New Watchguy Apprentice

Hello everyone, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Ray and I have the huge pleasure of letting you all know that I am Christians apprentice.

I am 40, married and from Northumberland, I enjoy rock climbing, motorcycling and of course I am absolutely obsessed with wristwatches!

I have always loved mechanical wristwatches and a couple of years or so ago I thought I’d see if there was a possibility of me making a career in watch repair. I started by downloading a short online course and buying some basic tools just to see if I had an aptitude for it and to see if I had the dexterity to handle the small parts. This went well and soon after that I enrolled on the BHI distance learning course. It took me around two years to complete the technician grade course due to not having a lot of free time with working full time and my hobbies. I entered the exams in June and got the results in August to say I’d passed the three exams and passed the course with merit which I was very pleased with.

I have been a long time reader of Christians inspiring blog and at the end of April I read that there was a possibility of him taking on an apprentice this year. I thought to myself that would be the best job ever but I didn’t want to get my hopes up! A few days later and after a quick chat with my very supportive wife I sent Christian an email and to my delight he invited me down to the workshop. I spent the day there in June and at the end of the day he offered me the job, I couldn’t believe my luck and instantly accepted! It took a while to close my business and for my wife to get a transfer with her job and for us to find a house but three months later we moved the 300 miles to be here.

This was my practical exam piece.

I started working here at Watchguy at the beginning of October and I am throughly enjoying it all. It is a huge privilege to work on customers watches under Christians supervision. As a watch lover myself I know how precious each and every one is to their owners. I have learned a lot already since starting. I have serviced quite a few watches here now and have replaced parts and crystals. I performed my first repair recently, Christian showed me how to re-bush a barrel bridge and I have also serviced my first Rolex, both of which have been milestones for me. I have also serviced my first Omega Chronostop which was a good introduction to chronographs.

As I’m sure a lot of you will understand this really is a dream job for me and I can’t thank Christian enough for giving me this opportunity, there is a lot to learn and I’m looking forward to it all.

Best regards



26 thoughts on “New Watchguy Apprentice

  1. A bit late, but well done Ray.
    Being a fellow biker I can’t think of a better mix…Quality watches and motorcycles!!
    I’m not far from Woodchester, so when my watch is ready for collection, I might just have to ride over and say hello in person!

    • Thanks Steve, yes watches and bikes are a pretty good combo!

      Sounds good, I’m always happy to see a bike, fingers crossed for continuing dry weather this summer, although maybe a few degrees cooler than lately would be better!

  2. Thanks for the inspiring story Ray!!! I hope you don’t mind me asking, which specific short courses did you take before BHI’s? All the best

    • Thanks. It was the level 1 and level 2 from the TimeZone Watch School website. It was a decent starting point for someone with zero experience to get an idea to see if it was for me or not.

  3. Good luck Ray, and I look forward to hearing of your experiences under the watchful eye of Christian, a man of great skill! I know you will learn so much.

  4. Congrats, Ray! Nice to hear you are now Christian’s sidekick / apprentice and its awesome that you are following your passion. My best wishes and looking forward to seeing your first post.


    PS – Kudos to your wife for being a team player!

  5. Best wishes on your new adventure! Loving what you do, being that your job and being fully supported by those you love is the absolute triangle of happiness. Many successes for you

  6. Thanks a lot guys, very true Andrew, it’s a lot easier to study when it’s raining outside, on sunny days I could almost hear the bike calling my name to tempt me out!
    I think your Chronostop may well have my name on it Al ?

  7. Hi Ray,
    Congratulations on your achievements so far. It must take some dedication to put in the required work with the lure of a bike ride tempting you on a Sunny Afternoon. To complete the course in a couple of years doesn’t seem too long – it’s not as if you can work All Day and All of the Night. It seems a great opportunity to work under such A Well Respected Man as Christian. I’m sure he’ll soon have any remaining Kinks in your technique ironed out.
    Ride safe.

  8. Welcome! I‘m sure Christian will be a great boss/colleague. I hope to read one if your blog entries of a repair soon…..

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