I’ve always been mechanically minded, and as a child I liked pulling things apart and putting them back together again. My father is a watchmaker so I learned from him at a very young age.
I studied Bachelors of Mechanical engineering at Auckland Uni, then ended up at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare with my most recent role as an Engineering Manager. I always continued to repair watches and clocks on the side as a hobby.
Last year I quit my full time job so I could concentrate on my passion of Horology full time, opening my workshop earlier this year. There’s obviously a big change in lifestyle & income, but life is short and doing this was always at the back of my mind. Now I couldn’t be happier!
In my workshop, I currently have grandfather clocks, mantlepiece clocks, wall clocks, carriage clocks, pocket watches and all sorts of wrist watches for restoration. I love grandfather clocks and anything antique, although they take a lot of time and patience to restore properly.
You can’t find parts for these old clocks and watches anymore, so 95% of the time I have to hand-make the missing pieces. I recently repaired a pocket watch from the early 1800s and created a part that was a little less thick than a human hair! It took half a day to make that piece as it was all very precise. I use machinery that is very old too – one watchmaker lathe in particular is 120 years old.
I am also involved in looking after two of the most prominent public clocks in Auckland city – the Auckland Art Gallery and Town Hall Tower clocks. They are both over 100 years old and true marvels of Horology.
I repair modern watches (mechanical and battery operated) too. These can usually be done really quickly. I often change watch batteries or perform pressure tests while my customers wait.
My father is my biggest inspiration to me as he’s mostly self-taught – he had to learn from his mistakes. He has 45 years of experience and you can’t buy that.
I love being my own boss and providing the best service I can is important to me. Customers deal directly with me – the person who does the work. I give them the best advice I can to get their job done properly and I don’t take shortcuts. I just want to get their watch or clock working again!