As a specialist member of the Jewellery Valuers Association, I am in awe of the vast number of educational opportunities available to gemologists and students of jewellery. For watches… there is virtually nothing.

Today, I am proud to announce the launch of ‘The Watch Scholar’ project, a series of brand-independent courses and resources to bring further education to the watch world. For those who want to build watches, fantastic opportunities exist with the BRITISH HOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE LIMITED(THE), British School of Watchmaking, and Birmingham City University. For those who want to sell watches, value watches, authenticate watches, or just find out more about them, The Watch Scholar is for you.

For over ten years, I have taught the UK’s only course on Fake, Franken, and Customised Watches, helping students avoid costly mistakes in their businesses. This course is now joined by an ‘Introduction to Watches’, both beginner and advanced, 'A Guide to Valuing Watches', and ‘The Fine Art of Selling Watches’. As anyone who has read my posts on LinkedIn and Instagram will know, these are all subjects close to my heart. I am delighted to share over thirty years of experience to help others learn more about our fascinating industry.

As an experienced professional in the watch industry said to me recently, ‘The knowledge is assumed, but no one actually teaches you. You can go for years without ever covering the basics, which gets embarrassing.’ As the retail market gets tougher, flippers vanish, and the only people buying are those who actually want to own and enjoy watches. My ‘secret shopper’ exercises and interviews show that customer service is often more ‘cash and wrap’ than a passionate endorsement - this isn’t good.

Collaborating with well-established and credible international organisations, the mission of ‘The Watch Scholar’ is to build knowledge-backed enthusiasm for watches, combined with a resource hub for watch value data, research and authentication archives, servicing and accessory providers, and other vital services for the watch community.

The course details, for now, are available here. These will start from January 2024 in London, Birmingham, and Manchester, with bespoke training available on request.

If you would like any further details, or if you think I can help your organisation, please don't hesitate to contact me here.