Horology BA (Hons)
Growing up with a passion for watches soon led Jacob to BCU’s Horology degree. After excelling on the course and celebrating multiple achievements, Jacob landed his dream job as a Quality Control Watchmaker for Rolex, where he is now working alongside the very best in the Horology industry.
“When I was growing up and at school, I always enjoyed problem solving and working with my hands. I also loved learning how things work, like a car engine and mechanisms. When I was about 15, I got into watches and wanted to learn about how they are made.
Watches turned into a huge passion of mine, so when I was researching potential degrees at university, I came across BCU’s Horology course. It seemed like the perfect combination of practical working with my hands, alongside problem solving and understanding how things work. I came to an open day at BCU, and never looked back.
BCU’s Horology course provides a solid foundation for horologists, including the teaching of the history of both clocks and watches. It’s interesting to learn about both, even if you choose to specialise after graduating.
Building a clock in the final year was a very rewarding process, designing something from the ground up and often making most, if not all, of the parts is a fun process, with lots to learn.
From my time at BCU, being awarded a First-Class honours degree, as well as being awarded the Fellows Auction house award for ‘Technical Application of Theory’, made me so proud as both achievements demonstrated just how hard I had worked whilst at BCU.
After graduating from the School of Jewellery, I secured a job as a Quality Control Watchmaker at Rolex, which has been my greatest achievement so far. Managing to get a job at the most successful and prestigious watch company in the world straight out of the university was incredible, and I’m learning from the very best in the industry in this role.
I find my role extremely rewarding, and really enjoy working with my hands every day. I also enjoy learning about why watches don’t work as they should and getting to identify these problems and repairing them daily too. It is rewarding bringing these watches, which sometimes come in broken, back to a fully functioning running condition which the customer may not have seen for many years prior.
To give an idea of what my roles involves, essentially, Rolex has a sequential line for servicing modern watches. As a qualified watchmaker, I joined Rolex as a QC Watchmaker, which means I am the one of the last groups on the line. I receive a watch roughly 80% completed. I quality control the work done by the technicians before me, then I assemble the last 20%, which is the most technical part. Then I confirm the watch is running as it should be.
So far, I’ve learned a huge amount in this role. The Horology course at BCU gives a good foundation of knowledge, but you continue to build on this when you’re working in the industry too. I learn something new every day, which I love, and there is always variety in the job too as every watch is different and has its own individual issues too. No two mechanical watches are ever the same, so there’s always room to grow and time to learn.
My goal for the long term is to become the best watchmaker I can be and continuing to learn as many skills as I can to help me service watches to the highest standard.
My advice to current students is to start looking for jobs or postgraduate opportunities before you graduate. There are a lot of opportunities in the industry and the sooner you start looking, the more people you can meet, and better the chances of finding a great opportunity.
Also, ask questions; on the course and in industry, as there is always more to learn.”