If you’re reading this newsletter, you probably have sent a watch or two away for repair, probably to the Watch Doctor.
What was your process in finding the Watch Doctor for your repair? How did you decide on him to trust with your expensive timepiece or family heirloom?
For anyone wearing an expensive watch where it isn’t cheaper just to buy a new one if the first one stops running, finding a trusty watchmaker has become increasingly difficult.
Because watchmaking is an aging profession. As the older generation of watchmakers retire, a new younger generation isn’t coming up through in the same numbers to fill the gaps. There were just more than 2,100 watch repairmen in the United States in May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. That’s a slight “tick” up from the previous year’s numbers.
Finding a watchmaker nowadays can be as difficult as finding a shoe repairman or other related profession — though the profession hasn’t gone the way of the television repairman or jobs of year’s past. As long as people are interested in what time it is, there will always be a need for a watchmaker.
In the “Watch Shop,” the Watch Doctor is the middle generation of a three-generation family tree of watch makers who have been keeping people on time since 1947.
That’s when, after serving in World War II, Joseph Sirianni and his brother Louis opened Sirianni Bros. Jewelers on Fraley Street in Kane, Pennsylvania, repairing jewelry and watches. Then in 1977, Mark — the Watch Doctor — graduated from the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking in New York City and started working in the family business.
The Bulova School, which closed its doors in 1993, was started in 1945 as a non-profit institution to provide training and rehabilitation for disabled World War II veterans.
Mark worked in the family business for 22 years with his father and then branched out to begin his own watch repair venture. In the last few years, Mark’s eldest son Tom has been apprenticing in the Watch Shop as a third-generation watchmaker.
So what does the future hold for watchmakers? You may stumble upon articles on the internet with titles like “Is Time Running Out on the Watch Business?” asking this same question.
The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute lists reasons why a person should consider a career in the watch repair trade. Those reasons include the obvious: job shortage and high demand for skilled watchmakers. It also lists the profession as one that is robot-proof. While self-automated cars can now take to the road and we can bypass the order counter at McDonald’s by typing in our own orders on a screen, automation won’t be able to fix the intricacies of a Rolex like a human can. The AWCI also notes that for every 10 watchmakers who retire each year, they’re replaced by just one new watchmaker.
Mark Sirianni Watch Repair
25 Fraley St.
Kane, PA. 16735