How to get hands-on watch experience

There are a few different ways to get an introductory hands-on experience with watches and their movements, one of which is to simply buy (inexpensive) watches on eBay and take them apart.

But, if you aren’t going hands-on with your own timepieces, and prefer some guidance that comes with a classroom (from the very basics in a few hours to more in-depth):
– See if there are any local watch communities that offer classes.
– The Horological Society of New York offers not only a speaker series but also HSNY watchmaking classes – they are a great resource and no background is needed. I’ll throw in my support and suggest considering a HSNY membership. It is a great way to support the organization and their goal or advancing the art and science of horology, plus you get priority access to the classes and access to their library. Don’t worry if you aren’t in New York, HSNY also takes their (education) show on the road, offering classes in selected cities throughout the United States. Awesome! Plus, their speaker series is available online to HSNY members.
– The AWCI has a variety of one or multi-day classes available, including:
— the traveling “Build a Watch” class: 6 hours in length, and includes lunch or dinner. Next classes up are in Vegas, baby! Class prices typically range from $900-$1300.
— a 3-day Introduction to Watchmaking crash course at the NAWCC School of Horology in Pennsylvania, and
— in-depth classes ‘Restoration & Construction Techniques’, ’21st Century Watchmaking Standards, and ‘Essential Micromechanics – Watchmaker’s Lathe 1’ at AWCI just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
– The NAWCC has a Watch and Clock Traveling Workshop Program.