Watch Technology Institute AAS
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AAS: Watch Technology Institute

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The Watch Technology Institute is an intense 2-year program. Students should expect to spend 40+ hours a week in order to complete the Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance (SAWTA) curriculum.

The curriculum covers both the practical and theoretical aspects of watchmaking, taught primarily in the lab environment.  The program is organized into a series of topical units:


Watchmaking begins with learning about metals and metal working techniques; here you develop manual dexterity and learn safe use of tools, solvents and machinery.

Basic watch

During this phase of the training you learn the basic functions and adjustments of mechanical watches as well as case and bracelet refinishing.

Advanced watch

This period of study emphasizes various “watch complications,” such as calendar, automatic and chronograph mechanisms.  Students also work on customer repairs.


Upon successful completion/passage of all SAWTA (Swiss American Watchmaker’s Training Alliance) exams and the AWCI (American Watchmakers & Clockmakers Institute) CW21 exam students earn a SAWTA certificate and a CW21 certificate.

Learning Outcomes
  • Competently service mechanical, electronic, and chronographic watches and perform case and bracelet repair and refinishing
  • Use comprehensive product knowledge to make informed judgments and recommendations regarding watch repair and service.
  • Thoroughly assess the scope of incoming work, accurately estimate repair time and costs, and clearly communicate this information to customers.
  • Find and use resources pertinent to watch repair and service.
  • Read and understand technical drawings related to watch repair and service.
  • Effectively use measuring devices related to watch repair and service.
  • Safely and effectively use and maintain appropriate tools and chemicals.
  • Practice professional work habits: (a) maintain a clean and orderly workspace; exhibit a systematic approach to watch repair and service, and (c) maintain accurate and accessible records.

Many classes have prerequisites. Prerequisites are those classes that prove eligibility for entry-level classes by testing or by having satisfied prior course work. Course work earned at other institutions must be unofficially evaluated or approved by a program advisor before registering. Courses in this degree with pre-requisites are marked with an asterisk (*). 

Watch Technology Prerequisites: High school graduation or GED.

Students must apply to the Watch Technology Institute and pass aptitude tests prior to being admitted to the program. The first of the aptitude tests is administered online. Applicants that pass the first test are invited to come to our North Seattle College Watch Technology classrooms to complete the remainder of the tests. There are three written general knowledge exercises and three hands on exercises that do not require any previous watch knowledge to complete successfully.

Note: Advanced placement testing, work experience, and transfer of credits may result in course waivers, credit transfer, and advanced placement.

Course Number General  Education/Related Instruction (20 credits) Credit Hours
ACCT110 Introduction to Accounting/Bookkeeping I 5
BUS236 BUS 236 or other approved Human Relations course 5
ENGL&101 English Composition I 5
  Five credits must be selected from an approved list of US Culture or Global Studies courses. 5
Course Number Degree Requirements (164 credits) Credit Hours
HIN111 Introduction To Watch Technology 6
HIN112 Watch Technology I: Tools, Equipment & Measurement 6
HIN113 Watch Technology I: Practicum 10
HIN121 Watch Technology II: Professional Knowledge 6
HIN122 Watch Technology II: The Watchmaker's Lathe 6
HIN123 Watch Technology II: Practicum 10
HIN131 Watch Technology III: Winding & Setting Mechanisms 6
HIN132 Watch Technology III: Watch Gear Trains 6
HIN133 Watch Technology III: Practicum 10
HIN141 Watch Technology IV: Escapements 4
HIN142 Watch Technology IV: External Parts 4
HIN143 Watch Technology IV: Practicum 8
HIN211 Watch Technology V: Introduction to Precision Timing 6
HIN212 Watch Technology V: Introduction to Electronic Watches 6
HIN213 Watch Technology V: Practicum 10
HIN221 Watch Technology VI: Precision Timing 2 6
HIN222 Watch Technology VI: Automatic Watches 6
HIN223 Watch Technology VI: Practicum 10
HIN231 Watch Technology VII: Advanced Precision Timing 6
HIN232 Watch Technology VII: Chronographs 6
HIN233 Watch Technology VII: Practicum 10
HIN241 Watch Technology VIII: After-Sales Service 4
HIN242 Watch Technology VIII: Review of Courses 4
HIN243 Watch Technology VIII: Practicum 8
Total Credits -- Minimum
Sequence Type
  • 1st quarter: HIN 111, HIN 112, HIN 113
  • 2nd quarter: HIN 121, HIN 122, HIN 123
  • 3rd quarter: HIN 131, HIN 132, HIN 133
  • 4th quarter: HIN 141, HIN 142, HIN 143
  • 5th quarter: HIN 211, HIN 212, HIN 213
  • 6th quarter: HIN 221, HIN 222, HIN 223
  • 7th quarter: HIN 231, HIN 232, HIN 233
  • 8th quarter: HIN 241, HIN 242, HIN 243
  • Any Quarter: ACCT110, ENGL&101, BUS236, Global Studies or US Cultures elective
Elective Groups

Global Studies Courses

These courses are currently approved to fulfill the Global Studies requirement of the AA degree. Please check with your advisor for recommendations and special conditions that may apply.

US Cultures

These courses are currently approved to fulfill US Cultures requirement of the AA degree. Please check with your advisor for recommendations and special conditions that may apply.


What Skills do I need to be successful in this field?

In addition to technical skills, watch repair is a customer service profession and watchmakers need the skills necessary to communicate with customers, with parts suppliers and with the industry.

What are some potential job titles?

  • Watchmakers
  • Watch repairer
  • Head watchmaker
  • Watchmaking manager
  • Watch Repair Instructor

Wages, employment trends and pathways

Program Contact

Watch Technology Institute: 
Phone: (206) 934-0169, 


Effective beginning: Summer 2015 
Watch Technology Institute
805A / 47.0408

Degree Type