(Photograph) - Time warp: the clock is turning back in the watchmaking industry which is trying to cope with a resurgence in demand for traditional watches despite the advances made by quartz technology.
The Swiss, still the world's leading watchmakers, believe there is a shortage of more than 26,000 traditional watchmakers worldwide thanks to the new popularity of mechanical watches. Traditional training schools in Switzerland were closed down when quartz technology took off so help is being sought from around the world. After a two-year search among training providers City College Manchester has won a prestigious franchise from Switzerland to help build up the much needed expertise - one of just two such centres in the United Kingdom. "The wheel has turned full circle and time is of the essence," said horology tutor Chris Simpson. The college has successfully bid for Pounds 140,000 of European Social Funding to support the course which is two years full time.