 1 J.Peter February 4, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Follow-up: It has been confirmed to me that Oklahoma has not renewed their agreement with WOSTEP.

  2. 2 Prem Chainani April 2, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    It seems to me a lot is being said and nothing done about the future training of watchmakers. I am of the opinion, that to be a good watchmaker you have to be a good micro-mechanic. Undoubtedly, the best schools of watchmaking were and still are Swiss. What is irrelevant, is the fact that WOSTEP really only teaches you the insides of the watch- the movement. What it doesn’t cover are the xxx hours required for a trained individual to understand watchmaking from a micro-mechanic’s point of view.
    I’d hate to say this, but, I haven’t seen any quality in any of the school’s that you mentioned about(In the US). Of course, good students do not need to be reminded that the watch community doesn’t want them, they are clever enough and can be absorbed by industry fast enough, like yourself…
    The Swiss then, are very clever indeed, for example- it is a foregone conclusion that even in Switzerland,right now, there is a massive shortage of good watchmakers. The teaching hierarchy has retired or is in the process of doing so, the schools of WOSTEP and of CIFOM, are in both crisis situations. There are watchmakers graduating from these two establishments- but really what made all the schools give up on their excellent programs?
    The lack of foresight is appalling. The Swiss, for all their brilliance, are taking a backseat for really the young Swiss students are not interested in being watchmakers, the salary is not that great …still!!! There are no trainers, and that is the crux.
    Last year, I used all my skill to try and get my close frined’s son a place at CIFOM, in Le-Locle. Only to be told, that there would have been an exam for micro-mechanical skills first! The student has to compete later! Even more shocking, 46 students would then have to be told that it would be the luck of the fish bowl pull out! Out of which 22 or so would be chosen for a 2 year course. The waiting list there has gone from 46 to well over a hundred students, in wait mind!
    Sadly reflecting into the old days, those were the good old days. There were the Technicum’s of La-Chaux-de-Fonds (Where I studied) and the one at Le-Locle. Only a shadow of their former selves exists in the CIFOM school now at Le-Locle. Both these schools closed down in the late 80’s. A lot was said, and a lot was fought over, yet politics and losses during those years dictated that they close down. From those days, whoever passed and was certified a watchmaker, good luck to them. (I have a list by the way, of all the watchmakers who were in the last 2-3 years from both these schools) almost all of them say it out loud. There never will be another ‘Technicum Neuchateloise’.
    I would love to teach my craft, but seriously, in Canada we are even more backward by quite a way. I look forward to working in Canada, and then probably slowly start making apprenticeship programs. Cheers

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