AskDefine | Define watchmaker

Dictionary Definition

watchmaker n : someone who makes or repairs watches [syn: horologist, horologer]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a person who repairs (and originally made) watches


person who repairs watches

Extensive Definition

A watchmaker is an artisan who makes and repairs watches. A modern watchmaker is more likely to repair a wristwatch or a pocketwatch than to actually create a watch from scratch. A skilled watchmaker can typically manufacture many of the parts found in a watch.
A watchmaker, as the name implies, works primarily on watches, not clocks. Some watchmakers work on clocks, but the skills and tools needed to work on a watch are not always applicable when working on a clock.
Historically, in England, watchmakers would have to undergo a seven-year apprenticeship and then join a guild, such as the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in London, before selling their first watch. In modern times watchmakers undergo training courses such as WOSTEP.

Watchmaker as metaphor

William Paley and others used the watchmaker in his famous analogy to infer the existence of God (the teleological argument) .
Richard Dawkins later applied this analogy in his book The Blind Watchmaker, arguing that evolution is blind in that it cannot look forward. Evolution, says Dawkins, is not directed by god(s). Instead, all intricate improvements in nature's mechanisms stem from survival pressures.
Alan Moore in his seminal graphic novel Watchmen, uses the metaphor of the watchmaker as a central part of the backstory of his heroic character Dr. Manhattan.
In the scifi novel The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven, the Watchmakers are a small technologically intelligent sub-species of the Moties that will repair/improve things you leave out for them (accompanied by food as payment).
watchmaker in Danish: Urmager
watchmaker in German: Uhrmacher
watchmaker in Spanish: Relojero
watchmaker in French: Horloger
watchmaker in Hebrew: שען
watchmaker in Icelandic: Úrsmiður
watchmaker in Dutch: Horlogemaker
watchmaker in Norwegian: Urmaker
watchmaker in Uighur: سائەتچىلىك
watchmaker in Polish: Zegarmistrz
watchmaker in Portuguese: Relojoeiro
watchmaker in Russian: Часовщик
watchmaker in Finnish: Kelloseppä
watchmaker in Swedish: Urmakare
watchmaker in Serbian: сајџија
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