Watchmaking still seen by some as timeless art form, even in the digital age
Even now, in the age of digital clocks, watchmaking is seen by some as a timeless art form, one that continues to inspire future generations of watchmakers.
One of those aspiring watchmakers still fascinated by the profession is Brian Choi.
“You can tell somebody has put in so much work just to have that one piece do its exact job perfectly,” said Choi.
In watchmaking, it's all about precision, “and when every piece – when hundreds of pieces come together – there is a certain beauty in that precision,” said Choi.
Choi says to him and many others it's an art form – one he has been learning on his own for the past two years.
“Everything that I’ve learned I’ve learned mostly on YouTube,” said Choi.
“I like to take it apart and you learn all the intricate components that make up a system, and once you understand that, it sort of becomes clear how it all works.”
He’s been using a 3D printer to manufacture and design his own parts to play around with different mechanisms.
"Once I have something physical in front of me that I’m trying to interact with it makes sense a lot quicker."
His passion for watches right now is just a hobby but he is about to make it a career.
“I feel like this is what I was always been meant to be doing,” said Choi.
Out of 80 applicants from around the world, Choi is one of eight successful candidates chosen every two years to attend the prestigious WOSTEP international watch school in Switzerland.
“It runs for the course of two years, so 3,000 hours of just watchmaking.” Said Choi.
When telling time is as simple as looking at your cellphone some might think this career path is outdated but on the contrary, Choi says it's timeless.
“As a watchmaker today you’re making your own path your own style and mixing the traditional with the modern,” said Choi, from crafting every detail on the outside of a watch to how it actually functions.
Choi has big aspirations to make his mark in the world of watchmaking.
“My ultimate goal is to leave behind something that is timeless a piece of my creation that someone can look perhaps even long after I’m gone and it can portray the kind of person I am hopefully,” said Choi.
He also wants to eventually teach to ensure watchmaking continues to exist well into the future.
“It’s kind of up to us the current watchmakers to fuel the passion and get more people interested,” said Choi.