Rolex assigned itself the “mission to create a stable and sustainable future for watchmaking in the United States” and established the Rolex Watchmaking Training Center in 2023 in Dallas, Texas. Today, the top luxury watchmaker in the world announced that its inaugural class will start in September 2024, and it is now accepting applications. Here’s everything you need to know to determine whether you should apply and become a Rolex watchmaker.

Watchmakers often pride themselves on the work that they do in passing their
savoir-faire on to the next generation, but few, if any, will be able to measure up to the scale on which Rolex can pull this impressive and important feat off. The Geneva, Switzerland-based watchmaker is estimated to produce around 1.1 million watches every year, and it’s easy to see how such a remarkable output will build up into a massive pool of complex mechanical watches in need of a proficient service, and you probably already know that Rolex watches people keep wearing for years and decades after their production. This is to say that if you end up as a Rolex watchmaker, chances are that you’ll have plenty of work on your hands.

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The Rolex watchmaker’s training starts in September 2024, and then courses will begin annually in March and September. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis, and Rolex says interested students are encouraged to apply now. There is a team of nine administrators and instructors who bring decades of watchmaking and education experience to the table and look forward to welcoming students to the brand-new facilities in Dallas, Texas.

Rolex refers to its watchmaking training as an “innovative 18-month course that includes robust technical training, more conceptual education, and a special six-month focus on servicing Rolex watches. The program prepares students for successful and rewarding careers far beyond their time at the RWTC itself, with mentorship and an emphasis on fundamentals.” Rolex says that no prior watchmaking knowledge or experience is required, that students begin to work on watches immediately, and that its Rolex Watchmaking Training program is the only one in the United States to focus a full six months on Rolex watches.

No pressure, but you’ll want to know that each course culminates with a final exam at Rolex headquarters, in Geneva, Switzerland, and students who graduated as Rolex Certified Watchmakers are eligible for job placement in the Rolex affiliate network.

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How much does it cost to attend the Rolex watchmaking training course? Nothing. The Rolex Watchmaking Training Center is a tuition-free program where all tools and learning materials needed to complete the course are provided. Additionally, students receive a monthly stipend of $1,800 to help offset cost-of-living expenses and to allow students to be engaged in the program full-time. Rolex employs some 9,000 craftspeople and staff in its four manufacturing sites in Switzerland and has, indeed, earned itself a reputation for having the well-being of the people who keep the company alive at heart.

The program’s goal is both to create new educational and career opportunities for people interested in becoming Rolex Certified Watchmakers and to ensure there is a pool of skilled watchmakers to support our retail and service partners long term. We reached out to Rolex for comment on whether there are any strings attached to the program and learned that students who quit before its completion or fail the final exam will not have to provide any compensation to the company. Furthermore, graduates are not expected to take up a position at Rolex and/or its affiliates for a certain time after having completed their training.

Three different types of applications for the inaugural class at the Rolex Watchmaking Training Center are now available on the newly launched Rolex Watchmaking Training website, where you can also find more information about the program, profiles of the administrators and instructors, news, and stories.

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