Watchmaker Certification - CW21

The Benefits of Certification as a Professional:

  • Time is Money! – You’ll see improved productivity and profitability.
  • Distinguishes you from the competition.
  • Gives your customers confidence in your service.
  • Enhances the brands you carry and promotes both your reputation and integrity.

On What Subjects Are Watchmakers Examined?

Our CW21 exam is now modular.  This means you will have options on which components you choose to be certified in, order in which you take them, as well as how many components you take on each exam date. 

There are 3 core components and 2 elective components required for CW21 certified.


Everyone will take 3 core components including:

  1. A written exam covering a variety of theoretical subjects.
  2. An automatic chronograph component consisting of a complete service on an automatic chronograph watch.
  3. A precision timing component consisting of a complete service on an automatic movement.

In addition to the 3 core components you will choose at least 2 elective components for CW21:  

  1. A quartz elective component consisting of a complete service on a quartz watch.
  2. A balance staffing elective component consisting of restaffing a manual wind watch.
  3. A case and bracelet refinishing component where a candidate will refinish a watch case and bracelet. 
  4. A water resistance elective component consisting of a watch case to troubleshoot, repair and then make water resistant.
  5. A micromechanics elective component where a candidate will manufacture a tool/part using precision measuring, a lathe, and watchmaking hand tools.

During the course of the examination, the candidate is required to operate a variety of industry-standard equipment to demonstrate the quality of the work they have completed. Candidates are assessed for their quality of work and their meticulous detail.

You are able to take as many electives as you wish to show proficiency in; however, only two are required for CW21. 

AWCI is the only organization to provide industry-recognized certification for watchmakers.

Before you certify

We suggest you follow these steps:

  1. Review the tool list for certification. You will need to bring these tools with you to the examination.
  2. If you have not participated in formal watchmaker training in the last 10 years we highly recommend you attend our 21st Century Standards class.
  3. It is strongly recommended that you read, study and work to comprehend the detailed contents of the AWCI Standards and Practices (S&P). There is also a practice written exam and a bibliography to help you prepare. Remember, you need to show the highest skill level. Neatness also counts, as well as accuracy and speed.
  4. Review the CW21 Technical Guides
  5. Check out the study guide, watchmaking excellence articles, and preparation videos.
  6. To register for certification, please review the exam schedule. Please sign up early. We reserve the right to cancel a class if there are less than 6 (six) participants so we encourage you to check with us before you make your travel arrangements. Please contact Jason Champion, Education Director, at to confirm final scheduling and to receive the application documents.