A career in designing fashionable time machine

Watches today are not just time telling machines. They have transformed into fashion statements.

Watches today are not just time telling machines. They have transformed into fashion statements. Designing a time machine, aka, watch is a tough job But it can be a good career option too.

The watch industry is growing at a rate of 8% every year. Watch designing is a highly creative profession. One has to conceptualise different micro components like dials, straps, case, movements to suit customer’s requirements in terms of form, size and weight.

A watch designer’s job starts with a detailed insight mining exercise, trend study and analysis, lots of iterative sketching, ideation, concept refinement. This is followed by concept detailing, idea presentation, idea sharing and group presentation, group interaction, concept short listing, detailed technical drawings, watch prototyping and production drawings.

A designer in watch industry can grow from the entry level to design director. While starting out a designer draws around Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh per annum, while a senior designer gets around Rs. 8 lakh per annum. A design manager makes around Rs. 16 lakhs an annum. If you are able to create your niche then money is no issue at all – you can charge premium.

One needs to have a basic design aptitude for this. A design degree always helps. There are no specific watch designing courses in India, but some good courses in Europe exist. So ideally if you have a flair for design you should take up a degree course in product design, industrial design or accessory design after Class 12. Many watch designers also opt for post graduate degree in design after engineering or architecture as this gives them additional specialised design knowledge.

Here are some institutes:

* National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, www.nid.edu

* National Institute of Fashion Technology, various centres  www.nift.ac.in

* Creative Academy, Milan  www.creative-academy.com

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