British watch brand Christopher Ward is extending its support to Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery Horology degree programme.
Students on the BA Hons degree course in Horology, the only one of its kind in the UK which was launched in 2012, completed two summer placements at the Maidenhead-based company’s technical and servicing department last year.
Further placements will now be offered, as well as mentoring opportunities by the senior team at the independently owned business.
Chris Ward, who was present at the university’s graduation awards evening earlier this week to present a C60 Trident Pro 600 watch to first cohort graduate Edward Mason for his award-winning final project clock, said: “As relative newcomers to the world of Horology, in our first decade Christopher Ward have developed a passion for injecting life into the future of British watch industry. Unfortunately, as a nation we are far removed from the possibility of creating a self-sustainable watch making industry, but that’s not to say it won’t happen in the future.
“As a starting point it is crucial that we equip enough young specialists with the skills to work professionally in the industry; whether that’s primarily as watch technicians as at present or, in the future, hopefully as designers and makers. As a British brand we are delighted to play our role in supporting that future and we look forward to developing stronger links with the fantastic work done by BCU and other organisations that are slowly helping British watchmaking to develop a stronger and sustained presence.”
BCU students will be able to undertake placements of up to four weeks with Christopher Ward, not only helping them to develop their technical skills in a working environment but also giving them an insight into how the brand operates as a business and as a relatively small British brand in an industry dominated by the Swiss giants.
Jeremy Hobbins, Course Director and Deputy Head of the Birmingham School of Jewellery, adds: “I am delighted to have the opportunity for my students to spend time with Christopher Ward at different times throughout the year. They learn such a lot from experiencing a real world work environment with a niche British brand, and are able to explore all aspects of an exciting independent watch business.”