Norwest School of Horology - Our Instructors

Tom Payne: School Founder, Head Instructor of Norwest School of Horology Watch Program


Tom Payne

AWCI Certified Master Watchmaker, graduate of WOSTEP refresher course in Neuchatel, graduate of WOSTEP “Train the Trainer” program in Neuchatel, past-instructor at North Seattle Community College Continuing Education Watch Repair Program, 35 year member of NAWCC and AWCI, Past-president of the Washington Watchmakers Association, Former Vice President of NAWCC Chapter 50. Owner of wholesale watch material business and retail repair shop.

"During my 35 years in the trade I’ve seen many changes in the watch industry, and there are more changes and consolidations to come. I believe there is a place in the horological community for everyone, and our school is made stronger by the diverse interests and talents of our students. We are dedicated to making sure that NSH provides for the needs of all our students."

Mark Smith: Watch Class Instructor


Mark Smith

Since childhood, Mark has been keenly interested in the art, science, and technology of watch making. He graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in biology and chemistry and has been working in technical fields all his life. Looking for an opportunity to make his passion for all things horological real, Mark started working on watches over 15 years ago.

After training and working as an apprentice for a year, he started Seattle Watch Repair over 10 years ago, restoring antique and vintage pocket and wrist watches. Mark's experience runs the gamut of pocket and wrist watches having restored or overhauled pocket watches from the late 1700's as well as rare, highly collectible wrist watches and family heirlooms.

Mark is a member of NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors). He is also a member of AWCI (American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute), and the Secretary of the WWCA (Washington Watchmakers Clockmakers Association).


Rob Apsel: Watch Class Instructor


Rob Apsel

Rob is a longtime IT professional currently working as the Digital Forensics Investigator for a large school district. A watch enthusiast since acquiring his first Seiko at age 12, he’s a collector of vintage watches, especially Swiss and Russian brands. His formal watch training has been with the Norwest School of Horology, and he now assists with beginner students in Watch 101. Rob’s extensive and detailed knowledge of watch design and manufacturing helps to broaden students’ perspectives of watch service and the industry as a whole.