Course Descriptions

Norwest School of Horology provides a workshop and classroom environment with watchmaker's benches, good lighting, and access to a variety of specialized tools for watch and clock repair including: lathes, bushing tools, staking sets, Ultrasonic cleaners Timegrapher and watch timing machines. But most importantly, our instructors share their knowledge and experience with all who are willing to learn.

Programs at the Norwest School of Horology are designed to give the dedicated hobbyist the skills necessary to maintain and do basic repairs to their watches and clocks. The courses are not accredited and enrollment in the school does not meet the requirements for a student visa. If you are interested in pursuing a career in horology, we recommend the Watch Technology Institute (link program at North Seattle College.

The following classes are currently offered at Norwest School of Horology. For additional information or to register for a class, please see our "Registration" page.

Watch 101, 102, 103: Beginning Watch Repair

Note schedule change for fall 2024 Beginning watch repair will be moving to Monday

Instructor: Dave Davenport & Rob Apsel

Beginning Watch Repair is the starting point for the aspiring watchmaker, providing a comfortable learning environment of both lecture and guided application.  Students will start on a timing device, to understand the basic gear train and proper tool technique.  They will then progress to the Elgin size 12 pocket watch movement, and later the vintage wrist watch.  Class sessions are structured to include a lecture and/or live demonstration followed by lab time, allowing students to immediately apply the demonstrated skills in a supported environment, guided by instructors and fellow students.

Course work includes:

  • A brief history of time keeping and watchmaking
  • Tools and equipment, with a focus on proper use and technique
  • The gear train and escapement
  • Terminology and nomenclature
  • Inspecting and determining the condition of cases and movements
  • The pocket watch - history, models, and sizes, disassembly and reassembly
  • Purchasing tools, parts, and materials
  • How to safely purchase watches on eBay and from online sellers
  • The wrist watch, disassembly and reassembly
  • Timing and testing a watch

Purchase of some tools by the student is required, and a detailed list of recommended tools and suppliers will be provided for students to purchase before the first class.  Tools are discussed in great detail, and students are encouraged to hold off on purchasing tools beyond the initial list until they are discussed in class and recommendations are provided.

Students will also be required to purchase a vintage wrist watch, to be used as their project watch during the final (Spring) quarter.  As with tools, students are encouraged to hold off on purchasing their project watch until recommendations are provided in class.

Students who complete this course will be fully prepared to enter Watch 201, expanding their knowledge and skills in the art of watch repair.

Note Beginning Watch is a 3-part series which begins in September and continues for three quarters: Fall, Winter and Spring.  It is recommended that students start the series in Fall, as each course builds on the knowledge obtained in prior quarters.


Monday's, 6:30pm to 9:30pm


View schedule page


$350.00 per quarter

Instructor Jeff Grieff+

Watch 201, 202, 203: Intermediate Watch Repair Series

Instructor: Jeff Grieff & Charles Rogerson

Description: This course prepares the student to work on simple wristwatches and watches with complications. The instruction begins with a modern pocket watch movement to illustrate theory and proper procedures. Then those skills are applied to smaller and more complex wristwatch movements. This course relies on lecture, demonstrations and hands-on experience but layers in activities and class presentations to improve the student’s overall horological knowledge. Students work in an actively collaborative environment that helps them to excel in their projects.

Coursework includes:

  • Proper overhaul procedures and lubrication
  • Precision timing and testing, escapement adjustment
  • Use of reference materials and sources for acquiring parts
  • Casing techniques - crystals and crowns
  • Bracelet sizing
  • Case and bracelet refinishing
  • Wristwatch complications - automatics, calendar mechanisms, chronographs and alarm watches

Watch movements will be provided for general instruction but each student is expected to bring to class repair projects of their own choosing. A wide variety of tools will be shown and discussed in class to help each student decide what equipment to purchase for their own use.

Note: Intermediate Watch Repair series is a 3-part series which begins in September and continues for three quarters: Fall, Winter and Spring. Once a student completes the beginning watch series, they may attend any Intermediate Watch Repair at any time providing there is an available bench in the classroom. If you have experience that could be considered a substitute please contact the instructor to discuss.


Wednesdays, 6:30pm to 9:30pm


View schedule page 


$350.00 per quarter

Instructor Tom Payne

Watch 301, 302, 303: Advanced Watch, open lab

Instructor: Tom Payne & Jeff Grieff

Class participants will learn through hands-on experience with their own horological repair/restoration projects. Learn to diagnose problems and implement proper repair techniques through one-on-one guidance and hands-on practice. This class assumes completion of Watch 103 or demonstrated understanding of how a mechanical watch works. This is an independent-study "lab" class with no structured curriculum.

Student should have their own loupe and watchmaker's screwdrivers, and other small hand tools as needed, calipers, micrometer, files, pin vise, and other small metal-working tools will be needed during class, but are not required. Some tools will be available at the beginning of the class.


beginning watch Repair (or equivalent experience)


Thursdays, 6:30pm to 9:30pm


View schedule page


$280.00 per quarter 

Clock 401, 402, 403: Clock Repair and Restoration

Note schedule change for fall 2024 clock class will be moving to Tuesday's

Instructors: Gary Myers, Paul Gessner

What you can expect

For the beginning student, the class format is structured with guidance centered on tools and their uses, nomenclature, understanding the clock mechanism – how to take it apart and put it back together safely – and assessing and understanding common problems and how to solve them. For the more advanced student, the class provides a setting where students work on personal projects in a supportive environment where help and tools are available.

The course will concentrate primarily on weight-driven or spring-driven traditional European and American time or time-and-strike movements of all varieties. We don’t deal with electric clocks or cuckoo clocks, however we certainly can guide you to additional resources on those topics. You may find that the course opens doors into other areas of study or training such clock case building or restoration.

Students wishing to enroll as a beginner to work on a specific clock movement of their own requires dedicated instructor time and expertise. There will be a additional tuition cost applied to the beginner admission amount.

Your instructors

Gary, Paul are crazy about clocks, and watches, and timepieces, and small mechanical devices in general. They offer years of experience, a desire to share their knowledge and a passion for keeping the craft alive.

Your fellow students

Mix with a friendly group of people from a variety of backgrounds who share a passion for timepieces.

Your classroom

Some demonstrations, some problem-solving, and plenty of one-on-one mentoring from instructors as well as from fellow students. You will have access to more advanced shop tools such as lathe, ultrasonic cleaners, bushing tools.


Purchase of hand tools by the student is required. Beginning students are also required to purchase a time-only basic clock movement on which to learn. (We don’t want you to spoil grandma’s special antique.) Tool costs can range $75 to $100 depending on the quality of tools and where purchased. You may already have some general tools that you can bring. The school has enough tools to allow you to get started until you can purchase your own set. We can help you find used tools for those not able to buy a new set.

Note: Clock  has no prerequisites beginners can start any of the quarters


Tuesday's, 6:30pm to 9:30pm


View schedule page


$325.00 per quarter

we will