Birmingham Assay Office launches new watch course

The Birmingham Assay Office will run an Understanding Watches training course, kicking off with a date in September.

A hands-on course, Understanding Watches will be delivered by watch industry expert Peter Tales MBHI, who runs Horology Consulting, and is intended for retail staff or enthusiasts who already have some experience of watches.

It will be a one-day course and will offer an in-depth understanding of the technical aspects and benefits of different types of watches to help those attending improve their confidence when selling or assessing a watch.

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Course delegates will have the opportunity to handle and study watches closely and to disassemble items using standard basic tools. Basic practical skills will be taught that aim to enable delegates to diagnose possible faults and carry out maintenance repairs.

Additionally, the course includes a rare opportunity to take part in a behind the scenes visit of the hallmarking operation at the Birmingham Assay Office, which is not usually open to the public.

Understanding Watches is the latest addition to the Birmingham Assay Office’s Education and Training portfolio.

Talking about the course, Birmingham Assay Office chief executive and assay master Michael Allchin said: "The Birmingham Assay Office is a unique training provider. Its ‘hands-on’ courses are taught in small groups and are delivered by experienced industry practitioners. All tutors share their expertise and market insight with delegates on every course, which makes learning at The Birmingham Assay Office an invaluable experience. I am delighted that our current education and training portfolio has expanded again to include this new course on understanding watches."

Peter Tales, who will lead the course, created Horology Consulting in 2010 following a successful career with the Signet Group, managing their watch and jewellery repair business. He originally trained as a jewellery designer and has also worked for Seiko UK and learned his watchmaking skills with an independent Omega service agency.

Tales’ expertise also includes business management, staff training and development, and performance measurement and analysis. As well as running Horology Consulting, Hales is a senior examiner at the British Horological Institute.

Understanding Watches will run on September 18, October 23 and November 12, 2013. The course fee is £195 plus VAT with a maximum of six delegates per course. It provides six hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity.