Five School of Watchmaking students who graduate on Dec. 11 were recently presented with certificates and unique SAWTA watches for completing a rigorous training program.
The students– Ryan Jewell, Joe Keener, Brock McKee, Sevinc Padfield and Zachary Thompson– received their Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance (SAWTA) certification on Nov. 30 and were presented with the watches, a gift from Rolex Geneva, by SAWTA director Herman Mayer.
During the presentation, Mayer congratulated the students on their successful completion of a very tough curriculum and encouraged them to build on their already strong watchmaking foundation.
Jason Champion, chair of the School of Watchmaking, said presenting the students with their watches and certificates is a very proud moment.
“This symbolizes their completion of the skills needed to join the ranks of other watchmakers who are currently in the field repairing luxury timepieces. It is also a symbol of excellence and a reminder to always exceed the expectations that their customers have,” Champion said.
The SAWTA curriculum and exams requires good observation and application of the skills and knowledge that they have learned, he said.
“Each step of a watch service requires a series of keen observations, dexterity in its completion and self-assessment of the performed operation. During their two year education in the School of Watchmaking, students will spend upwards of 2,800 hours in the classroom studying and applying skills that they will need to perform in the industry,” Champion said. “The four SAWTA exams that each student must complete to achieve their SAWTA certification replicate real life repairs and adjustments that must be completed on a customer’s luxury timepiece.”
The students, who will soon be graduates, are now narrowing down their job options at prospective employers in Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Illinois, New York and Texas.
“Having SAWTA certification sets our graduates apart as they begin communications with their prospective employers. The certification shows that they are able to complete the fundamental steps needed to complete a watch service. This includes communicating with the customer, diagnosing and observing the components both inside the watch movement and also the external components replacing or repairing as needed, servicing the watch both inside and out and then returning the watch to the consumer in a professional manner. Being able to complete all aspects of the service in a holistic approach allows our students to pursue employment at not only service centers but also independent retailers,” he said.