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Short Courses

Short courses are up and running again, please see this page for details.

There may be further postponements if necessary and we will be reviewing the situation on a daily basis.


For All Levels

The BHI offers a comprehensive portfolio of short watchmaking and clockmaking courses designed to develop your skills, whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced horologist. See below for a full list of the courses, with descriptions.

If you’re new to horology, you can get a proper introduction with a one-day taster course with a professional tutor.

If you’re pursuing a horological career, we have a range of courses that will help you train in specific areas and also support you while completing the Distance Learning Course, with options to take exams and become qualified.

Associate Membership

To take one of our courses, it is necessary to become an associate of the BHI for at least the year in question. (Taster Days are open to members and non-members)

Join the BHI

Contact us

If you have any specific questions about membership and the contents, costs, dates and times of these courses, or if you would like to make a booking, please contact Zanna Perry, +44 (0)1636 817603 or email Zanna on

zanna@bhi.co.uk

Please note that the BHI reserves the right to change course details such as tutor, date, time and place or, if there is insufficient take up, to cancel a course up to six weeks before the planned course date.


Distance Learning Courses (DLC)

We also offer a complete home study course that leads to examinations and qualifications. For more information on these click the link below.

Find out about the DLC

Book a Place

Prices

Prices vary, depending on the nature and length of the course. You will find price details for each course below.

If you book your place on a course, we ask for a provisional booking fee. This is returned to you if we cancel a course. If you cancel or transfer your booking, the fee is non-refundable/non-transferable.

If you have booked provisionally and the course goes ahead as planned, we will confirm your place approximately six weeks in advance of the course date and ask you for full payment (minus the provisional booking fee), which is due then.

All courses take place at Upton Hall. For the duration of a course, we can also offer B&B accommodation in the Hall. The prices of the courses that you find below indicate the cost and number of nights at Upton Hall.

Book your course place now

Our Courses

Build your own clock

Build your own clock

John Reynolds FBHI

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Assisted and guided by our qualified instructors, spend a week at Upton Hall in rural Nottinghamshire, learning how to build your own clock. The tutor will be on hand to guide you through the process, so the only previous experience you’ll need is some basic mechanical understanding.

Learn how a simple clock train works and is adjusted for accurate timekeeping and choose from suggested templates to customise the plates of your clock. During the course you will also learn:

  • How the frame (plates) influence the design
  • Cutting with a fret saw to close limits
  • Finishing sawn edges
  • Which measurements are important and which are not
  • The use of register pins to lock the plates together
  • Drilling accurate holes for pivots, broaching, chamfering for oil sinks
  • Correct procedure for planting a train
  • Drilling and tapping
  • Careful bench procedure and handling of delicate parts
  • Final finishing of the parts
  • Careful assembly of the completed movement

At the end of the week the clock is yours to keep.

Courses will be run on a regular basis throughout the year, subject to demand. The cost for the week is just £975.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Build your own Watch

Build your own Watch

John Murphy FBHI

17-18.10.20 Fully Booked
14-15.11.20 Fully Booked
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Enjoy a weekend at the BHI building a fully operational BHI timepiece with a genuine Swiss movement, stainless steel case, dial, hands and leather strap, to take away as yours.

All material, tools and equipment are provided.

Priced at £975.00 which includes one night’s accommodation and breakfast at Upton Hall.

Service & Repair of Quartz Watches

Service & Repair of Quartz Watches

John Murphy FBHI

23-27.11.20
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This five-day course is for people who have experience in changing watch batteries, or similar, to further their knowledge and learn how to repair quartz watches. Also for DLC students taking the D4 exam unit (Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Quartz Watch).

You gain product knowledge of quartz watches with analogue displays, functions and theory, and practical benchwork.

You learn about typical tools used for quartz watches, which are all supplied by the BHI, different types of cases and how these watches work. Experience in using eye glasses and some close work is necessary.

You look at different power sources, including voltage, primary cells, their capacity, silver oxide and lithium cells, and where to fit low and high drain cells. You also get practical experience in testing procedures for analogue movements. The watch is completely serviced including removing hands & dials, fully dismantling the movement, cleaning, reassembly, replacing stems, lubrication and testing consumption.

For those students with no practical experience of using tweezers/eye glasses, screwdrivers, hand removing levers, etc it is suggested enrolling on our Introduction to Watches course prior to taking this course.

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

 

Servicing & Repair of Manual Winding Watches

Servicing & Repair of Manual Winding Watches

John Murphy FBHI

12-16.10.20
07-11.12.20
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This five-day course is for people who want to learn how to repair and servicing a manual mechanical watch to a professional standard, for DLC students and those wishing to gain more experience before taking the D15 exam unit (Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Manual Winding Watch Movement)

You learn the basics of repairing and servicing a mechanical watch. You look at various specialist hand tools, and removal and fitting of cases, dial and hands.

This is followed by cleaning, reassembly and lubrication. You also check the escapement, barrels, mainsprings, train and motion work, friction work, cannon pinion, balance springs, curb pin and dynamic poising. You also look at the use of timing machines and amplitude meter, timekeeping/testing, and record keeping.

All tools and equipment are provided but if you use a particular eye glass holder/mechanism it would be advisable to bring this with you.

For those students with no practical experience of using tweezers/eye glasses, screwdrivers, hand removing levers, etc it is suggested enrolling on our Introduction to Watches and Service & Repair of Quartz watches courses prior to taking this course.

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

 

Service and Correcting Faults in an Automatic Watch

Service and Correcting Faults in an Automatic Watch

John Murphy FBHI

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This five-day course is for professional watchmakers who want to develop their skills for servicing automatic watches. It is also useful if you want to improve your skills for mechanical watches. This course is also suitable for DLC students and those wishing to gain more experience before taking the Level 4 D16 exam unit (Servicing and Correcting Faults in an Automatic Watch).

You need to have basic watchmaking skills and you should have attended the Service & Repair of Manual Winding Watches course.

You learn how to service mechanical and automatic day date watches.

You look at the use and care of tools, removal of dial and hands, disassembly of automatic and date work.

This is followed by disassembly of balance and escapement, checking gear train, escapements and balance, identifying faults with automatic watches, and removal of mainspring.

After that you work on lubrication and fitting of mainspring, re-assembly, checking of gear train, centre seconds, friction springs and tension, lubrication of gear train and escapement, shock proof setting, and checking of friction of cannon pinion.

Focus on the balance spring and adjustment to obtain best possible timekeeping including, curb pin error, poising errors, and in-beat correction using timing machines. Finally, you review lubrication and assembly of the date mechanism, fitting of dial and hands, re-casing and finally testing.

This course also prepares you for the Chronograph course.

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Servicing & Correcting Faults in a Chronograph

Servicing & Correcting Faults in a Chronograph

John Murphy FBHI

09-13.11.20
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This five-day course is for professional watchmakers who wish to develop their skills repairing chronographs, also suitable for DLC students and those wishing to gain more experience before taking the D20 exam unit (Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Chronograph Movement).

Before taking this course you need to have completed both the Manual Wind and Automatic Watch courses.

You learn how to service chronograph watches. Focusing on the correct setting of the chronograph mechanism

You look at different types of chronographs, removal of cases, dial and hands, and disassembly of chrono, date and auto work. This is followed by disassembly of balance and escapement, after which you identify faults, remove the mainspring, check the gear train, make minor adjustments to chrono work and clean it.

You will assemble the barrel, lubrication of mainspring and assembly of gear train. You look at friction springs, chrono runner, minute counter and hour counter. After that you assemble the gear train, and adjust the balance spring and chrono, date and auto work. Finally you test the mechanism, fit, case up and final check of the chrono functions.

You can bring your own eyeglasses and we can provide all other equipment.

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Micromechanics Masterclass – Making a Balance Staff

Micromechanics Masterclass – Making a Balance Staff

Alan Burtoft FBHI

26-30.10.20
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For the horologist who would like guidance with different approaches to hand turning. The course is also suitable for those following the DLC, working towards qualification levels 3/4/5. and is designed to assist with success in D13 and D19 exam.

You will learn how to make and fit a new balance staff, using a platform escapement or a pocket watch 6497/8.

Previous knowledge of turning would be an advantage but not essential

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including a cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Service & Repair your own Clock

Service & Repair your own Clock

Sunil Silva CMBHI

5-9.10.20 Fully Booked
30.11-4.12.20 Fully Booked
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This five-day course is for people who want to learn the skills to be able to work on their own clocks.

You do not need qualifications.

You learn the theoretical basics and practical skills. You look at how clocks work, how to use hand and machine tools, and how apply the right techniques to dismantle a clock, inspect it and carry out basic repairs such as pivot polishing and bushing.

You will also be able to understand and set up a variety of clock escapements and striking work. You learn to choose and use the correct lubrication.

You bring your own clock to work on. This includes a Smiths type striking mantel, an 8-day striking wall, an 8-day or a 30-hour long case, or an English dial clock. Some clocks are unsuitable for this course, including French, carriage, chiming and musical clocks.

Please note that it may be impossible to complete a full repair or restoration. You may have to pay for parts that you get from material suppliers during the course.

You can bring a notebook and camera to record your progress and the stages of a specific repair.

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

The Repair, Restoration and Conservation of Antique Clocks

The Repair, Restoration and Conservation of Antique Clocks

John Reynolds FBHI

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This course is intended for those who are familiar with the use of workshop tools and equipment, including lathes and drilling machines, who want to learn some of the necessary skills needed to undertake the repair, restoration and conservation of antique clocks. It is also suitable for students of the BHI Distance Learning Course who are undertaking a portfolio of work.

Students are invited to bring a clock or clocks of their own choice which they wish to work on.

They may also bring their own tools although most are available in the clock workshop. A notebook and camera will also be useful to record work carried out.

The course will take the following pathway:-

1.Introduction to Upton Hall including domestic arrangements and fire precautions.
2.Introduction to the clock workshop including health and safety matters.
3.Explanation of the policy regarding the repair, restoration and conservation of clocks.
4.Assessment of projects bought in by students.

This will be in the form of a discussion group so that all students get to know each other and get a broad view of what work will be carried out during the course.

The discussion is expected to at least include, for each clock:

Known history of the clock.
Style and condition of the clock case.
The type of movement, its condition and the problems the student will have to face to complete successful restoration and conservation.

5.The production of a written assessment and a plan of action for each clock, including:

The state of the clock before any intervention (e.g. the state of cleanliness, is there any corrosion, are parts missing or broken).
Parts that have been repaired in the past but not repaired correctly (if serviceable, they are sometimes left as part of the history and provenance of the clock).
The parts that must be repaired or replaced if the clock is to be maintained in working order.
Method of cleaning – this will depend on the type of clock.
The condition of the dial, hands and case. Is any bluing, silvering, polishing and lacquering required?

(The plan of action may have to be reviewed in the light of discoveries as the work progresses).

6.During the main part of the course, students will gain practical experience by working on their own clocks with guidance throughout. There is no guarantee that a complete repair or restoration will be completed in the time available, but the way forward to a finished job will be clear.

7.Where appropriate, the course will also include demonstration and discussion on the following to ensure that all students see a range of problems and their solutions:

Safe handling, including protection for the student and the clock.
Safe cleaning methods.
Correct cleaning fluids.
Ultrasonic cleaning.
Hand scrubbing in cleaning parts.
Final finishing of parts.

Repair work as appropriate, including, but not limited to:

Methods of renovation of pivots and re-pivoting.
Correct and appropriate methods of bushing.
Checking and attention to wheel teeth and pinion leaves.
Making or sourcing parts that need replacing.
Inspection of escapement geometry and action.
Correction of escapement errors.
Inspection of the operation of striking and chiming trains.
Solving striking and chiming train problems.
Setting up striking and chiming trains.
Inspection and rectification of problems in motion work, date work and moon phase work.
Safe removal, inspection and repair or replacement of mainsprings.
Fitting new gut lines.
Lubrication.
Dial cleaning, wax filling and silvering.
Fitting the movement to its case and testing for time keeping.
Looking after clocks when they are in service.

8.On completion of the project, a final report will be prepared by the students, detailing all work that has been carried out and why. This should include a note listing all parts that have been removed and if they are to be saved or disposed of, with reasons.

Students will be responsible for the payment for any new parts ordered from material houses.

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Engineers’ small lathe, drilling and milling machines

Engineers’ small lathe, drilling and milling machines

John Reynolds FBHI

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This two-day course is for people who want to start making and repairing their own clocks. It is also useful for students of the distance learning course.

You do not need qualifications.

You learn to use the small engineers’ lathe and drilling machine. You look at what type of lathe you need, its speed and feed, how to set it up for turning, select and sharpen the necessary tool bits, sharpen drills and drill accurate holes in the proper place.

You get a variety of exercises. You can also get help if you have a specific machining problem.

For this course you can bring a lathe (with a current PAT certificate) or sharpening tools, alternatively this equipment is available in our workshop.

The cost for the two days is just £360.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

 

Making Small Components

Making Small Components

Brian Kerridge MBHI

16-20.11.20
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During this course you will develop hand skills using various materials to a high degree of accuracy and finish. You will turn components in a lathe to a given tolerance and finish.

You will learn how to file a square, make a screw thread and will learn how to harden and blue steel.

This course is suitable for beginners to horology, technician grade DLC students and those wishing to gain more experience ready for exam units D2 (Constructing Small Components, practical test piece) and D5 (Constructing Clock and Watch Components, practical test piece)

This course will take place in our clock & watch workshops and all material will be provided.

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Single-Train Clock (with Platform Escapement)

Single-Train Clock (with Platform Escapement)

Paul Roberson FBHI

2-5.11.20
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Suitable for DLC students, those taking the D3 exam unit (Servicing and Correcting Faults in a Single-Train Clock), enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in repairing this type of clock.

There is particular emphasis on the servicing of the platform escapement – the cleaning, lubrication and adjustment for beat and rate.

A movement will be provided for you to work on during this course.

The cost for the week is just £720.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Two-Train Rack Striking Clock

Two-Train Rack Striking Clock

Paul Roberson FBHI

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During this course you will learn how to set up a rack striking mechanism correctly. You will learn how to service, maintain and correctly lubricate a typical domestic two train striking clock.

Suitable for DLC students, those taking the D9 examination (Servicing and Correcting Faults in a two train Clock) and enthusiasts interested in repairing two train clocks.

A clock will be provided for you to work on during this course.

The cost for the week is just £900.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

 

Service & Repair of Cylinder & Lever Escapement Platforms

Service & Repair of Cylinder & Lever Escapement Platforms

James Welbourne MBHI

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This two-day course is for people who want to learn to service and repair their own cylinder and lever platform escapements.

You do not need qualifications but experience with small tools required for this course would be beneficial but not a prerequisite. Help will be offered as required.

You learn about the operation, adjustment and maintenance of cylinder and lever escapements. You also look at repair methods for such escapements as well as gaining a good understanding of the servicing and lubrication methods used in servicing these platform escapements.

For this course you will need to bring with you a platform with a defective cylinder and/or lever escapement to work on.

Please note that it may be impossible to complete a full repair. You may have to pay for parts that you get from material suppliers during the course.

You can bring a notebook and camera to record your progress and the stages of a specific repair.

The cost for the two days is just £360.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Taster Day - Introduction to Clocks

Taster Day - Introduction to Clocks

Paul Roberson FBHI

06.11.20 Fully Booked
07.11.20
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This one-day course is designed for those who wish to learn about the history and engineering of clocks.

The course covers demonstrations on how to set up clocks, how to put them in beat and how to regulate them as well as the correct methods used to move clocks. There will be a presentation showing examples of different clocks and their driving forces, etc.

Students will also gain experience in dismantling and reassembling a clock movement during the day.

Cost: £99

Please note: We are unable to refund or transfer any bookings for our taster days. In the unfortunate case that we don’t fill the course to our minimum requirement of 4 bookings we will regretfully have to cancel the course and will in this case transfer your booking accordingly.

Taster Day - Basic Clock Case Finishing

Taster Day - Basic Clock Case Finishing

David Watkinson

No dates currently available
More information Less information

This one-day course is designed for those who are new to restoring and re-finishing furniture and clock cases.

The aim of the course is to enable those attending to recognise the state and condition of clock cases and then to decide on the best course of action, salvaging the finish and making the clock usable and looking its best. Also to enable students to perform small repairs, to strip the original wood if needed and to restore and polish to a standard to suit the individual requirements of the case.

Students are invited to bring along a small clock case or small piece of furniture to discuss and work on.

Cost: £139 (which includes a small polishing kit which you can take away with you)

Please note: We are unable to refund or transfer any bookings for our taster days. In the unfortunate case that we don’t fill the course to our minimum requirement of 4 bookings we will regretfully have to cancel the course and will in this case transfer your booking accordingly.

Taster Day - Introduction to Turret Clocks

Taster Day - Introduction to Turret Clocks

Derek Frampton MBHI & Andy Burdon

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This one-day course is designed for those who wish to learn about the history and engineering of turret clocks.

During this course you will learn and understand how turret clocks developed and what is involved in looking after them.

Students will have the chance to study turret clocks in the BHI collection as well as having the chance to gain hands on experience with movements, winding and setting them. You will also be able to help with getting one apart and back together. Towards the end of the day it is hoped that a visit to a church clock in the locality may be possible.

All attending receive a free copy of the Turret Clock Keeper’s Handbook

Cost: £99

Please note: We are unable to refund or transfer any bookings for our taster days. In the unfortunate case that we don’t fill the course to our minimum requirement of 4 bookings we will unfortunately have to cancel the course and will in this case transfer your booking accordingly.

Taster Day - Introduction to Watches

Taster Day - Introduction to Watches

James Welbourne MBHI

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This one-day course is designed for those who wish to learn about the history and engineering of quartz and mechanical watches.

The course covers the history of the wristwatch, basic principles of watches, horological terminology and watch repair tools/equipment and use.

During the course those attending will carry out basic tasks using watchmakers tools on a selection of quartz & mechanical movements. Students will gain experience in using workshop equipment and adjust the timing on movements to achieve better timekeeping.

This course is a precursor to our Quartz and Manual Wind watch courses.

Cost: £99

Please note: We are unable to refund or transfer any bookings for our taster days. In the unfortunate case that we don’t fill the course to our minimum requirement of 4 bookings we will regretfully have to cancel the course and will in this case transfer your booking accordingly.

Watchmakers' Lathe & Graver Turning

Watchmakers' Lathe & Graver Turning

Brian Kerridge MBHI

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This two-day course provides hands-on experience using a watchmakers’ lathe.
This course has no entry requirements, but you will benefit by having previously attended our 2-day course ‘engineers small lathe, drilling, and milling machines’.
You will study the main parts of a watchmakers’ lathe and its attachments. You will learn how to dismantle, clean, lubricate, and adjust the headstock spindle. You will practice how to join and set up a lathe belt. You will study the merits of various methods of work-holding including 3-jaw chuck, 6-jaw chuck, collets, and wax chucks. You will gain hands-on experience turning brass and blue steel using a cross-slide, but more importantly, a graver.
You will learn about graver materials, styles for different cuts, and how to sharpen gravers. Other hands-on work includes catching a centre, drilling a sub-mm. hole in hardened steel, and setting work to run true in a wax chuck. Finally, you gain sufficient experience of how to turn a balance staff so that you can continue to improve in your own workshop.

The cost for the two days is just £360.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.

Wheel and Pinion Cutting & making Fly Cutters

Wheel and Pinion Cutting & making Fly Cutters

Brian Kerridge MBHI

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This three-day course provides hands-on experience of machining wheels and pinions for clocks using commercial cutters and workshop-made fly cutters.
The course has no entry requirements, although you will benefit by having previously attended our 2-day course ‘engineers’ small lathe, drilling, and milling machines’.
The course provides hands-on experience of selected methods described in the book ‘Wheel and Pinion Cutting in Horology’ by J Malcolm Wild FBHI, published by The Crowood Press, 2001. Many students already have a copy but those who don’t should aim to obtain the book.
Topics covered include the module system, clock trains, and how to select commercial cutters. You will study a typical train, design a wheel/pinion and raw material blanks. You will go on to machine the blanks and use a depthing tool to set up your own working model. The workshop offers experience on a vintage wheel-cutting engine, a lathe or milling machine with a manual dividing head or a digital stepper motor. You will also design, layout, saw, and file your wheel crossings; and harden, polish, and temper your pinion.
You will also make and use your own simple fly cutter, and learn how to make your own form-relieved fly cutters and multi-tooth cutters.

The cost for the three days is just £540.

On-site accommodation is available from £45 a night including cooked breakfast in the Clock House Café.