Swiss Watchmaker is Teaching Apprentices for FREE

If you know me, you know that education and how that is approached is very important to me. It wouldn’t be a reach to say that it’s my soap box. Give me a little room and I can seriously bend your ear. Growing up under the dedicated eye of two public school teachers, I spent many evenings listening to my parents discussing the best approaches to education, the value of different methods and the hope that one day “the people in charge” would see that everyone learns differently (including differently from subject matter to subject matter).

My thesis even had a huge component to it that dealt with the power of learning design through a seemingly antiquated method of education: the master, apprentice, and a community of practitioners. However, the more I delved into it, the more examples I found where that method was alive and well. It even exists in our highest-esteemed fields of study, law and medicine.

The most recent example that I came across is in high-end watchmaking. Patek Phillipe, a 175 year old watchmaking company based in Switzerland recently announced that they have opened a new apprentice program in New York City. The twist? It’s free. Their need for watchmakers is soaring as those who love mechanically-based watches outnumbers those who can maintain them. But don’t pack your bags just yet. Out of 300 applicants they took six. Applicants need skills in so many areas that getting that right mix, well, it doesn’t come along everyday.

Not sure what you’re missing out on? Check out this video by Patek Phillippe that chronicles the most complicated watch they have ever made. The reverent tones that play in the background truly makes you marvel at the engineering, design, and artistry that goes into making such a watch. It’s worth watching the full 10 minute video. I promise.

I do not even know the price of such a piece, but I urge you not to look it up for fear of passing out from disbelief! But just remember that the old watch you have in your drawer somewhere, its humble mechanics is spawned out of something exceptional, and quite possibly timeless.