This category covers businesses that primarily repair watches, clocks, or jewelry. Companies that primarily assemble watches from purchased parts are in SIC 3873: Watches, Clocks, Clockwork Operated Devices, and Parts.
Other Personal and Household Goods Repair and Maintenance
Most watch, clock, and jewelry repair shops are small privately-owned firms, often affiliated with local jewelry retailers. Large watch, clock, and jewelry makers may also have divisions devoted solely to repairing their products. Watch, clock, and jewelry repair firms fix malfunctioning and broken timepieces and jewelry.
The industry's watch and clock repair technicians (called horologists) replace broken or worn parts mainly with factory replacement parts. Technicians are able to repair both older mechanical and newer battery-operated quartz timepieces. When working with older timepieces, however, technicians often make replacement parts themselves. Approximately 80 percent of the more than 3,200 watch repairers in the United States are self-employed. They operate their own repair shops or have contracts with jewelry retailers and department stores. Many new horologists found jobs with jewelry retail stores or department stores, and many large clock, watch, and jewelry makers employed horologists in their repair departments. Most repair technicians were members of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute, the national watch, clock, and jewelry repair trade organization.
Parsec Enterprises, Inc., based in Peoria, Illinois, has the largest independent watch service facility in North America. Since 1977, the company has serviced more than 1.3 million watches.
In the early 1990s, the United States had a shortage of qualified repair technicians. Analysts estimated that nine out of ten Americans owned watches, and watch and jewelry sales rose consistently throughout the 1990s. Widespread sales of inexpensive electronic watches reduced business...