Watchmaker and Repairer Kaihanga/Kaiwhakatika Karaka/Matawā

Watchmakers and repairers clean, repair and assemble mechanical or electronic timepieces such as watches and clocks.

Watchmakers and repairers may do some or all of the following:

  • examine broken watches or clocks to find out what is wrong with them
  • remove and repair damaged or faulty parts
  • clean, reassemble and adjust timepieces
  • test the accuracy of repaired items
  • replace glass faces and batteries
  • calculate the cost of repairs
  • make special parts for antique watches and clocks
  • source watch and clock parts online and quote repair work for customers.   


Physical Requirements

Watchmakers and repairers need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses), as they have to work with small, delicate parts.

Good hand-eye co-ordination and steady hands also help.

Useful Experience

Useful experience includes:

  • precision repair work, such as repairing jewellery or appliances
  • electronics work
  • work in an engineering workshop.

Personal Qualities

Watchmakers and repairers need to be:

  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • good at problem solving
  • quick and efficient
  • practical
  • patient.


Watchmakers and repairers need to have:

  • technical knowledge of the way mechanical and electronic timepieces work
  • a thorough understanding of how to use and care for equipment used to do repairs
  • a wide knowledge of the different styles, designs and manufacturers of clocks and watches. 

Watchmakers and repairers who run their own business also need small business skills.


Watchmakers and repairers: 

  • work full or part-time hours, weekends and late nights. Self-employed watchmakers often work up to 60 hours a week
  • work in specialist watchmaker and repairers' or jewellers' workshops, or from off-site workshops.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements for this job, but English, maths and science to at least NCEA Level 1 are useful.

Watchmaker and Repairers can earn around $47K-$55K per year.

Pay for watchmakers varies depending on skills and experience.

  • Apprentices may start on the training or adult minimum wage, or a little more.
  • After a few years' experience, watchmakers can earn $55,000. 

Watchmakers who run their own businesses can earn $80,000 a year or more.

Source: Jewellery Industry Registration Board of New Zealand, 2017.

Watchmakers can progress into supervisory or management roles. They can also establish their own business and become self-employed.

Years Of Training

4 years of training usually required

To become a watchmaker and repairer you need to complete an apprenticeship under the supervision of an established watchmaker and repairer and gain a New Zealand Certificate in Watch and Clock Making (Level 4). Apprenticeships usually take about four years to complete.

The Jewellery Industry Registration Board oversees watchmaker and repairer apprenticeships.

Watchmaker and Repairer