Watch Technology Institute is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2024 cohort.
The Fall 2023 cohort is full and no longer open.
Degrees & Certificates
Two-year degree for students who want to start a career immediately after graduation.
- Credits to complete: 184.0
- Estimated program length in quarters: Full Time - 9 | Part Time - Part Time Option Not Available
Certificate programs provide students with a set of skills to find a job or stay current in a profession. Many certificates are designed to build on top of each other and eventually lead to a longer-term certificate or degree. These are called “stackable” certificates.
- Credits to complete: 164.0
- Estimated program length in quarters: Full Time - 8 | Part Time - Part Time Option Not Available
The Watch Technology Institute (WTI) at North Seattle College offers a full-time, 2-year program specializing in professional watch repair. The 3,000-hour program is supported through partnership between Rolex Watch USA, Inc. and NSC. The program’s mission is to graduate watchmakers qualified to work in modern retail and service center environments. Students will develop skills covering:
- Repair of watch movements
- Refinishing of cases & bracelets
- Movement dialing and casing
- Water-resistance testing
- Customer service & retail application
Students have the option of pursuing either the Certificate in Watch Technology (164 credits) or the Associate of Applied Science in Watch Technology (184 credits). Students are also eligible to test for 3rd-party certification through the Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance (SAWTA).
Program Pathway Map
Program Pathways are a series of courses and experiences carefully selected to help you earn your credential and prepare for your career or university transfer. Program Pathway Maps guide you through quarter-by-quarter coursework, indicate when you’ll need to complete important steps, and describe popular careers in this pathway. Some course sequences or recommended courses can be customized or adjusted by speaking with an advisor.
Watch Technology Institute Certificate - Full Time Map
How to Apply:
WTI starts a new student cohort every Fall quarter. Applying early is highly recommended as the application process involves several steps. Students will need to:
- Register with North Seattle College to receive a ctcLink ID number
- Submit a completed WTI application form and personal statement
- Complete an online mechanical comprehension exam
- Complete an in-person bench test at WTI
Once these steps are finished, WTI will be able to make a decision on the application. Acceptance into the WTI program is a competitive process; the program receives more applications than spots available in the cohort. International students and veterans utilizing their educational benefits are also welcome to apply.
Starting in 2008, WTI adopted the SAWTA curriculum as the foundation for its program coursework. SAWTA was created under the guidance of Rolex Watch USA, Inc. to further develop watchmaking education within the United States. Students will learn basic micromechanics, manufacturing simple parts using hand tools and a watchmaking lathe. Students will learn the basics of servicing and adjusting watches, gaining proficiency in areas such as escapements, hairsprings, and precision timing. Students start with manual-wind, mechanical movements, then work their way through quartz, automatic, and automatic chronograph movements. The curriculum also covers dialing/hand installation, casing, water-resistance testing, case/bracelet refinishing, estimating, and customer service skills. By the program’s conclusion, students will be proficient in owning the entire process of a standard watch service.
WTI graduates can expect to find themselves in demand, particularly among high-end retailers and service centers. The industry continues to see a shortage of qualified watchmakers and employers are motivated to hire students. Retail watchmaking positions are located across the country, while service center roles are generally located in major metropolitan areas. Students willing to relocate will enjoy a greater number of employment opportunities. Extended training and internship opportunities may be available for those students interested in joining the Rolex retailer network for their employment.
Questions? Please see our FAQ's page!
Program lengths are estimates, not guarantees. For the most current program information, please check with the program contact.