In a time when the economy and unemployment rate are in constant fluctuation, watchmaker Steven Richardson is teaching Brooklyn teens an underrated craft that can be used to launch a solid career within the timepiece industry.
“After the course, [students] will have rare skill and guaranteed jobs in the industry,” says Richardson.
Throughout the eight-week course, students follow a curriculum based on the same one used by timepiece company Tourneau, where they learn the in-depth history of watch making. Students also have hands-on experience taking apart watches, inspecting, cleaning and repairing them, then selling them as a fundraiser to sponsor the program.
Richardson, who owns The Nkiru Watch Company wanted to share his knowledge and craft of watch making with teens.
“It’s a great [age] to absorb knowledge, and this can be passed on to later generations.”
Tenth-grader Ade Abney and ninth-grader Brandon James had a general interest in watches before joining the class.
“I was always interested diamonds in watches and this is a cool skill to have as a trade or hobby. I could possibly see it as a career,” says Abney.
James says, “I’m interested in horology and astrology and how it relates to time and life.”
While the current course is open to students at Benjamin Banneker Academy, Richardson plans to re-establish the class where it began at the YMCA that is also open to adults.
“I’m a firm supporter of this program; it brings jobs back to the states,” says Lisa Frazier, whose son is a former student of the program.
After students successfully complete and graduate the Art of Horology course, they are offered an opportunity to participate in part-time job programs, including internships with Tourneau.
Students in this course gain more than just watch making skills, “They gain dexterity, patience and more understanding,” says Richardson.
The Art of Horology project is currently holding a drive to collect watches for course material. You can donate a watch by dropping it off at Benjamin Banneker Academy or .