More watchmakers are retiring than young watchmakers entering the business. While this has happened due to falling watch demand, the few that are left in the profession are facing enormous work pressure to service and repair watches. Barry Kalms who is the only watchmaker in North Queensland, Australia says that the watchmaking trade is dropping fast and it is very hard to find a watchmaker anywhere.
Watchmakers Industry needs help
Add to this, young people are facing real hurdles entering this business. Thomas Habel who is one of the few apprentices says that it is a very expensive course and to cut down the costs, they shortened the hours of training which they are asked to spend practicing in their respective workplaces. This is the NSW TAFE course, an important one for apprentices as other courses from Master Clock and Watch Makers of Western Australia do not accept apprentices.
Adding to this, the Swiss manufacturers are reluctant to supply original spare parts to these individual watchmakers. While the companies are working on options to certify individuals, this outlook could further worsen the situation of individual watchmakers.