Our History

It was recognised in 2004 that there was a shortage of qualified watchmakers to service the growing number of fine and complicated mechanical watches in the UK. This led to the foundation of The British School of Watchmaking. Located in Manchester, the third largest city in the United Kingdom, the school opened its doors to its first students on 4th September 2006.

From 2006 to 2010 six students were selected for the School’s two-year, 3,000 Hour Program each year. Five years later in 2011 the School expanded, enrolling eight students annually.

January 2018 sees the addition of a new one-year course, the WOSTEP 1800-hour Program. This intensive course offers students and employers alike a faster route to watchmaking – The British School of Watchmaking is proud to be the first school in Europe to offer this new one-year route into watchmaking!

The British School of Watchmaking is an independent institution which looks for students with the ability, aptitude and desire to become the exceptional watchmakers the modern market requires. The aim of the School is to produce graduates that can be counted amongst the world’s finest young watchmakers to serve the UK market and possibly ultimately take their expertise around the world.

With two courses, the school now recruits twenty-four students every two years – eight students for the 1800 Hour Program each year (courses start each January) and a further eight students every second year for the 3000 Hour Program (courses start September 2018, 2020, 2022 etc.).

As a non-profit making, independent institution which receives no government funding, the School is financed entirely by the contributions of its founders and partners.


The Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program (WOSTEP) is the only internationally recognised provider of Swiss Watchmaking courses within the industry.

The British School of Watchmaking is part of the WOSTEP Worldwide Partnership. The Partnership is a network of high quality schools offering standardised education throughout Europe, North America and Asia. All Partnership schools are approved and regulated by WOSTEP, located in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

For further details on WOSTEP and the WOSTEP Worldwide Partnership please visit www.wostep.ch