Watches

Rolex to Open New Watchmaking School in Dallas

WatchesFeb 23, 2024

Rolex to Open New Watchmaking School in Dallas

The Rolex Watchmaking Training Center will welcome its first class this fall.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 with affirmations
This fall, Rolex will welcome the first class of students to the Rolex Watchmaking Training Center, its new, tuition-free school in Dallas. Students will learn to make and repair Rolex watches, like the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 pictured here, during the 18-month course.
Dallas—Rolex is set to open a new watchmaking school in Dallas this fall in an effort to address the worldwide shortage of watchmakers.

The Rolex Watchmaking Training Center (RWTC) is located within the Rolex Service Center on North Harwood Street in Uptown Dallas.

The brand said the school, which is currently under construction, will occupy the fourth floor of the building.

It will accept 15 students for the inaugural class, set to commence in September, and 15 in each class thereafter beginning in March and September annually.

RWTC is a tuition-free school that will offer an 18-month program during which students will receive technical training alongside more conceptual education.

Six months of the program will be spent focusing on the repair and service of Rolex watches. It is the only program in the United States to offer this, according to Rolex.

“For decades, mechanical watchmaking has been experiencing a resurgence as new customers learn to appreciate the tradition and craftsmanship that goes into making these special timekeepers. But crucially, there aren’t enough watchmakers to keep up,” the brand states on the school’s newly launched website.

“The goal of the Rolex Watchmaking Training Center is to play a vital role in preserving the art and heritage of watchmaking while equipping a new generation of watchmakers with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the industry. We expect employment opportunities to continue to be plentiful across North America and beyond.” 

The center is not Rolex’s first watchmaking school in the United States.

The brand has operated the Lititz Watch Technicum in Lititz, Pennsylvania, since 2001. Like the RWTC in Dallas, the school shares space with one of the brand’s service centers.

Rolex confirmed that the Lititz school is still open but declined to comment when asked what the opening of RWTC will mean for its future.  

The brand also has a training center in Geneva, Switzerland. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

RWTC also is not the only watch school in the Dallas area.

The Neuchâtel, Switzerland-based Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Educational Program, or WOSTEP, operates the North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking in Fort Worth.

WOSTEP has schools worldwide that are operated in partnership with brands; its partner in Fort Worth is the Richemont Group, which owns Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, and Cartier, among others.

(WOSTEP also has a school in Miami it operates in partnership with Swatch Group, the Nicolas G. Hayek Watchmaking School.)

Those interested in applying to become members of RWTC’s inaugural class can do so on the center’s website.

The deadline to apply for the program is April 15. Prospective students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

There is no cost to attend RWTC, and students receive an $1,800 month stipend for living expenses. 

Rolex also covers the cost of flying to its headquarters in Geneva to take the final exam. 

Watchmaking is not the only facet of the jewelry industry in need of skilled manpower.

There is also a need for bench jewelers, a problem myriad organizations are trying to address including MJSA and the Black in Jewelry Coalition.

Late last year, BIJC announced plans for a new bench jeweler education program aimed at high school students.

The program is taking place this school year, and the curriculum focuses on gem-setting, laser repair, casting, and molding. 

“Our collective goal is to make it known that these jobs exist and there’s a real need for new bench jeweler talent in the industry,” Annie Doresca, BIJC past president, said at the time the program was announced in September.

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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